The UCLA Anderson School of Management has received a $10 million gift from Laurence D. Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock, and his wife, Lori W. Fink, to provide essential funding for the school’s center for finance, UCLA Anderson dean Judy Olian announced today.
In recognition of this gift, the school will rename the center the Laurence D. and Lori W. Fink Center for Finance and Investments. An alumnus of UCLA Anderson and UCLA, Fink is one of the leading financial executives on Wall Street and currently serves as chair of the UCLA Anderson center for finance's advisory board.
"I am deeply grateful for Larry and Lori's extraordinary support for the school," Olian said. "With their vision and commitment, we will further enhance the reputation of the center throughout the finance, academic and professional communities, having an impact on national and global financial markets."
A primary objective of the Fink Center for Finance and Investments is to connect research and practice in the field of finance. Building on the research of UCLA Anderson's exceptional finance faculty, the center will provide industry professionals and other researchers with emerging knowledge and practical advances in finance and related fields. The center will publish a series of industry-oriented white papers and will offer interactive conferences, leadership development programs and networking events.
"Academic research cannot be insular; it must be relevant and effectively communicated to achieve maximum impact," Fink said. "Lori and I are excited to support the center in its role of channeling these valuable findings, giving finance professionals an opportunity to gain new perspectives and remain at the forefront of key industry issues."
The Finks' $10 million endowment is the largest individual gift to UCLA Anderson since John Anderson's naming gift in 1987. Portions of the investment will be used to create the Laurence D. and Lori W. Fink Endowed Chair in Finance to support research in finance, and to establish Ph.D. and M.B.A. fellowships for students. Students will also gain greater access to financial market tools and networks, enhancing their career preparation. The center will partner with the newly launched Master of Financial Engineering (M.F.E.) program, a one-year program that provides a depth of study in finance that is more quantitatively oriented than traditional M.B.A. curricula.
"Beyond advancing industry knowledge and best practices, this gift enables us to invest in our greatest resource, our very talented and motivated students at UCLA Anderson, who will become the finance leaders of the future," said Richard Roll, professor of finance and faculty director of the Fink Center.
As chairman and chief executive officer of BlackRock, Fink oversees one of the largest publicly traded investment management companies in the nation. He is also a trustee of the BlackRock Equity and Bond Fund Complex within the firm's open-end fund family.
Fink and his wife have been extremely generous as philanthropists in the academic and medical communities. Currently, Fink serves on the board of trustees of New York University and is also co-chairman of the board of trustees of NYU's Langone Medical Center. Last year, he was the recipient of the John E. Anderson Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest recognition that UCLA Anderson bestows upon alumni.