Dimensional Fund Advisors L.P. is a private investment firm headquartered in Austin, Texas, United States. The company has affiliates within 13 offices in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, Singapore, and Japan. DFA was founded in 1981 by David G. Booth and Rex Sinquefield, both graduates of the School of Business (now known as the Booth School of Business), and Larry G Klotz. The company’s investment philosophy is rooted in the efficient market hypothesis and thus they were one of the earliest investing firms to emphasize index funds. The company offers over 100 equity and fixed income mutual funds.
Dimensional has $609 billion (USD) in firmwide assets under management as of December 31, 2019. Institutional investors can access Dimensional funds directly or through their consultant. Individual investors can access Dimensional funds through financial professionals, or through their retirement plans (both 401k and defined benefit), or certain 529 college savings plans. The company is owned by its employees, board members and outside investors, which as of 2005 was reported to include Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California.
On November 6, 2008, the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business announced a $300 million gift from David Booth in the form of cash and the income stream from Dimensional stock. The school was renamed the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
On December 2, 2009, Dimensional announced the acquisition of SmartNest, a retirement planning computer software company. The technology offered by SmartNest was developed by Robert C. Merton, who left the company's board after the purchase to become Resident Scientist.
While having its headquarters in Austin, Texas, DFA opened its East Coast headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2019. Dimensional Charlotte was designed to serve the needs of clients and the advisors who work with the firm. The building includes expansive training and meeting spaces and will host many of the firm’s signature conferences and events. DFA currently operates in Austin (TX), Charlotte (NC), Santa Monica (CA), Toronto (Canada), Vancouver (Canada), London (UK), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Berlin (Germany), Tokyo (Japan), Hong Kong (Hong Kong), Singapore (Singapore), Sydney (Australia), Melbourne (Australia).