Andrew J. Redleaf YC '78, GRD '78
Founder and CEO
Whitebox Advisors LLC
A gift to support Behavioral Finance at the International Center for Finance
"From a very early age I followed financial markets and read the financial
press. I entered college expecting to be a doctor and somewhere along
the line that changed and I expected to be an academic mathematician.
I was actually scheduled to enter a PhD program in September of ’78
after I graduated from college, but I stumbled into a job in the finance
industry. I committed to that for a year and a half, and as it happened that
turned out to be a great first job — I had a lot of responsibilities and they
let me make a lot of money.
I never ended up enrolling in that PhD program, but my participation in markets and investments has been an opportunity to keep learning. I’m always looking for new ideas — or anything that makes me think or makes me go “Aha!” Over the course of my career, I have found that the most useful insights tend to be things that are one degree beyond obvious.
I’ve come across those kinds of insights in academic papers, in books, at conferences, and applied them to my work in markets. I’ve been attracted to behavioral economics and finance for a while now and have been supporting research in the field at the Yale School of Management since 2004. Over the last few years, the field has gone from being a dissenting view to something that has to be taken into account in how we look at markets and decisions. Apart from my own interest and curiosity, I think the time is right for this work to inform debate over the appropriate regulatory responses to the recent financial crisis.
True understanding of markets is apt to lead to better policy than false dogmatism or faith, and we all have a stake in the markets’ role in efficiently allocating resources."