Rex Sinquefield donates $1.5 million to the Becker Friedman Institute

The gift is intended to bring more scholars, researchers, and professors to the Institute in order to develop their work in a new environment.

By Isabelle Charo

Investment and index fund pioneer Rex A. Sinquefield (M.B.A. ’72), and his wife, Dr. Jeanne C. Sinquefield (Ph.D. ’72, M.B.A ’79), recently gave a gift of $1.5 million to the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics.

According to a press release from the Becker Friedman Institute, the gift is intended to bring more young researchers, economists, scholars, and professors to the Institute to encourage the development of their work in a fresh environment. The Rex A. and Dr. Jeanne C. Sinquefield Visiting Researchers would also contribute to the wider University community by giving seminars and workshops to students.

Rex Sinquefield made his living by helping to create some of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services’ first index funds. With David Booth, he cofounded Dimensional Fund Advisors, which now oversees over $381 billion in assets as of December 2014. However, Sinquefield is now retired from the company and no longer involved in investing their assets.. Jeanne Sinquefield was executive vice president and head of trading at the fund.

Rex Sinquefield is cofounder and president of the Show-Me Institute, a nonprofit think tank in Missouri that advocates the elimination of the state income tax, among other free-market causes. Sinquefield also authored a book on taxpayer reform, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States: How Taxes, Energy, and Worker Freedom Change Everything, which argues that getting rid of tax burdens on the state level ultimately bolsters the economy.  The Sinquefields are well-known philanthropists, specifically supporting education reform in their home state of Missouri through donations to the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation and the Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri. The couple is very active politically, having donated over $28 million in support of conservative causes in Missouri between 2008 and 2013.