David Booth, chief executive of Santa Monica money manager Dimensional Fund Advisors, has given a $300-million gift to the University of Chicago's famed business school -- the largest ever donation to the university.
The school now will be named for the 61-year-old Booth, a 1971 MBA graduate who has long kept a low profile in the money management business despite his success.
The investment philosophy of Dimensional Fund Advisors, manager of about $120 billion in mutual funds, is based on the efficient-market theory which maintains that almost no one can be smarter than the market as a whole in the long run. The theory was developed by University of Chicago professor Eugene Fama in the 1960s.
Closely held DFA is a "passive" or "index" investor, buying and holding broad portfolios of shares in a bet that returns over time will trump the gains of most "active" managers who try to find stocks with the brightest prospects.