College of Business   |   Department of Finance   |   University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Young, private companies have been a major source of innovation and an engine of growth in both the Illinois and US economies. In the 1980s, the rapidly expanding private equity industry, with early roots in Chicago, provided both financing and leadership to developing organizations.

Much of the creative innovation in the world economy in the areas of technology and medicine has been made possible because of private equity involvement. The industry has also played a key role in the reshaping of the US economy through participation in major leveraged buyouts and restructurings.

Despite its critical role as a source of risk financing for new businesses and its crucial impact on the US economy, academic research and training in private equity have been limited. The Office for the Study of Private Equity and Entrepreneurial Finance addresses these limitations through:

  • education and training of students for careers in the industry
  • research and education to enhance knowledge of the evolution and growth of the private equity industry and its impact on global capital markets, entrepreneurship, and economic development
  • conferences and seminars fostering interaction between academic researchers and industry professionals

The office was established in honor of private equity industry pioneer Stanley Golder, a graduate of the College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. With sufficient support from an endowment, the office is expected to be designated as the Stanley Golder Center for Private Equity some time in 2004.


Training Young Professionals. The office collaborates with industry professionals to develop a curriculum and programs to prepare students to work in private equity and finance.

A new case-based graduate class engages students with academic and practical knowledge on private equity and capital markets. Practitioners supplement the class presentations with lecturers on such topics as structuring, fund-raising, valuation, and exit strategies.

Research and Knowledge Development.
The office provides funding for research that broadens our understanding of entrepreneurship, transformational management, management incentives, corporate governance, and corporate control.

Risk Measurement for Private Equity Investments

Neil Pearson, Associate Professor of Finance, University of Illinois

Private Equity and Small Firm Finance: The Legal System is a Determinant of Firm Capital Structure
Stefan Krasa, Professor of Economics, and Anne Villamil, Professor of Economics, University of Illinois

Public Forum. Conferences and seminars are opportunities to bring together academics and industry practitioners for cross-fertilization of ideas and perspectives, crucial in a field of nascent study.

A 2003 conference on private equity, co-sponsored by the University of Chicago, provides a forum to discuss key issues facing the private equity industry. Topics include historical private equity returns and liquidity discounts of private companies.

For more information, contact
Michael Weisbach, Director
Office for the Study of Private Equity and Entrepreneurial Finance
340 Wohlers Hall
1206 South Sixth Street
Champaign, IL 61820
217-244-3102 (fax)
Fostering a deeper understanding of private equity and entrepreneurial finance through research, education and outreach to industry and society.

Stanley Golder

One of the pioneers of the modern private equity industry, Stanley Golder, '51 Economics, had an influential role in the industry's evolution into a sophisticated, dynamic, and critical segment of the capital markets.
He began his career at First Chicago and entered the private equity field in the early 1960s as a senior executive at First Chicago Capital Corporation. In 1980, he formed Golder, Thomas and Cressey, a $60-million fund that has evolved into GTCR Golder Rauner, a firm that today manages in excess of $4 billion of private capital.
Stanley Golder was an active teacher and mentor, frequently lecturing at the University and other institutions. Golder, along with his wife, Joan ('53 English), was a generous benefactor of the College of Business, endowing a Chair in Finance in 1996.

Copyright 2003 University of Illinois Board of Trustees