Abel trust supports two Massey business professors

Matthew Abel's charitable trust is supporting chairs in marketing and finance.

Auckland financial consultant and philanthropist Matthew Abel has provided funds for two endowed chairs at the Massey Business School.

The donation will support the MSA Charitable Trust Chairs in Marketing and Finance over the next 25 years.

Professor Harald van Heerde has been appointed to the chair in marketing and Professor Ben Marshall to the chair in finance.

Professor van Heerde, who is based at the Albany campus, is ranked 11th in the world for marketing research by the American Marketing Association and is the only Australasian academic in the top 50.

Originally from the Netherlands, he moved to New Zealand in 2006 and joined Massey in 2013. His research focuses on measuring the quantitative effect of marketing, including the impact of advertising on sales.

He has also been instrumental in developing Massey's new Master of Analytics qualification, which launched this year and aims to fill the “big data” skills shortage.

Professor Marshall is based at Palmerston North and is ranked in the top 1% of research authors on the Social Science Research Network.

He specialises in identifying return drivers in equity, currency and commodity markets and liquidity issues, including how to transact in markets at the lowest cost.

Massey Business School dean Professor Ted Zorn says the funds will be crucial in ensuring the university retains its best researchers.

“Matthew wanted to make sure his donation made a real difference and I told him the most effective investment would be in people,” Professor Zorn says.