Koch Center for Family Enterprise

Engaging the Entire Family Enterprise

WashU Olin’s Koch Center for Family Enterprise generates insight on the holistic family enterprise.

At the Koch Center, we concentrate on three areas of family enterprise: business (core operations), office (investment) and foundation (philanthropy), and we seek to make these learnings actionable for current and future family business leaders. The center brings this mission to life through multifaceted engagement with enterprise leaders, rigorous scholarship on issues facing these leaders, and support of student development in the classroom and through rich experiential learning.

Four Areas of Focus

The Koch Center focuses on four key areas within the family enterprise, and the ways they play out across the entire family enterprise—family business, family office and the family foundation. Out of these insights, we seek to deliver value for Olin students and the family business community. Our rigorous scholarship, generated by individuals inside WashU and around the globe, is made accessible and actionable for both groups, a practice that facilitates an understanding of best practices and the generation of impact.

Generating Growth and Innovation

This area centers on strategies for family businesses to generate and stimulate long-term growth and innovation, both within and outside the core business. We focus on identifying strategies that drive professionalism in the family enterprise and enable long-term sustaining innovation across generations.

Crafting Ownership and Governance

There are many drivers of effective ownership and governance of an increasingly complex family enterprise (business + office + foundation). We focus on the unique challenges of family leader growth and development, board governance, ownership dynamics in transition and lessons from ownership alternatives to traditional family enterprise.

Defining Investment and Legacy

The center examines the dynamics of family investment and legacy through philanthropic efforts and portfolio deployment. We focus on strategies for managing a diversity of family goals, values and risk tolerance specific to family wealth and its deployment into investment and initiatives of impact.

Balancing Business and Family Purpose

An area that holds the greatest potential for family business is also the space that is most fraught—balancing the purpose of the family with the purpose of business. We focus on understanding how these areas overlap and how their alignment can drive value for multiple constituents in the family enterprise.

This vision built upon preliminary work from a team of MBA students who mapped the market opportunity on a project through Olin’s Center for Experiential Learning.

Specific to the founding donors, Paul A. Koch (BSBA ’61, JD ’64, MBA ’68) and Roger L. Koch (BSBA ’64, MBA ’66) are co-chairmen of the board and the third generation in leadership at Koch Development Co., a St. Louis-based developer and manager of commercial real estate and owner/operator of select entertainment attractions.

Center Team


  • Peter Boumgarden, Director, Koch Center; Koch Professor of Practice for Family Enterprise, Washington University
  • Bart H. Hamilton, Research Director, Koch Center; Robert Brookings Smith Distinguished Professor of Economics, Management & Entrepreneurship, Washington University
  • Jennifer Wintzer, Program Manager, Koch Center
  • Michelle Pointer, Faculty Administrative Support


  • Spencer Burke, Senior Council, St. Louis Trust and Family Office, Eugene F. Williams Jr. Family Business, Executive in Residence, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Margaret Schnucks Rogers, Initiative Director, PHILANTHROPHYforward, Principal, Charis Consulting
  • Alex Haimann, Koch Center Advisor, Partner and Head of Business Development, Less Annoying CRM

Affiliated Faculty

  • Margarita Tsoutsoura, Associate Professor of Finance, Washington University
  • Richard Ryffel, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Wealth Management at First Bank; Part-time Professor of Finance Practice, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Sharon James, Professor of Practice, Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Washington University in St. Louis

Family Enterprise Scholars - Summer 2023

Center Board

  • Susan Fitzpatrick, Retired President, James S. McDonnell Foundation
  • Michael Dierberg, Chairman of the Board, First Bank
  • John Thee, President, Taylor Family Office
  • Brent Beshore, Founder and CEO, Permanent Equity
  • Dave Peacock, CEO, Advantage Solutions
  • Paul Koch, Owner, Koch Development Company