Rex A. Sinquefield
Co-chairman, Dimensional Fund Advisors Inc., Santa Monica, Calif.
Rex A. Sinquefield brought a "radicalness" to conservative investing and was a pioneer in the development of small-stock investing, leading to its broad acceptance by investors.
He also helped revolutionize asset allocation and the tilt to equities through a study on historical market returns with Roger G. Ibbotson.
Mr. Sinquefield continues to be a contributor, supporter and user of academic research, applying it to investment management.
Mr. Sinquefield, a passive investing proponent who believes passionately that investors can't beat the market, likes to say the only people who don't believe in markets are Cubans, North Koreans and active managers.
He joined American National Bank & Trust Co. of Chicago in 1972, proposing the idea for an index fund, which the bank launched in September 1973. It was probably the first publicly marketed S&P 500 index fund.
Mr. Sinquefield, while at the bank, worked with Mr. Ibbotson on what became their seminal study on historical capital market returns and inflation. Their book — "Stocks, Bonds, Bills, and Inflation: The Past (1926-1976) and Future (1977-2000)" — was published in 1977. The study gave investors a rationale for allocating funds to major asset classes, driving more institutional money into equities. It also helped propel the S&P 500 to become the primary benchmark for performance evaluation.
In 1981, Mr. Sinquefield helped establish Dimensional Fund Advisors, joining shortly after it was founded by David Booth and several others. Messrs. Sinquefield and Booth applied academic research to show that small-cap stocks outperformed large-cap stocks over the long term.
Gary W. Findlay, executive director of the $5 billion Missouri State Employees' Retirement System, Jefferson City, said of Mr. Sinquefield:
"Many people know of Rex's contribution to the investment industry. I'm not sure how many are aware of what I'll call ‘good citizen' Rex. … He lived at St. Vincent's Orphans Home in St. Louis for a good deal of his youth, and he now serves as a member of their board of directors. Children from St. Vincent's (now a residential treatment center) are frequent visitors at Rex's farm in Missouri, which he also makes available to Boy Scout troops from Missouri and California. In addition, he serves on the investment committee of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and is a member of the board of trustees of St. Louis University. He has been very generous with his time and resources and has given much back to the community from which he came."