The Financial Intermediation Research Society (FIRS) mourns the untimely passing of Denis Gromb. Denis was an influential scholar and an exceptional colleague, mentor, and friend. At the time of his passing, Denis was the Antin I.P. Chair Professor of Finance at HEC Paris and a Director of FIRS. Denis was also a past President of FIRS and was previously on the faculty at MIT, LBS, and INSEAD, as well as a visiting professor at LSE.
An insightful and influential scholar, Denis was especially well known for his work on corporate governance and the role of large shareholders with Mike Burkart and Fausto Panunzi, and his work on limits to arbitrage when arbitrageurs are subject to financial constraints with Dimitri Vayanos. More recently, he was rethinking the role of collateral as enforcing priority with Jason Donaldson and Giorgia Piacentino.
Denis was exceptionally generous with his time. He advised many students as a thesis advisor and committee member, and helped many more as an informal mentor. He was in high demand as a discussant and conference organizer. When he read a paper, whether as an advisor, discussant, or otherwise, he would often share an extensively and colorfully annotated copy of the paper with the authors. Despite being a most respected and successful scholar, Denis always remained selfless and never hesitated to dedicate time to help his peers and further the cause of finance research.
As a leader of FIRS, he organized the memorable 2018 FIRS Conference in Barcelona and helped with the organization of many more, going — as he always did — above and beyond. He was always cheerful, funny, and selflessly willing to contribute, no matter the task at hand; and when the work was done, he was always up for a drink, too.
We have benefitted from his intellect, his humor, and his kindness. We will miss him dearly, as a dedicated leader of FIRS, as a true scholar, as a role model for outstanding citizenship in the profession, and as a friend. As Denis used to sign his emails: A+ Denis.