Denis Gromb Obituary, Death – Denis Gromb died on October 30th, and we learned of his passing with great regret. Denis meant everything to us. He was a smart economist who collaborated and co-authored with numerous of us. Many students benefited from his commitment as a counselor and mentor. He was a wonderful friend who was extremely pleasant and generous. His premature demise has left us with sadness and a profound feeling of loss. Denis received his bachelor’s degree from the École Polytechnique de Paris in 1989. He received his PhD in Economics from the same university in 1994 after completing the final two years of his doctorate studies at the LSE’s Financial Markets Group.
He collaborated closely with FMG professors Sudipto Bhattacharya, Patrick Bolton, John Moore, and David Webb. He formed close friendships and partnerships with FMG PhD students, particularly Mike Burkart and Fausto Panunzi, with whom he produced very influential corporate finance work. Denis spent a year as a post-doctoral fellow at the Free University of Brussels after finishing his PhD. He then joined the Sloan School of Management’s Finance Department, where he served for six years, until 2001. He afterwards worked at the London Business School, where he remained until 2009. During that time, he spent a year with us at the LSE. He moved back to Paris, first to INSEAD till 2015, and then to HEC. As one of our Research Associates, he kept in touch with the LSE and the FMG.
Denis was well-liked by academics, students, and administrative personnel in all of his positions. He was kind and entertaining. He was sincerely interested in his colleagues’ discoveries and was eager to debate them for hours. He spent much more time with his students, discussing their academics and providing research and life guidance. He genuinely cared about his students and kept in touch with them even after they graduated. Even in his final days in the ICU, he inquired about old classmates and spoke with current ones. Denis had a hugely good impact on his pupils’ lives, as seen by the recent outpouring of genuine condolences on social media.
Denis was an exceptional economist. He understood economic theories and concepts better than most economists. He could make links between seemingly unconnected ideas and organize complex theories in the simplest way possible. This was made quite apparent in his instructions. He was not only a popular teacher among MBA and PhD students, but the teaching notes he created for his MBA and PhD courses became the gold standard from which academics at other universities designed their courses. Denis’ depth and clarity of thought were also evident in his research exchanges with academics and students – Denis’ research viewpoints were always in high demand. Denis created or co-created seminal work in corporate finance and its relationship to financial intermediation and asset pricing. He was widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost thinkers of corporate finance.