Dimensional Announces Shareholder Meeting to Elect New Directors of US Funds
Professors Reena Aggarwal of Georgetown, Francis A. Longstaff of UCLA, and Heather E. Tookes of Yale nominated as Independent Directors to oversee firm’s mutual funds and ETFs
Update: During a joint special meeting of Dimensional shareholders on Dec. 29, 2021, Reena Aggarwal, Francis A. Longstaff, and Heather E. Tookes were elected as new Independent Directors of Dimensional’s US mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs); George M. Constantinides, Douglas W. Diamond, Darrell Duffie, Abbie J. Smith, and Ingrid M. Werner were re-elected as Independent Directors; and David P. Butler and Gerard K. O’Reilly were elected as new Interested Directors.
Austin, TX—November 15, 2021—The Boards of Dimensional’s US mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are seeking shareholder approval for the election of three new Independent Directors to help oversee the funds on behalf of investors. Professors Reena Aggarwal of Georgetown University, Francis A. Longstaff of University of California, Los Angeles, and Heather E. Tookes of Yale University would join a long list of leading academics who have served on the Boards. The joint special meeting of shareholders, which is required under US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules, will take place December 29, 2021.
“For 40 years, investors in our funds have benefited from the knowledge and expertise of some the brightest minds in economics and finance,” Dimensional Founder and Executive Chairman David Booth said. “That tradition of intellectual integrity continues with the nominations of Reena, Francis, and Heather.”
In addition to the three new Independent Directors, two Dimensional executives, Co-CEO Dave Butler and Co-CEO and Chief Investment Officer Gerard O’Reilly, have been nominated to join the Boards as Interested Directors and five current independent board members will be seeking re-election. The newly appointed Directors would succeed outgoing Independent Directors Roger G. Ibbotson and Myron S. Scholes and Interested Director David Booth. Scholes, Ibbotson and Booth will step down when the new Directors are elected, with Booth becoming Chairman Emeritus. However, if the December 29, 2021 shareholder meeting needs to be adjourned into 2022 to seek additional shareholder votes, Scholes will retire effective upon December 31, 2021. Booth will remain closely involved in the firm’s strategic initiatives.
“We are deeply grateful to Roger and Myron for their four decades of commitment and exemplary service on behalf of shareholders,” Booth said. “Adding Dave and Gerard to the Boards is a natural extension of their leadership and day-to-day management of the firm. With Dimensional’s funds in very good hands, I look forward to continuing to focus on what I enjoy most—working with clients and colleagues to change the way the world thinks about investing, and putting investors in the best position to achieve their financial goals.”
Aggarwal, Longstaff, and Tookes would be the latest in a long line of academic luminaries who have helped oversee the firm’s funds. Three Nobel laureates in economic sciences have served as independent directors on the Boards of Dimensional’s US mutual funds—the late Merton Miller, Scholes, and Robert C. Merton, who currently serves as Dimensional’s Resident Scientist. The current Board includes among its members past presidents of the American Finance Association, Western Finance Association, and European Finance Association; fellows of the National Academy of Sciences and National Bureau of Economic Research; and a member of the prize committee for the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.
Independent fund Directors help serve investors’ interests by bringing intellectual curiosity, scientific rigor, and a range of experiences and expertise to the funds. The current have substantial experience in portfolio management, asset pricing, financial intermediaries, liquidity, financial reporting, corporate governance, financial market design, corporate default risk, market microstructure, and international finance. Aggarwal, Longstaff, and Tookes would add significant, complementary capital markets expertise in areas including environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters, ETFs, and fixed income.
Reena Aggarwal is the Robert E. McDonough Professor of Finance and Director of the Center for Financial Markets and Policy at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. She has served as an academic fellow at FINRA and the SEC, as a visiting research scholar at the IMF, as a Fulbright Scholar to Brazil, on a World Economic Forum Global Future Council, and as a distinguished scholar at the Reserve Bank of India’s Centre for Advanced Financial Research and Learning. Aggarwal has advised financial institutions and governments around the world. She focuses on global financial markets, capital raising, initial public offerings, initial coin offerings, financial technology, institutional investors, ETFs, private equity, valuation, stock exchange structure, securities market regulation, corporate governance, and ESG. She received a PhD in finance from the University of Maryland and an MMS from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in India.
Francis A. Longstaff is Allstate Professor of Insurance and Finance at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. Longstaff served as head of fixed income derivative research at Salomon Brothers in New York and worked in the research department of the Chicago Board of Trade. He focuses on fixed income markets and term structure theory, derivative markets and valuation theory, credit risk, computational finance, liquidity, and the role of arbitrage in financial markets. He has published nearly 70 articles in academic and practitioner journals and is a frequent speaker at conferences. Longstaff has consulted for mutual funds, hedge funds, commercial banks, and other financial institutions; software developers; and risk management firms. Longstaff holds a PhD in finance from the University of Chicago and an MBA from the University of Utah. He is a certified public accountant (CPA) and chartered financial analyst (CFA®).
Heather E. Tookes is a Professor of Finance at the Yale School of Management. Her research lies at the intersection of capital markets and corporate finance. She has a particular interest in credit default swaps, convertible bond markets, and trader borrowing. Tookes is a member of the FINRA Economic Advisory Committee, Academic Female Advisory Committee (AFFECT) of the American Finance Association, and Committee on Racial Diversity (CORD) of the American Finance Association. She is a former associate editor at the Review of Financial Studies and Management Science and a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Financial Advisory Roundtable. Tookes serves on the Board of Trustees of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and the Investments Committee of the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven. She earned a PhD in finance from Cornell University and a BA in economics from Brown University.
Dave Butler is Co-CEO of Dimensional and serves as a Dimensional Director. He joined the firm in 1995 and was named Co-CEO in 2017. Prior to becoming Co-CEO, Butler led the development of Dimensional’s financial advisor business, building a global team of Regional Directors and client services professionals. In the 25 years since Butler joined Dimensional, the firm has grown from roughly $10 billion in assets under management to more than $653 billion. Throughout his career, Butler has been closely involved in the evolving field of investment advice and the strong community of professionals redefining wealth management and enhancing the investor experience. He frequently interacts with professional investors and industry leaders around the globe. Butler attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a BS in marketing and finance in 1986 and an MBA in 1990. He received the CFA® designation in 1998.
Gerard O’Reilly is Co-CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Dimensional and serves as a Dimensional Director. He was named Co-CEO in 2017 and has been with Dimensional since 2004. O’Reilly has been instrumental in the evolution of Dimensional’s systematic approach to creating and implementing investment solutions. He was formerly Head of Research, managing the firm’s rigorous, scientific approach to interpreting, testing, and applying research in portfolios. He is a member of the firm’s Investment Research Committee, which reviews potential investment strategy enhancements, and a member of the Investment Committee, which oversees portfolio and account management. Prior to joining Dimensional, O’Reilly obtained his PhD in aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology. He holds a master of science degree in high performance computing from Trinity College Dublin, where he also received a first class honors degree in theoretical physics and was a recipient of the Foundation Scholarship.
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