Indiana University

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Last modified: Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Matthew Billett is the new Richard E. Jacobs Chair at IU's Kelley School of Business

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 3, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Matthew T. Billett, a leading expert on corporate finance and banking, has been appointed the Richard E. Jacobs Chair in Finance at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.

Billett, a former financial economist at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in Washington, D.C., previously taught at the universities of Iowa and Miami.

The chair was created in honor of Jacobs, who earned a bachelor's degree in business from IU in 1949 and went on to become highly successful in a number of business ventures. These included interests in hotels and restaurant franchises and shopping mall development. From 1986 to 2000, he was a co-owner of the Cleveland Indians baseball team. Jacobs passed away in 2009.

Billett joined the IU Kelley School faculty in 2011. His research focuses on mergers and acquisitions, capital structure, and bank lending. He has been associate editor of the Journal of Financial Research since 2004.

He currently is working on projects on how access to financial markets influences product market competitiveness and how the variation in the ease and tightness of credit markets influences the types of covenants in financial contracts and the risks investors are willing to accept.

Before coming to Kelley, Billett received nearly a dozen teaching awards and several research fellowships at the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business. He twice was cited as an outstanding faculty member in the Businessweek (now Bloomberg Businessweek) annual guide of the best business schools. He also directed Tippie's MBA Finance Career Academy. He earned his Ph.D. in finance from the University of Florida.

"Matt has already proven to be a great faculty addition," said Idalene Kesner, interim dean of the Kelley School. "He is a highly productive researcher, an outstanding teacher and a valued service contributor. We feel fortunate that he has joined Kelley.

"It is because of generous gifts like this one from the Jacobs family that the Kelley School is able to attract top-caliber faculty members like Matt. We feel fortunate to have donors who provide support for titled faculty positions," Kesner added. "These donations allow us to attract and retain top faculty members from universities in the United States and worldwide. This, in turn, helps the Kelley School maintain its strong rankings in both the undergraduate and graduate programs."

"Matt Billett's versatile portfolio of cutting-edge research and its translation into classroom brilliance typifies the tradition of excellence in the finance department," said department chair Sreenivas Kamma, an associate professor of finance. "His addition underscores the school's commitment to maintaining an influential research-driven finance group."


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