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Friday, February 24, 2017

Booth Gives Butler a Mandate

Reported by Katy Golvala

David Booth sees growing DFA’s business with advisors around the world as the firm’s number one growth initiative. Given that, Dave Butler’s recent appointment to co-CEO makes perfect sense.

Dave Butler
Dimensional Fund Advisors
Co- Chief Executive Officer
Butler has been with DFA for 23 years and took over the financial advisor business over ten years ago. In that time, he’s grown it by almost ten times.

The global financial advisor business represents around 65 percent of DFA’s assets, and about 90 percent currently comes from the US. The firm first began working with advisors outside the U.S. in 1999, launching business in the U.K. and Australia. About five years ago, they expanded into Germany and, most recently, they have started work in Asia.

“The impetus for the change other than natural evolution is that Dave Butler runs [the global financial advisor] business, so it seemed appropriate to have him as co-CEO with Eduardo Repetto,” Booth, founder and executive chairman at DFA, tells MFWire.

However, don’t expect the firm to loosen any of its advisor vetting as part of this growth initiative. Booth acknowledges that, as a result of the strict standards on which advisors can use DFA products, “[the firm] probably grows more slowly, but our clients are better served.”

Butler’s partner at the top, Eduardo Repetto, serves as co-CEO and co-CIO. Booth will remain active at the firm as executive chairman, providing guidance on key initiatives and making sure the firm continues to stay true to its roots. Booth says that the move to promote Butler and stay on in an advisory capacity was largely about succession planning.

“Clients can see that we have the next generation of our management team in place…Part of my job [now] is about preserving institutional memory,” Booth tells MFWire.

Outside of DFA, Booth has plenty to keep him busy. He’s a board member at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. As someone who doesn’t have an artistic background, he says the role gives him the opportunity to delve into the art world.

“They say the greatest collection of modern art in the world is at MoMA. The second is in their storage room,” quips Booth. 

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