Professor of Finance Practice, Olin Business School
Richard (Rich) Ryffel, originally from Fairfield, Connecticut, moved to St. Louis after earning a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University and an MBA in Finance from Boston University. His contributions to the region while working in the financial services industry have been broad and deep, ranging from healthcare to education and beyond.
Rich is passionate about the health of north St. Louis County and has served on the board of Beyond Housing for 20 years, including two terms as its Board President. In that capacity, Rich was instrumental in bringing a bank to Pagedale, a grocery store to a food desert, and a health clinic, coffee shop, and movie theater to a community that previously had none. His latest project is the acquisition and renovation of the Normandie golf course as a platform for golf and community building programs to support Beyond Housing’s 24:1 Initiative.
In the area of education, Rich served on the board of the Normandy Schools Collaborative, including a term as President. Rich was a founding board member of the St. Louis Summer Finance Institute, a summer internship program for high school students that aims to open opportunities in the financial services industry to underrepresented students in the St. Louis area. Before joining Washington University’s faculty, he served as an adjunct professor at both St. Louis University and Webster University, teaching in St. Louis and internationally.
Rich served as past board member of the United Way where he founded the Uptick Division, inspiring the financial services community to higher levels of support. He continues to be involved in a range of efforts in St. Louis, serving on the boards of the Clayton Community Foundation and the Gateway Center for Giving.
Rich currently teaches three classes as a Professor of Finance Practice at Washington University’s Olin Business School. He also serves as an advisor to the Center for Experiential Learning, on the Board of the Center for Finance and Accounting Research, and as chair of two finance conferences he founded – the Olin Wealth and Asset Management Research Conference and the Brookings / Olin Municipal Finance Conference.
He lives in Clayton with his wife of 34 years and has four adult children. His nominator John Beuerlein concludes, “I know of no one who more embodies the spirit of the Ethic of Service Award than Rich Ryffel. Service to the city of St. Louis is most definitely a way of life for Rich.”