Rex Sinquefield

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Rex Sinquefield
Born 1944
Saint Louis, US
Alma mater St. Louis University
University of Chicago
Occupation President of Show-Me Institute

Rex Sinquefield (born 1944)[1] is an American financial executive, active in Missouri politics. He supports an end to the income tax.[2]


Rex Sinquefield was raised in the Saint Vincent Home for Children in St. Louis, Missouri.[3] and graduated from Bishop DuBourg High School in 1962.[4] He received a business degree from Saint Louis University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago, where he studied under Nobel Prize winner Eugene Fama.[3] In 1973, he helped create the first Standard & Poor's index funds.[5] In 1981, Sinquefield co-founded Dimensional Fund Advisors, which manages more than $310 billion in assets as of September 30, 2013.[6]

Sinquefield founded and serves as the president of the Show-Me Institute, a public policy research organization based in St. Louis that has been labeled libertarian,[7][8][9] conservative,[10][11] and free-market.[12]

Sinquefield is a director of St. Vincent Home for Children in St. Louis, and a life trustee of DePaul University. He serves on the boards of St. Louis University, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Missouri Botanical Garden,[13] the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis[14] and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.[15]

Along with Yale School of Management professor, Roger G. Ibbotson, he authored the book Stocks, Bonds, Bills and Inflation, a study of stock market returns.[16]

Political campaign contributions[edit]

Sinquefield became a major financial contributor to political campaigns of both political parties in Missouri politics after the Missouri legislature ended campaign finance limits in 2009.[17] According to a 2015 Governing Magazine article, "big majorities" in both houses of the Missouri legislature have received campaign contributions from Sinquefield.[18] He has particularly focused on altering public education, tax reform, and accountability in government.[19]

Sinquefield advocates replacing Missouri's and Kansas' income tax with a state sales tax[18] on things like childcare, restaurants, and hotels.[2] Sinquefield is the founder of the Show-Me Institute, a pro-free market think tank.[18] Sinqufield also supported financially the group Kansans for No Income Tax which helped governor Sam Brownback lower the state income tax significantly.[20] As a result, Kansas had a 50 million dollar deficit and sales tax was raised, affecting disproportionately the poor.[21] Sinquefield also has repeatedly backed measures to repeal the earnings taxes of St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri. These taxes fund city services, which Sinquefield believes should be paid for with sales taxes. Sinquefield's measures have failed upon each vote by large margins.[22]

In 2014 and 2015, he donated $1 million to Republican Bev Randles' 2016 campaign for Lieutenant Governor of Missouri[23] and three quarters of a million to Kurt Schaefer, a Republican candidate for Attorney General.[24]

Tax policy activism[edit]

Much of Sinquefield's efforts in recent years have been devoted to changing tax policy throughout Missouri. He advocates eliminating the state's income tax and replacing it with a more comprehensive sales tax.[25]

He also is the primary financial supporter of the Let Voters Decide committee.[26] The committee successfully placed a statewide initiative on the Missouri ballot in 2010. this initiative, called Proposition A, would prevent all Missouri communities except Kansas City and St. Louis from imposing earnings taxes. It would also allow Kansas City and St. Louis voters to vote on whether to retain their earnings taxes.[26] Missourians passed proposition A with a large margin – 68.4% YES / 31.6% NO (1,294,911 YES votes to 598,010 NO votes).[27]

On January 5, 2011, Let Voters Decide submitted nine initiative petitions to the Missouri Secretary of State calling for a repeal of the state's income tax – with a top rate of 6 percent. The petitions also called for a higher sales tax, capped at 7 percent, that would be applied to virtually any good or service transaction involving individuals.[26] Sinquefield and Let Voters Decide President Travis Brown say that replacing the income tax with a sales tax would help create jobs, promote economic development and make state revenue collection less volatile.[28]

In 2015, the firm Sinquefield co-founded agreed to receive over $10 million in state tax incentives to open a new regional office in Charlotte, North Carolina.[29]

Local control of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department[edit]

Sinquefield supported the successful effort to return local control of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to the City of St. Louis.[30] Since 1861, the police department had been run by a five-person board that included four gubernatorial appointees.[31] [31]

Sinquefield donated $300,000 to "A Safer Missouri", a group supporting the campaign for local control.[32] A Safer Missouri endorsed state legislation in favor of local control,[33] along with a ballot initiative filed with the Missouri Secretary of State, which will be pursued if the legislative efforts fail, according to a spokeswoman for A Safer Missouri.[34] The ballot initiative was filed and entitled Proposition A.[35]

