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Dimensional Fund Advisors Names Dave Butler Co-CEO

Butler replaces David Booth, a pioneer of smart beta who founded the firm in 1981.

  • Sheila Dang

Dimensional Fund Advisors has named Dave Butler co-CEO of the Austin, Texas-based firm, replacing founder David Booth, who will continue his role as executive chairman.

Butler will lead the firm alongside Eduardo Repetto, who has served as co-CEO of Dimensional since 2010, according to a statement Wednesday from the firm. Butler said in the statement that Dimensional has increased assets to $460 billion from less than $10 billion in 1995, when he joined the firm.

Booth, who is a pioneer of smart beta, founded Dimensional with Rex Sinquefield in 1981 to create real-world investments based on academic theories that had been flowing from his alma mater, the University of Chicago’s graduate school of business. The school now bears his name after Booth’s $300 million donation in 2008.

Dimensional’s future and whether it can continue its success as the original team retires is an important question. What works in Dimensional’s favor is its transparent investment process that doesn’t rely on individual managers. Dimensional’s oldest fund, the US Micro Cap Portfolio, has outperformed its benchmark with annualized net returns of 12.07 percent since its inception in 1981. Booth has also reinforced the firm’s culture by requiring financial advisers to attend a boot camp to learn about Dimensional’s philosophy straight from the original team before they would be allowed to sell the funds. “I recognize the importance of our history, culture, and role as stewards of investor assets,” Butler said in Wednesday’s statement. He will also continue in his role as head of global financial advisor services.