About the Center

The Koch Family

In 2019, the Koch Family—Paul A. (BSBA 1961, JD 1964, MBA 1968) and his wife, Elke; Roger L. (BSBA 1964, MBA 1966) and his wife, Fran—provided gifts and commitments of more than $9 million to create the center and its associated directorship and professor of practice. They made the investment to create a center dedicated to studying the distinctive features of family-owned businesses and serving the family business community with programs and insights for improving business practices. The family also wanted to raise awareness about the complexities and opportunities in family business, and to engage students in understanding the rich career potential within the family business ecosystem.

  • Center Director

    In 2021, Peter Boumgarden was appointed center director and the Koch Family Professor of Practice. Working with members of the community, Dr. Boumgarden refreshed the center’s strategic plan and vision, widening its scope to include not only family business research and practice, but also family philanthropy and investment activities. The recent name change from “business” to “enterprise” intends to reflect a broader direction for the center. To understand the “purpose and performance” of family enterprise, one must look at ownership from multiple angles. This means paying attention to family owners looking to continue their legacy to the next generation. But it also means exploring family offices and their direct investment portfolios, family philanthropists seeking to impact the world through their acquired wealth, and even students and alumni looking to pursue business building, acquisition and ownership.

    Read more about Peter Boumgarden.

  • Research Director

    Barton Hamilton, the Robert Brookings Smith Distinguished Professor of Economics, Management and Entrepreneurship, is the Koch’s Center research director. Understanding that many of the center’s partner organizations are fascinating ecosystems of challenges around growth, performance and governance, the research director and faculty affiliates work to partner with community members to ensure mutual gain on both sides. Dr. Hamilton works alongside Dr. Boumgarden to lead the center's research efforts, coordinating faculty and engaging students in understanding the empirical landscape of the closely held firm.

    Read more about Barton Hamilton.

  • Board, Faculty and Staff


    • Spencer Burke, Senior Counsel, St. Louis Trust and Family Office, Eugene F. Williams Jr. Family Business, Executive in Residence, Washington University in St. Louis
    • Michael Dierberg, Chairman of the Board, First Bank
    • Susan Fitzpatrick, Retired President, James S. McDonnell Foundation
    • Chris Hoffmann, Founder & CEO, Deutschmann Lane Holdings
    • Katie Hopkins, CEO/President, Truck Centers, Inc.
    • Clay Hunter, Chief Executive Officer, Broadview Group Holdings, Inc.
    • Paul Koch, Owner, Koch Development Company
    • Dave Peacock, CEO, Advantage Solutions
    • John Thee, President, Taylor Family Office

    Initiative Directors and Faculty Affiliates

    • John Barrios, WashU Olin Business School
    • Seth Carnahan, WashU Olin Business School
    • Ronnie Chatterji, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business
    • Andres Hincapie, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • Sharon James, WashU Olin Business School
    • Aaron Klein, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
    • Jackson Nickerson, WashU Olin Business School
    • Margaret Schnuck Rogers, PhilanthropyForward
    • Margarita Tsoutoura, WashU Olin Business School
    • Brian Wolfe, Entrepreneurship through Acquisition


    • Michelle Pointer, Faculty Support Assistant
    • Jennifer Wintzer, Program Manager