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the secretary of state because of vague wording on the local control ballot measure. The ACLU claimed the bill would give the civil service commission sole authority over all disciplinary matters of police officers and seal the records from the public, which conflicts with Missouri's Sunshine Law and Racial Profiling Law.[36] A Cole County Judge ruled that the wording of the bill does not prohibit the creation of a civilian review panel and the case was thrown out.[37]

Local control, the Proposition A ballot initiative, received broad support,[38] including St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay,[35] and the Missouri Democratic Party[39][40] On Feb. 22, 2011, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 71, the local measure in that body, by a vote of 109–46.[40] The bill went on the Senate,Senate Bill 23, which failed. Thus the ballot initiative was filed and on November 6, 2012 Proposition A passed with 63.9% to 36.1%.[41]


Sinquefield has been involved in two public scandals over an alleged use of Ashley Madison and a statement on the role of the Ku Klux Klan in public schools.

Sinquefield's personal email address and a post office box registered to him were used to request services from Ashley Madison. [42] Later the user paid to have their digital footprint removed from the site.[42] Sinquefield's spokesman claimed the credit card used for the transaction was not Sinquefield's.[42]

At a speaking engagement held at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, Sinquefield made the following statements concerning the public school system:[43] "You know what, there was a column written – and I hope I don't offend anyone – there was a published column by a man named Ralph Voss, who was a former judge in Missouri. He now owns and writes for a newspaper in Central Missouri called the Unterrified Democrat. What a name. And it's in Osage County, Missouri. And he starts off something like this: He said a long time ago, decades ago, the Ku Klux Klan got together and said, 'How can we really hurt the African American children permanently? How can we ruin their lives?' And what they designed was the public school system."

Sinquefield offered a quick apology and clarification of his comments: "I apologize for my reference to a quote from Ralph Voss of the Unterrified Democrat. The public discourse on these issues is too critical for an ill-timed, inappropriate reference. It is my sincere hope that this does not distract us from the important mission of helping all children access a high-quality education."[44]


Sinquefield and his wife, Jeanne, and their children, donate funds to a wide variety of organizations through the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. The foundation has donated in particular to the Today and Tomorrow Education Foundation, the Children's Education Alliance of Missouri, the Special Learning Center, the Dual Masters Scholarship Program at Saint Louis University, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, World Chess Hall of Fame, and the Mizzou New Music Initiative.[45]

In 2009, Sinquefield and his wife, Jeanne, through the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, gave $1 million to the University of Missouri's School of Music.[46] Those funds were used to create the New Music Initiative, an effort designed to encourage young people to become composers and to support new works of music composition.[47]

Sinquefield is also a major political contributor. In 2013, Sinquefield gave $3.865 million in personal political donations as reported to the Missouri Ethics Commission.[48]

Saint Louis Chess Campus[edit]

In 2007 Rex Sinquefield opened the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, a non-profit organization. An educational organization, its mission is to "maintain a formal program of instruction to teach the game of chess and to promote and support its educational program through community outreach and local and national partnerships to increase the awareness of the educational value of chess."[49] In August 2010, Sinquefield provided seed funding to relocate the World Chess Hall of Fame to Saint Louis. The Chess Club's presence and reputation also played a role in the relocation decision[50]


