At Saint Vincent’s Rex was reared by the Sisters of Christian Charity. He studied hard, performed daily chores, found ways to make his peers laugh and persevered. Upon high school graduation from Bishop DuBourg, Rex entered the seminary. After three years at the seminary, Rex made the difficult decision not to further his pursuit of the priesthood and enrolled in Saint Louis University. There he majored in Philosophy and Business. With his undergraduate degrees in hand, Rex packed up his bags and moved to Illinois to study under Nobel Prize Winners Eugene Fama and Merton Miller at the University of Chicago and earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA). While studying at the University of Chicago Rex met and married his wife, Jeanne.
After marrying Jeanne and earning his MBA, Rex went to work for the American National Bank of Chicago. Here he helped invent a type of passive investing and pioneered the first index funds which formed part of the inspiration for his future endeavors. Along with Roger R. Ibbotson, emeritus professor of the practice of finance at Yale School of Management, Rex co-authored “Stocks, Bonds, Bills and Inflation: The Past and the Future”. Updated editions are still used industry-wide and is the industry standard investment performance reference.
Together with David Booth, who he studied with at the University of Chicago, Rex co-founded the investment firm Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) in 1981. Dimensional Fund Advisors applies academic research to the practical world of investing. Today, the firm has more than $525 billion in global assets and was recently named “Retirement Leader of the Year.” Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield was Executive Vice President of DFA. Jeanne was instrumental in designing DFA’s trading function. Index investing has become the most popular form of investing worldwide.
It had been a long time since Rex lived in Missouri but he and Jeanne regularly brought their young family back to the state for vacations. Those visits were enough to keep Missouri in the family’s heart. So, when he and Jeanne retired from DFA in 2005, they moved to Missouri.
Often referred to as one of the world’s leading financial gurus, now retired and living in Missouri, Rex spends his time and resources dedicated to civic and philanthropic causes. He and Jeanne have contributed a lot of sweat equity and millions of dollars to numerous organizations.
As a leader within the Saint Louis region and across the State of Missouri, Rex actively participates in civic and cultural institutions beyond his and Jeanne’s generous financial contributions. Rex serves on the boards of Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri History Museum, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Symphony, Contemporary Art Museum, and Saint Louis University.