Claes Fornell

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Claes Fornell

Claes Fornell is an expert on customer satisfaction measurement and asset measurement.[1]


Born in Sweden in 1947, Claes Fornell received a Doctorate of Economics in 1976 from Lund University, Sweden. He is The Donald C. Cook Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Business Administration at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. Professor Fornell has also been on the faculty of Duke University, Northwestern University, the Stockholm School of Economics and INSEAD. In 2009, at the 100-year anniversary of the Stockholm School of Economics, Fornell was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Economics. He also holds honorary professorships from Renmin University (2005) and Tianjin University (2007).[1]

Research and writing[edit]

Fornell's research centers on the application of advanced quantitative methods for understanding how to obtain high financial returns and lower risk at the same time. It was the convergence of these interests that led Fornell, in 1994, to found the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) – a monthly economic indicator of the quality of economic output, as experienced by the users of that output. ACSI is a predictor of consumer spending and economic growth at the macro level,[2] and tracks customer satisfaction for 350 companies. ACSI scores are predictive of return on investment, net cash flow, and stock returns.[3][4][5][6] The ACSI technology, for which Fornell was awarded a US patent (US 8,666,515 B2) in 2014, is now used in a dozen countries in addition to the United States, including India, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, and the United Arab Emirates (Dubai).

Claes Fornell is the lead author of several articles linking customer satisfaction to stock returns, demonstrating that portfolios of firms with high ACSI scores consistently outperform the market.[3][4][5][7] He has also written several books. Among them are Consumer Input for Marketing Decisions (Praeger, 1976) and A Second Generation of Multivariate Analysis (Praeger, 1980), and The Satisfied Customer: Winners and Losers in the Battle for Buyer Preference (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). According to the "International Journal of Research in Marketing,"[8] Claes Fornell is the author of 3 of the 20 most influential papers (5 of the top 50) in marketing science and marketing practice published in leading academic marketing journals over a 20-year period. According to Google Scholar, his books and articles have been cited more than 100,000 times, making him one of the five most-cited marketing scholars in the world.


Claes Fornell is the founder and chairman of CFI Group, an international consulting firm with offices in the US, China, Sweden, Italy and London, specializing in assisting companies with measuring and optimizing customer satisfaction for improved consumer utility and company financial return. He is also the founder of Foresee, a company measuring customer satisfaction with on-line business, where he was chairman until 2014 when the company was acquired by a private equity group. Claes Fornell is also chairman and founder of Exponential ETFs, which operates hedge funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) that invest in public companies with strong customer satisfaction,[9][10] and Detroit Vineyards, a winery with a pedigree dated to 1702 when Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac established the first vineyard in Detroit.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Professor Claes Fornell Awarded Honorary Professor of Tianjin University". Tianjin University. 2002-02-02. Archived from the original on 2008-06-13.
  2. ^ Fornell, C., R.T. Rust and M.G. Dekimpe (2010). "The Effect of Customer Satisfaction on Consumer Spending Growth," Journal of Marketing Research, 47(1), 28-35.
  3. ^ a b Fornell, C., S. Mithas, F.V. Morgeson III, and M.S. Krishnan (2006). "Customer Satisfaction and Stock Prices: High Returns, Low Risk," Journal of Marketing, 70(1), 3−14.
  4. ^ a b Fornell, C., S. Mithas, and F.V. Morgeson III (2009). "The Economic and Statistical Significance of Stock Returns on Customer Satisfaction," Marketing Science, 28(5), 820-825.
  5. ^ a b Fornell, C., S. Mithas, F.V. Morgeson III (2009). "The Statistical Significance of Portfolio Returns," International Journal of Research in Marketing, 26(2), 162-163.
  6. ^ Anderson, E.W., C. Fornell & S.K. Mazvancheryl (2004). "Customer Satisfaction and Shareholder Value." Journal of Marketing, Vol. 68, October, 172-185.
  7. ^ Morgan, N.A. & L. Rego (2006). "The Value of Different Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty Metrics in Predicting Business Performance." Marketing Science, Vol. 25(5), 425-439.
  8. ^ Roberts, J., U. Kayande, and S. Stremersch (2013) "From Academic Research to Marketing Practice: Exploring the Marketing Science Value Chain," International Journal of Research in Marketing, In Press.
  9. ^ Claes Fornell, Forrest V. Morgeson III, and G. Tomas M. Hult (2016) "Stock Returns on Customer Satisfaction Do Beat the Market: Gauging the Effect of a Marketing Intangible." Journal of Marketing: September 2016, Vol. 80, No. 5, pp. 92-107.
  10. ^ Claes Fornell, Forrest V. Morgeson III, and G. Tomas M. Hult (2016) "An Abnormally Abnormal Intangible: Stock Returns on Customer Satisfaction." Journal of Marketing: September 2016, Vol. 80, No. 5, pp. 122-125.
  11. ^ Kegerreis, Sharon (2010). "The History of the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council (MGWIC)" (PDF). Michigan Wines.

External links[edit]