Frey Foundation brings banking/finance expert to Michigan

November 28, 1995
Contact: umichnews@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR—An endowed professorship established by the Frey Foundation at the University of Michigan School of Business Administration will go to Anjan Thakor, one of the country’s most prominent experts on banking strategy and regulation as well as on key aspects of finance. The new faculty post at Michigan was established with a $1.2 million grant from the Foundation, and will be known as the Edward J. Frey Professorship of Banking and Finance.

The new professorship makes a major contribution to building Michigan’s expertise in a vital area and is seen by the School as an important step in furthering the capabilities that have placed it in the top ranks of business schools, according to the School officials. Thakor’s appointment to the Frey Professorship will be recommended to the U-M Board of Regents.

“The University of Michigan played a large role in my father’s business career and his affection for the University was ever-present,” said David Frey, vice chairman and trustee of the Frey Foundation. ” Being able to honor him by helping further the business school’s national prominence is gratifying and most appropriate.

“We are especially delighted that this chair has enabled Michigan to attract one of the country’s leading scholars and teachers in banking and finance, an industry my father helped shape. The Business School’s unusual commitment to teachings its students corporate citizenship also makes Michigan a particularly appropriate place for us to establish a professorship in my father’s name.”

Succeeding his father, John E. Frey (1880-1962), Edward J. Frey Sr. served for years as chief executive officer of Union Bank and Trust Co. (now NBD) and also founded Foremost Insurance Company in Grand Rapids in 1952.

An endowed professorship is one of the highest honors in academia, and is awarded to scholars whose achievement is of the highest caliber. With Michigan one of the top-ranked business schools in the country, endowed chairs at the School attract some of the nation’s most outstanding faculty.

Thakor is currently chairman of the finance department at Indiana University’s School of Business, where he is the NBD Professor of Finance. He has special expertise in banking policy, regulation, and strategy and has also emerged as a leading thinker in the area known as financial intermediation— ways of linking sources of capital with businesses and individuals in need of financing. Thakor is an editor of the Journal of Financial Intermediation, which is highly influential on theory and practice in the field, and recently co-authored a text book on bank management titled ” Contemporary Financial Intermediation.” He is associate editor of four other academic journals. He has published over 50 articles in leading academic journals in finance and economics, and numerous other monographs and chapters in books.

“Prof. Thakor brings precisely the kind of accomplishment in research and teaching that was envisioned when this chair was established,” said U-M Business School Dean B. Joseph White.

The Frey Foundation, based in Grand Rapids, is one of Michigan’s largest family foundations, with assets of more than late Edward (1910-88) and Frances (1911-89) Frey. Trustees of the Frey Foundation are David G. Frey, Edward J. Frey Jr., John M. Frey, and Mary Caroline (Twink) Frey.