The exterior of the Peter B Lewis Building under a clear sky
Peter B Lewis Building, home of the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University

Leading Wall Street analyst commits $2 million to establish professorship in finance

Smart investors know opportunity when they see it. 

Renowned Wall Street analyst and advisor Mario Gabelli has built his career on being able to spot the best, long-term investments.

Photo of Mario Gabelli
Mario Gabelli

“Case Western Reserve and Weatherhead School of Management have a demonstrated history of success in transforming talented students into exceptional professionals,” said Gabelli, Chairman & CEO of GAMCO Investors Inc. “Their integration of entrepreneurship, finance and banking programs provide a clear benefit for the university community and an example for other institutions. I look forward to seeing the continuing impact of Peter Ritchken, the first recipient of the Mario J. Gabelli Distinguished Professorship in Finance.”

Ritchken, founder and former director of the school’s Master of Finance program, earned his doctorate from Weatherhead and went on to receive Case Western Reserve’s Faculty Distinguished Research Award and the Weatherhead Excellence in Teaching Award.

“Peter Ritchken’s work at the intersection of finance, operations, and economics has had important implications for all three,” said J.B. Silvers, co-dean of Weatherhead School of Management. “He is one of our premier researchers.”

Ritchken’s research interests span such topics as predictions of risk, impacts of technology on capital decisions, and factors driving prices in the capital market. He has written several textbooks on derivatives and served on multiple journal editorial boards. 

“I am thrilled and honored to fill this new chair,” Ritchken said. “Like Mr. Gabelli, I believe finance to be a noble profession that can help push economies forward, alleviate misery and do good for the environment. This chair will serve as a catalyst for the high-impact research for which our great university is known.”

A native of the Bronx, New York, Gabelli began shining shoes at the age of 5 and went on to become the first in his family to graduate college. He earned degrees at Fordham and Columbia universities, and founded what would become one of the world’s largest investment firms. A believer of the power of developing young minds, Gabelli’s philanthropic support of higher education is exceeding $100 million. 

Silvers and Andrew Medvedev, co-deans of Weatherhead School of Management, recognize the significance of Gabelli’s gift and the confidence it shows in the school.

“We are always happy with the gift of an endowed chair,” said Medvedev. “But to have it come from Mr. Gabelli—a true pioneer and a giant in the field of investment management—makes this truly special.”

The school will celebrate the establishment of the Mario J. Gabelli Distinguished Professorship in Finance and the appointment of Ritchken as the inaugural chairholder at a campus ceremony tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 12), at 5:30 p.m. at the Peter B. Lewis Building, Room 203. 

University faculty, staff and students are invited to attend and encouraged to RSVP.