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First Chairholder of the William A. Downe Chair in Finance Appointed at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

October 17, 2018

Toronto – A professor of finance who holds a leadership role at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management will be the inaugural holder of a chair established in honour of the former chief executive officer of BMO Financial Group.

Susan Christoffersen, Vice-Dean, Undergraduate & Specialized Programs and a professor of finance, has been appointed the William A. Downe BMO Chair in Finance.

The chair was established with a gift by BMO Financial Group, which was generously matched by the Rotman family, in honour of Downe, who ended a 34-year career at the bank as CEO last October. The chair was announced at the Rotman Alumni Awards Dinner last fall where Downe, a graduate of the School’s MBA program, received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Susan’s leadership at the Rotman School and her exceptional track record of financial research makes her an outstanding choice to be the first chair holder,” says Tiff Macklem, Dean of the Rotman School. “Bill Downe is an exceptional corporate and community leader and we are very proud to hold a chair in his name.”

Prof. Christoffersen joined the Rotman School in 2010 from McGill University and has a PhD from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In her role as Vice-Dean, Undergraduate & Specialized Programs, she provides the leadership and energy to both re-invent undergraduate education and build the new specialized programs the market is looking for. Prof. Christoffersen works in partnership with UofT’s Faculty of Arts and Science in overseeing the Rotman Commerce program with 2,700 students. She has also been a driving force behind the recent redesign of the Rotman Master of Finance program, as well as the launch of three new pre-experience programs at the Rotman School including the Master of Management Analytics and Master of Financial Risk Management programs. Her research focuses on mutual funds and the role of financial institutions in capital markets. She has published in top finance journals and cited in The New York Times, Bloomberg News, and The Wall Street Journal. She has received research grants from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Institut de finance mathématique de Montréal, and the Fonds de recherche du Québec, and research awards from the Bank of Canada and Q-Group among others.

The Rotman School of Management is part of the University of Toronto, a global centre of research and teaching excellence at the heart of Canada’s commercial capital. Rotman is a catalyst for transformative learning, insights and public engagement, bringing together diverse views and initiatives around a defining purpose: to create value for business and society. For more information, visit


For more information:

Ken McGuffin
Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto
Voice: 416.946.3818

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