Media Releases

Chair in Canadian Business History appointed at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

October 30, 2012

TORONTO, ON – A researcher and professor of business history and corporate finance has been appointed as the first holder of the L.R. Wilson/R.J. Currie Chair in Canadian Business History at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

Prof. Christopher Kobrak will be a visiting professor and hold the chair at the Rotman School. The appointment begins with the 2012/13 academic year for a three-year term. During that time, he will continue to be a professor of finance at ESCP Europe in Paris, France, where he has taught since 1991. Subsequently, he will join the Rotman School full-time. His main areas of teaching include international finance, financial theory, especially corporate governance, and business and financial history. His research has concentrated on corporate and financial history, which includes how the evolution of capital markets and political risk has affected business strategies. His special interest is in the interface between history and management, especially how politics and economic events have helped shape corporate forms, international investment decisions, and governance structures. Among his degrees, he holds a PhD (Business History) from Columbia University in New York, and a post-doctoral Habilitation in Management from the University of Toulouse.

The L.R. Wilson/R.J. Currie Chair in Canadian Business History was funded by several prominent business leaders, including Lynton (Red) Wilson; Richard Currie; Anthony Fell;  James Fleck, professor emeritus of business government relations at the Rotman School; Henry N.R. (Hal) Jackman, former chancellor of U of T; and John McArthur, dean emeritus of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business Administration.

The development of business history as an area of teaching and research at the Rotman School has been led by Joe Martin, an adjunct professor and executive-in-residence. His pioneering course for MBA students in Canadian business history led to the publication of Relentless Change: A Casebook for the Study of Canadian Business History in 2010 by Rotman-UT Publishing, an imprint of University of Toronto Press.

Prof. Kobrak and Martin will continue to teach and develop courses in business history.

The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto is redesigning business education for the 21st century with a curriculum based on Integrative Thinking. Located in the world’s most diverse city, the Rotman School fosters a new way to think that enables the design of creative business solutions. The School is currently raising $200 million to ensure that Canada has the world-class business school it deserves. For more information, visit


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