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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Booth Shares His Throne at Dimensional

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

David Booth will no longer be the sole leader of Dimensional Fund Advisors. On Thursday the Austin, Texas-based specialty index mutual fund managers revealed that chief investment officer Eduardo Repetto (42) will step up as co-CEO on January 1, with Booth (63) holding the titles of chairman and co-CEO.

Dimensional co-CEOs Eduardo Repetto and David Booth

Word of Repetto's appointment comes as DFA is in the process of closing its first ever acquisition. As previously reported by The MFWire's sister publication, The 401kWire, DFA on November 20 signed an agreement to purchase a retirement advice system called SmartNest (see The 401kWire, 8/10/2009 and 12/2/2009).

Repetto will continue to serve as CIO. DFA officials said his appointment as co-CEO is "part of a succession planning process initiated by Booth in December 2006, following his 60th birthday." The move may not surprise industry insiders, as Repetto already succeeded Booth as CIO back in February 2007.

"Succession planning is very important for a firm that has responsibility for $160 billion in client assets," Booth stated, adding that he has "no immediate plans to retire" and called this part of an "organic succession" plan.

Repetto joined DFA nine years ago in the research department, eventually taking over that unit before becoming CIO. The Argentina native previously worked at Caltech, CINI, IBM and Simulation Technologies.

Company Press Release

AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 10 -- Dimensional Fund Advisors, a leading institutional asset manager, announced today that its board has named Eduardo Repetto as Co-Chief Executive Officer. Repetto will retain his responsibilities as Chief Investment Officer. David Booth, Chairman and a Dimensional founder, will share his CEO role with Repetto, effective January 1, 2010.

Repetto's appointment to Co-CEO is part of a succession planning process initiated by Booth in December 2006, following his 60th birthday.

"Succession planning is very important for a firm that has responsibility for $160 billion in client assets," said Booth. "Having Eduardo as Co-CEO will give the entire Dimensional enterprise the benefit of his energy and knowledge. He has already made extremely valuable contributions to Dimensional's investment offering by enhancing existing strategies and developing innovative new investment solutions for our clients."

Booth said he has no immediate plans to retire. The change will give him more time to focus on long-range planning and the implementation of important strategic initiatives, while enabling the firm's "organic succession" plan.

Repetto is a nine-year veteran of the company. He began his career in the Research department and has assumed increasing responsibility over the years, serving as head of Research and then succeeding Booth as Chief Investment Officer in February of 2007. He was elected to the Board in 2009 and will begin serving on January 1.

"I am honored to share the CEO role with David Booth," said Repetto. "It's not often that you get to step into an important job like this with the person who built the company from the ground up at your side to lend support and counsel. I know I have a lot to learn, and am grateful for this opportunity. David's vision and leadership are an inspiration to all of us."

Dimensional Fund Advisors is a global institutional asset management firm owned primarily by employees and directors. The firm's broadly diversified mutual funds are engineered and managed to precisely target dimensions of risk and capture their expected returns. As of November 30, 2009, Dimensional had $160 billion in assets under management. The firm has offices in Austin, London, Santa Monica, Sydney and Vancouver.

SOURCE Dimensional Fund Advisors 

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