  1. ^ "Rex Sinquefield". Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Show Me the Money: Meet the Multimillionaire Squeezing Missouri's Schools". PR Watch. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Rex Sinquefield biography. Retrieved Oct 29, 2013.
  4. ^ DB Alumni. Archived August 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved Oct 29, 2013.
  5. ^ Rex Sinquefield's Crusade Against Income Taxes. Business Week. March 12, 2012.
  6. ^ Dimensional Fund Advisors Overview. Retrieved Oct 29, 2013.
  7. ^ "Arch City Chronicle". 2008-06-09. Retrieved 2010-09-28. 
  8. ^ "The Volokh Conspiracy – Eminent Domain in Missouri:". Retrieved 2010-09-28. 
  9. ^ Finkel, Tom (2008-07-17). "Rex Sinquefield's Chess Mecca in the CWE – St. Louis News – Daily RFT". Retrieved 2010-09-28. 
  10. ^ Slate Links to Show-Me Institute Study, Show-Me Daily, 2008-11-14, accessed 2009-3-25
  11. ^ "Mississippi Calls for Refore", GavelGrab, 2008-8-11, accessed 2009-3-25
  12. ^ Retrieved September 7, 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  13. ^ Rex Sinquefield Biography. Archived March 8, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved Oct 29, 2013.
  14. ^ CAM Board of Directors. Retrieved Oct 29, 2013.
  15. ^ Our Board. Archived February 19, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved Oct 29, 2013.
  16. ^ "Stocks, Bonds, Bills and Inflation: Historical Returns (Stocks, Bonds, Bills & Inflation Yearbook) (9781556231407): Roger G. Ibbotson, Rex Sinquefield: Books". 2009-09-09. Retrieved 2010-09-28. 
  17. ^ Power Players: Missouri's 17 largest political donors from 2008 to 2013. Retrieved Oct 29, 2013
  18. ^ a b c Greenblatt, Alan (June 2015). "Rex Sinquefield: The Tyrannosaurus Rex of State Politics". Governing Magazine. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  19. ^ "King Rex". POLITICO Magazine. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  20. ^ Naomi Schaefer Riley (26 October 2012). "The Weekend Interview with Rex Sinquefield: Meet One of the Super-PAC Men - WSJ". WSJ. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  21. ^ Russell Berman. "Where Republicans Went Wrong in Kansas". The Atlantic. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  22. ^ "Yael T. Abouhalkah: Earnings tax opponents have lots of money — but little else". kansascity. Retrieved 2016-04-10. 
  23. ^ Lee Enterprises. "Missouri's big money man gives $1 million to 2016 lieutenant governor candidate". Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  24. ^ "Schaefer Has Sinquefield's Back...and Money". Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  25. ^ Rex Sinquefield's Crusade Against Income Taxes March 29, 2012.
  26. ^ a b c Sinquefield, allies to seek ballot proposal ending Missouri's income tax. Archived November 1, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Jan. 6, 2011.
  27. ^ "Missouri Secretary of State". Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  28. ^ "Group seeks to swap state income tax for sales tax"[permanent dead link]
  29. ^
  30. ^ Lee Enterprises. "House committee passes local control measure; Sinquefield backs it". Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  31. ^ a b " Opinion Column: Why you should care about who controls the St. Louis Police Department (02/14/11)". Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  32. ^ "Politics & Government - Springfield News-Leader -". Springfield News-Leader. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  33. ^ "Missouri Proposition A 2012 - The Local Control Initiative". Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  34. ^ "Sinquefield's latest cause: Local control for St. Louis Police" Archived July 18, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  35. ^ a b "Missouri Proposition A 2012 - The Local Control Initiative". Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  36. ^ Byers, Christine (10 January 2012), "ACLU files suit to block St. Louis local control ballot initiative", 
  37. ^ "Supporters of Local Control Initiative Announce Victory in Lawsuit",, 8 March 2012 
  38. ^ "Broad Support - A Safer Missouri - Missouri Proposition A 2012 - The Local Control Initiative". Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  39. ^ "Missouri Democrats Call for Local Control of STLPD". Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  40. ^ a b "House committee passes local control measure; Sinquefield backs it" Archived July 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  41. ^^Federal%20/%20Statewide%20Races^011656688155 Archived November 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  42. ^ a b c "Ashley Madison Data Dump Reveals Rex Sinquefield's Email, P.O. Box". Riverfront Times. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  43. ^ "Midwest Democracy - Rex Sinquefield draws sharp rebuke from Missouri teachers union". kansascity. Retrieved 2016-04-10. 
  44. ^ Lee Enterprises. "Rex Sinquefield apologizes for quote linking KKK, public schools". Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  45. ^ Rex Sinquefield Philanthropy. Retrieved Oct 29, 2013.
  46. ^ $1 Million Gift Supports New Music at MU. March 9, 2009.
  47. ^ School of Music. "Mizzou New Music Initiative - School of Music - College of Arts and Science - University of Missouri". Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  48. ^ "Contributions Over $5,000". Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  49. ^ Our Beginnings. Archived April 17, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved Oct 29, 2013.
  50. ^ About the Hall of Fame. Retrieved Oct 29, 2013.

External links[edit]

  • An interview with Rex Sinquefield explaining the investment philosophy he pioneered.
  • An article on Sinquefield's receipt of the 1999 Distinguished Entrepreneurial Alumni award from the University of Chicago graduate school of business.
  • Fortune article on Sinquefield's investment predictions.
  • Article on Sinquefield's political activities in Missouri.
  • [1] Saint Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center