Cerberus Alum To Run Center for Financial Excellence

Seth Gardner, a former managing director in the private equity group of Cerberus Capital Management, has been named executive director of the new Center for Financial Excellence at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.


Seth Gardner has been appointed executive director of the new Center for Financial Excellence at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Fuqua Dean Blair Sheppard announced Monday.

“Seth will work with faculty and administrators to design next-generation financial education and training programs for Fuqua’s MBA students,” Sheppard said. “The courses and programs offered through the center will focus on core financial concepts and real-world applications, while incorporating critical lessons learned from the financial crisis.”

From 2003 to 2009, Gardner worked at Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. in New York City, where he was a managing director in the private equity group. From 1995 to 2003, Gardner was an attorney with Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York, where he specialized in corporate restructurings and reorganizations. Gardner graduated from Duke in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree. He also received an MBA degree from Fuqua and a JD degree from Duke Law School.

“Duke recognizes the need to improve MBA finance education and instruction in light of the financial crisis,” Gardner said. “Furthermore, Duke understands that our nation’s educational institutions must better prepare students for the consequential responsibilities they’ll ultimately assume in managing our financial institutions. I am committed to helping Duke execute this necessary and critical undertaking.”

Gardner’s plans for the center also include the promotion of Fuqua’s finance faculty research, “which is, without question, among the most thoughtful and relevant being published today,” he said.

The Center for Financial Excellence also has named an advisory board of influential figures in the world of finance to provide strategic counsel: Ric Abel of Prudential Capital Group;
Derek Bandeen of Citigroup Global Markets; Doug Bratton of Crestline Investors; Jim Davlin of Deere & Company; Silverio Foresi of Goldman Sachs Asset Management; Rick Leaman of UBS Investment Bank; Tom Lister of Permira Advisers; Robert Manzo of Capstone Advisory Group; Adil Nathani, recently of Citigroup, Inc.; Steven Pierson of Credit Suisse; and Pete Stavros of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.