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Professor of Finance Finds Joy in Numbers and Teaching

Richard Simonds (pictured in jersey at right) at an AC Milan soccer game in Italy during a Full-Time MBA study abroad trip.
Richard Simonds (pictured in jersey at right) at an AC Milan soccer game in Italy during the Full-Time MBA 2015 study abroad trip.

Not everyone would call conducting a company’s taxation evaluation “fun.” But Richard Simonds, professor of finance at the Broad College of Business, finds joy in numbers.

“I always liked math, and finance relates so well to what you read each day in the newspaper,” he says. “Today if you’re going to rise to a high level in an organization, you’re going to need a thorough understanding of accounting principles.”

Simonds joined the MSU faculty in 1974 and has been a professor of finance with the Broad College since 1985. He teaches MBA courses in corporate finance and has been a reviewer for academic journals.

His research and publishing have led to numerous consulting gigs, including working as an expert witness in valuation matters, mostly for state government. Burlington Northern is among the companies he’s evaluated during his career—and that company was eventually bought by Warren Buffett.

Outside the classroom, Simonds enjoys sailing, trout fishing, and golfing Michigan’s numerous courses. He also enjoys international travel, which he’s participated in by leading the MBA study abroad program. The program gives students the opportunity to learn about international companies, study the operations, and report back to executives.

With a passion for teaching, Simonds says, “The classroom keeps me going.”

Simonds earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from MSU, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a doctorate degree in business administration from the University of Michigan.

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