Our Wellington and Manawatū campuses are open, Auckland remains closed at AL3. More information.

Donor funds two chairs at Massey Business School

Professor Harald van Heerde, Mr Matthew Abel, Professor Ben Marshall and Professor Ted Zorn.

Business consultant, philanthropist and Massey University alumnus Matthew Abel has provided funds for two endowed chairs at the Massey Business School. The donation will partially fund the MSA Charitable Trust Chairs in Marketing and Finance over the next 25 years.

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.

“We have chosen two world-class researchers for the MSA Charitable Trust Chairs who also make a huge contribution to cutting-edge programme development, teaching and mentoring their students and colleagues. Academics of this calibre constantly receive offers from overseas universities and it’s in New Zealand’s best interests to keep them in the country.”


Professor Harald van Heerde discusses his ground-breaking research in Massey's Big Issues in Business series.

Chair keeps globally ranked researchers at Massey

Professor Harald van Heerde, currently ranked 11th in the world for marketing research by the American Marketing Association (and the only Australasian academic in the top 50), will be the first MSA Charitable Trust Chair in Marketing.

Originally from the Netherlands, Professor van Heerde moved to New Zealand in 2006 and joined Massey University at its Auckland campus 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.

“It is nice to get the recognition and the Chair really cements my commitment to developing the best research and teaching programmes at Massey,” Professor van Heerde says. “This position will give the business school continuity and, for me, it means greater visibility with the external stakeholders I am keen to connect with, including businesses.”

The first MSA Charitable Trust Chair in Finance will be held by Professor Ben Marshall, who is based at Massey’s Manawatū campus. He is currently ranked in the top one per cent of research authors on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), which is dedicated to the rapid dissemination of research globally.

Professor Marshall specialises in identifying return drivers in equity, currency and commodity markets and liqudity issues, including how to transact in markets at the lowest cost. He has won numerous awards for his research and was a key member of the team that developed the NZX’s widely used and publicised Farmgate Milk Price Calculator.

“I feel very honoured to be the recipient of this Chair position,” he says. “I am extremely grateful for the financial support which will allow me to further develop my research and teaching. I have always aimed to research topics which are of relevance to the investment and business communities and I look forward to continuing with this at Massey.”

Mr Abel says his donation is intended to make a real contribution to business education in New Zealand and he is looking forward to hearing what Professor van Heerde and Professor Marshall achieve in their new roles.

“I think it is important for New Zealand to have strong universities so I am pleased to be able to assist Massey to reward and keep these leading researchers and teachers,” he says.

Related articles

Opinion: How to manage investments in volatile times
Massey finance researchers win another prize
Professor’s research not lost in translation
Media plays role in igniting price wars

More related articles