The University of Chicago has named Thomas Coleman, AM’81, PhD’84, an experienced financial industry executive, as the first executive director of the Gary Becker Milton Friedman Institute for Research in Economics.
Beginning July 9, Coleman will coordinate strategic programming and outreach activities that enhance the Institute's position as a premier intellectual destination for the world's best economists and advance the research agenda determined by the Institute's academic leadership.
"I'm delighted to have someone with Tom's wide-ranging business experience and deep appreciation for empirical Chicago economics joining the Institute's team," said Becker, chair of the Institute and University Professor in Economics, Sociology, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the Law School.
A veteran of more than 20 years in the finance industry, Coleman has considerable experience in trading, risk management, and quantitative modeling. Most recently, he managed a risk advisory consulting firm. Previously, he was head of quantitative analysis and risk control at Moore Capital Management, LLC, a large multi-asset hedge fund manager. He was director and founding member of London-based hedge fund Aequilibrium Investments Ltd. He also worked on the sell side for a number of years, with roles in fixed income derivatives research and trading.
Before entering the financial industry, he taught graduate and undergraduate economics and finance at the State University of New York at Stony Brook; more recently he taught as an adjunct faculty member at Fordham University Graduate School of Business Administration and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Coleman has longstanding ties to the University of Chicago. After receiving a bachelor's degree in physics at Harvard, he earned a master's degree and doctorate in economics at UChicago. His father, renowned sociologist James S. Coleman, was University Professor of Sociology for two decades and cofounded a long-running interdisciplinary faculty seminar on rational choice in the social sciences with Gary Becker.
Coleman is the author of Quantitative Risk Management (2012) and, together with Roger Ibbotson and Larry Fisher, of Historical U.S. Treasury Yield Curves. He also has published in finance as well as physics journals.
“Tom’s combined experience in both the academic world and private sector is a tremendous asset,” said Lars Peter Hansen, Institute Research Director and David Rockefeller Distinguished Professor of Economics and Statistics. “He has the knowledge base to support our ambitious and growing research agenda, and the management acumen to help us attract, manage, and deploy our intellectual, physical, financial, and human resources wisely.”
Coleman said he is excited to return to UChicago. ”This university and this Institute have unmatched capacity to draw together the world’s top economists to take on the world’s greatest challenges. I am honored to return and to have an opportunity to support and advance the intellectually rigorous and stimulating environment that is the University of Chicago.”