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Reaching longtime goal, Spaulding Group founder earns doctorate

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David Spaulding

At age 63, David Spaulding will fulfill a longtime ambition: earning a doctoral degree.

Pace University, New York, will award Mr. Spaulding a diploma for a doctorate in professional studies in business at its May 22 commencement exercises, said John P. Dory, director of the program.

Mr. Spaulding — founder and CEO of The Spaulding Group, a Somerset, N.J.-based firm whose focus includes portfolio performance measurement verification services — specialized in finance and international economics for his advanced degree.

“This is a personal goal,” Mr. Spaulding said of the doctorate. “I've been wanting to do this for 30 years.” In fact, about 10 years ago, he applied to Rutgers university and even took an entrance exam “and then realized it was (a) full-time” program, he said.

His course and research work in the program at Pace's Lubin School of Business, which he entered in 2007, culminated Feb. 13 in a scholarly defense of his dissertation, “The Predictability of Holdings-Based Residuals as a Result of Trading Turnover and Other Market Factors.”

The dissertation compares a holdings-based approach to portfolio performance attribution to a transaction-based approach, finding the holdings-based method could provide incomplete and misleading information.

The doctoral program, as distinguished from a Ph.D. program, is designed for accomplished executives without interrupting their working careers, Mr. Dory said.

The degree, Mr. Spaulding said, “benefits clients (because) I developed better research skills and access to information. I'm a better researcher, a better analyst by going through the program.”

As for addressing him with his new degree, Mr. Spaulding said, “I don't expect (people) to call me doctor. But I won't stop them if they do.”

This article originally appeared in the March 17, 2014 print issue as, "Reaching longtime goal, Spaulding Group founder earns doctorate".