Charles Mark Jones, the Robert W. Lear Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School, passed away at the age of 56 last December, surrounded by his family. He had been living with a malignant brain tumor for four years.
Jones was a product of public education and a lifelong music lover. Growing up, he sang with the Orlando Deanery Boychoir and at his church, where he also played the trombone. He loved to perform and played the lead role in Oliver in grade school and in Pippin in college.
Jones earned his SB in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he met Daphne, his wife of 33 years. He spent a semester at the London School of Economics and after college worked as an analyst for Merrill Lynch in investment banking. He then earned his PhD in finance at the University of Michigan School of Business Administration.
Before joining the faculty of Columbia Business School in 1997, Jones was appointed assistant professor of economics at Princeton University. At CBS, he was named the Robert W. Lear Professor of Finance and Economics in 2008.
Over his career, Jones built a legacy of work on short sales, algorithmic and high-frequency trading, market liquidity, and individual investor trading. His empirical research has helped answer some of the biggest questions in finance, including how stock markets incorporate information and why investors trade. Using his deep knowledge of market structure and financial history, Jones had an uncanny ability to design statistical tests that shed light on these fundamental issues.
In addition to his notable research contributions, which bridge academic theory and business practice, Jones was an exceptional teacher, skilled administrator, and contributor to the finance field at large. He continuously held significant leadership positions at Columbia Business School for more than a decade.
Always a prolific scholar, Jones co-authored and published “Tracking Retail Investor Activity” in the Journal of Finance in 2021. He continued working with co-authors on five active papers into the fall of 2022. A devoted husband, father, colleague, and friend, Jones had an infectious love of life and an even stronger love of the people around him.
He is survived by his wife, Daphne; children, Elizabeth, CC ’24, Andrew, SEAS ’20, and Caroline (and her partner, Fergus); mother, Alice; brothers, Chris (Elaine) and David (Edurne); parents-in-law, David and Anabel; brother-in-law, Anthony (Laura); and a niece and three nephews. He was predeceased by his father, Lawrence.
For information on the Jones Doctoral Fellowship Fund in memory of Professor Charles M. Jones, visit the CBS website.