H. John Hawkinson (May 25, 1912 April 10, 2004)
H. John Hawkinson built his reputation by turning profits on undervalued and languishing companies and played an instrumental role in several major corporate reorganizations and mergers. In 1968, he joined a small group of venture capitalists in funding a high-tech manufacturer called Intel, now the largest microcomputer chip maker in the world.
Hawkinson grew up in Iowa during the Great Depression and worked hard to finance his college education. He graduated from The University of Iowa in 1936, and entered the world of investment banking in the Chicago firm of Halsey, Stuart, and Co. After serving in World War II, Hawkinson returned to the firm.
As his career grew, he moved on to positions with the Central Life Assurance of Des Moines and subsequently, Supervised Investment Services, a mutual fund management company.
SIS thrived, due to the creation of new and diverse mutual funds and favorable investment performance. These achievements resulted in a many-fold increase in assets under management and stimulated the interests of several potential acquirers, including Kemper Corporation, the successful bidder. The new entity became Kemper Financial Services, where Hawkinson served as president until his retirement in 1977.
Hawkinson was a lifetime honorary director of The University of Iowa Foundation and a life member of the UI Alumni Association. He received the University's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1988.
Contact: Barbara Thomas, Director of Publications, 319-335-2188