Robert F. Bruner

University Emeritus Professor, Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Business Administration
Dean Emeritus of the Darden School of Business

Academic Area

Areas of Expertise

Corporate Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Financial Crises and Bank Panics, Corporate Valuation, Enterprise Leadership, Political Economy, Management Education

Education: B.A., Yale University; MBA, DBA, Harvard University 

Bob Bruner taught at the Darden Business School for 41 years (1982-2023) and served as University Professor at the University of Virginia, Distinguished Professor of Business Administration, the eighth Dean of the Darden Graduate Business School, and Compton Visiting Professor in World Politics at the University of Virginia Miller Center of Public Affairs.  He also held visiting appointments at Harvard and Columbia Universities in the United States, and at INSEAD in France, and IESE in Spain.

His publications include some 25 books, 350 case studies and technical notes, and 50 articles in professional and academic journals such as Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Journal of Applied Corporate Finance.  His research and writing have covered a wide range of topics in finance and management including financial crises, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, financial distress, democracy, capitalism, and presidential leadership.  His books, The Panic of 1907 (2007, 2023) written with Sean Carr and Deals from Hell (2005), drew critical praise in national and international media.  

His teaching materials and books won awards and recognition internationally. His textbook, Applied Mergers and Acquisitions (2004) earned commendations from both scholars and practitioners.  Darden Business Publishing sold over 1.3 million copies of his case studies and related teaching materials.  Eight editions of Case Studies in Finance: Managing for Corporate Value Creation (1990 to 2017) were adopted for instruction at hundreds of business schools around the world.  Nine of his cases earned awards from the University of Virginia and/or the European Case Clearinghouse.

He was commended for exceptional classroom instruction by BusinessWeek and other publications and by the highest awards from the University of Virginia, INSEAD, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. His book, Ask Often, Tell Seldom (2023), discussed best practices in case method teaching.  Six Darden graduating classes elected him their faculty marshal, a recognition for teaching and service.

As Dean of the Darden School from 2005 to 2015, he oversaw major reforms and expansion in academic programs, global recruitment of highly qualified faculty and students, fulfillment of a substantial fundraising goal, and rising stature of the school as reflected in popular rankings, research output, job placements, and student satisfaction.  In 2012, Poets & Quants and CNNMoney/ Fortune named him "Dean of the Year."

He taught in executive education programs for many companies.  And he served on the boards of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, lending expertise in finance, governance, and audit committees.

Bruner received the Doctor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in finance from Harvard University in 1982, the MBA from Harvard in 1974, and the Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Political Science from Yale University in 1971.  His reflections on finance, public affairs, and higher education may be found at his blog, and on Social Science Research Network, Twitter, ResearchGate, and LinkedIn.


Selected Publications

Bruner, Robert F., Sean D. Carr and Asif Mehedi. "Financial Innovation and the Consequences of Complexity: Insights From Major US Banking Crises," forthcoming in 2015 in Complexity and Crisis in the Financial System: Critical Perspectives on American and British Banking, edited by Matthew Hollow, Folarin Akinbami & Ranald Michie.

Bruner, Robert F., Robert Conroy, and Scott Snell. "The Development of General Managers Capabilities in a Global Economy," in Leadership Development for a Global World, Jordi Canals, Editor. 2012.

Bruner, Robert F., Mark Kritzman, Wei Li, Sebastien Page and Simon Myrgren. "Market Integration in Developed and Emerging Markets: Evidence From the CAPM," Emerging Markets Review, Vol. 9, No. 2, June 2008, 89-105.


Selected Books

Bruner, Robert F., Kenneth Eades and Michael Schill. Case Studies in Finance: Managing for Corporate Value Creation, 7th edition. McGraw-Hill Irwin, New York, (2013).

Bruner, Robert F.The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned From the Market's Perfect Storm. John Wiley & Sons, (2008).

Bruner, Robert F., Kenneth M. Eades, and Michael J. Schill. Case Studies in Finance, 7th Edition: Managing for Corporate Value Creation. McGraw-Hill/Irwin, (2013).


Case Studies

Advancing knowledge through research that shapes business, Darden professors are recognized thought leaders in their fields. They are not only master case method teachers, they also author many of the cases used in Darden classrooms and around the world.

Robert F. Bruner's cases are available in the Darden Business Publishing website.