Heartbreaking news in the Olin family

  • December 7, 2022
  • By Anjan Thakor
  • 2 minute read

Updated at 8:53 p.m. today with service information.

Dear Olin friends,

I am absolutely heartbroken to share the news that our colleague Radhakrishnan Gopalan succumbed to cancer early this morning at the age of 50. It is difficult to put into words the depth of my sorrow. My dear friend, coauthor, and our esteemed faculty partner had been battling the disease for a long time. Please join me in keeping Radha and his family in your thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

Radha had been a member of the Olin community since 2006, when he joined the finance faculty. He had steadily risen in esteem and responsibility throughout his time at the business school, finally serving as the academic director of Olin’s Mumbai-based Executive MBA program in partnership with IIT-Bombay.

As a scholar, Radha was exceptional, and I was privileged to coauthor several research papers with him. His research into corporate finance, corporate governance, emerging market financial systems, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, entrepreneurial finance and household finance has been widely cited. Indeed, Google Scholar notes nearly 4,000 citations in his career, more than half just since 2017.

Among his honors, Radha is a Reid teaching award recipient and won the Olin Award in 2016 for research most likely to have an immediate impact on business. That work centered on compensation goals and firm performance. A few years earlier, Poets & Quants selected him as one of the 40 best business school professors under 40. His accomplishments were many, and he lived a life of distinction.

He came to Olin soon after earning his PhD in finance from the University of Michigan. Before that, he worked for five years in the project finance department of a leading Indian bank.

I know I speak for many among us at Olin Business School in expressing grief over this tragic loss, and gratitude for the life of our friend, teacher, colleague, mentor and scholar.

Services for Radha will be Thursday, December 8, at Schrader Funeral Home & Crematory, 14960 Manchester Road, Ballwin, MO 63011. Visitation is from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Prayers, rites and cremation are scheduled for 3:00-5:00 p.m. Dress code: Wear clothes of your favorite color. The family shared that is the way Radha would have wanted it.

About the Author

Anjan Thakor

Anjan Thakor

Anjan Thakor, the John E. Simon Professor of Finance, assumed the position of interim dean of WashU Olin Business School on July 1, 2022. He is also the director of Doctoral Programs and the Wells Fargo Advisors Center for Finance and Accounting Research. He joined WashU Olin in 2003 and since that time has served many roles and contributed greatly to the field of finance. His research and teaching interests include corporate finance, financial intermediation and the economics of asymmetric information.

Contact Us

For assistance in finding faculty experts, please contact Washington University Public Affairs.

Monday–Friday, 8:30 to 5 p.m.

Sara Savat, Senior News Director, Business and Social Sciences


Kurt Greenbaum,
Communications Director

Twitter: WUSTLnews