Alumnus makes historic €60 million gift to INSEAD

INSEAD Campus - transformational gift

In May 2020, an alumnus and longtime supporter of INSEAD made a transformational €60 million gift to the school. This is the largest gift INSEAD has received in its history and comes to the school on its 60th anniversary. It is also amongst the 20 largest gifts ever given to a business school, worldwide.

The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, said in a statement: “I believe in the mission and direction of the school and have great confidence in its leadership. INSEAD changed the course of my life and career. It is gratifying to strengthen the core of the school through the quality of its research. With this gift, I entrust INSEAD to continue to have a positive and lasting impact on many lives and businesses worldwide.”

The gift is designated to grow INSEAD’s endowment, finance research and fund other long-term strategic investments. The donor has pledged €40 million to the INSEAD endowment to drive innovation and excellence in research, and €20 million to enable strategic investments in view of solidifying the school’s independence.

“We are deeply grateful for this transformational gift from an exceptional alumnus,” said Andreas Jacobs MBA’90D, Chairman of the Board. “It is an important signal of trust in INSEAD’s leadership and provides the school with assurance at an opportune time. We thank this alumnus for leading by example and investing in the school and its future.”

Increasing INSEAD’s relevance and impact

The gift ensures INSEAD’s position as a leading business school — globally. It grows the endowment, which serves as a stable source of funding. It strengthens INSEAD’s independence as an institution. And it advances research, which both supports academic excellence and attracts top faculty.

“Research excellence is key to INSEAD’s outstanding reputation in the worlds of business and academia,” said Ziv Carmon, Dean of Research and The Alfred H. Heineken Chaired Professor of Marketing. “A virtuous cycle of research success, combined with INSEAD’s intellectually rich and exciting environment, are key to attracting and retaining top researchers who produce path-breaking research that informs classroom instruction. The creation of new, relevant knowledge is of paramount importance to meaningfully influence business and society.”

The Covid-19 pandemic, Carmon added, has raised critical issues in business and society that INSEAD faculty are eager to study. Potential research topics include risk management, supply chains, healthcare, inequality, digital technology, the future of the workplace and other subjects relevant to the crisis. “There are many lessons to learn from this unprecedented period,” he said.

Reinforcing our research reputation

The gift comes at a time when INSEAD’s research reputation is at an all-time high. In the past three years, the school has ranked among the top-six schools globally in the UTD Top 100 Business School Research Rankings. It has also consistently ranked among the top-two schools globally for research in general management.

Because the gift allows INSEAD to use the funds for research at its discretion, it will provide broad support to INSEAD faculty across all levels and academic disciplines. This works to ground and anchor the school, building its resiliency and ensuring its future success.

“I am humbled by this outstanding act of generosity and trust in the future of the school,” said Ilian Mihov, Dean of INSEAD. “During this period of tremendous uncertainty, this gift strengthens our intellectual foundations and upholds our identity as a global leader in research. The world is facing unprecedented challenges. This is the time to accelerate our investment in research as we pursue new ideas, new solutions and new business models.”

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