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Bernie Horn, SM '80

President, Polaris Capital Management, LLC

Bernie HornBernie Horn, SM '80

Bernie Horn has always maintained close ties with MIT Sloan—his friends, professional networks, personal relationships with the Finance faculty, and his role on the Finance Group Advisory Board (FGAB) keep him close to campus and well informed on new developments in the School’s Finance Group. Further, he maintains that many of the major breakthroughs in finance that were generated by MIT Sloan faculty members have had a big impact on his career path. Horn remarked, “The introduction of the Black-Scholes-Merton options pricing model and the results of research by Andrew Lo, the Charles E. and Susan T. Harris Professor of Finance, had a direct effect on my investment philosophy and strategy.”

It was during an FGAB meeting that Horn was first introduced to the idea of a Center for Finance and Policy. He recalled, “Originally, I wouldn’t have dreamed of this sort of center adding value. I approached the financial world from a more traditional, capitalist mindset. And after MIT Sloan, I went to work in the financial sector, when the government played a minimal role in the overall economy.”

“However as decades passed, we saw our society move toward a mixed economy, where government does exercise influence over finance and banking and permeates the overall economy. My daughter also played a big role in showing me that shift,” reflected Horn. “After college, she went to work for an organization that researched the effects of policy on investments. And through her eyes and career moves, I began to see the relationship between finance and policy more clearly.”

Horn believes that if such a relationship exists, then “we need to scientifically and analytically understand that relationship. An academic center within the institution of MIT would be the most apolitical and non-partisan way to study the issue.” With that in mind, Horn and his family chose to support the Center for Finance and Policy with funding that will tackle the multilayered challenges facing policymakers and help advance our understanding and management of financial systems. Ultimately, Horn hopes that his support will fuel discoveries that will benefit the next generation of MIT Sloan students, while helping the United States to develop a more effective fiscal policy.

Horn added, “The optimist in me believes that by doing good work and uncovering truth, we can make a difference in the world.”