On April 2, the Columbia Business School community lost a respected colleague and friend with the passing of James “Jim” Scott. He was 72.
Born in 1945 in Dallas, Texas, Scott earned a BA from Rice University in 1967 and a PhD in economics from Carnegie Mellon University in 1975. He and his wife, Kathy Bilderback, moved to the East Coast when he joined Columbia Business School’s Finance and Economics Division in 1975. Scott taught nearly two generations of students until 1990, when he left to become president and founding CEO of Quantitative Management Associates LLC. He went on to become a senior managing director at GM Asset Management and chairman of the Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance.
Even after he left Columbia, Scott continued to play an active role in the life of the School — both in the classroom and in the Heilbrunn Center for Graham and Dodd Investing.
“Jim’s research on capital structure and bankruptcy helped value corporate assets in an uncertain world,” said Dean Glenn Hubbard. “Bridging the gap between scholars and investors, he developed quantitative investment techniques that are commonly used today.”
When not at work, Scott was an enthusiastic member of the University Glee Club of New York City and a dedicated volunteer at the Church of the Atonement. He is survived by his wife, Kathy, and his two children, Andrew and Betsy.
“Jim was a valued member of our community,” said Dean Hubbard. “He will be missed.”