Logo for Financial Research Institute

Welcome to the FRI

The Financial Research Institute (FRI) was established in 1988 at the University of Missouri to promote education, research and service across various areas of finance. Today, through its public utility division, the FRI provides a neutral environment for stakeholders in regulated public utility industries to come together to examine, understand, and debate current issues relating to public utility policy.

The FRI Public Utility Symposium, held in the fall, examines issues that impact consumers, industry, and regulators. Held on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, MO, this one-day symposium brings together regulators and commission staff, legislators, utility managers, policy analysts, attorneys, consumer advocates and academics. The FRI Advanced Pricing Seminar, held in late spring, brings together a range of industry experts to discuss issues around industry innovation, dynamics, and pricing in the electric industry. We also host a series of Hot Topic Hotline webinars throughout the year.

The FRI is housed within and under the academic leadership of the University’s Division of Applied Social Sciences. Working in cooperation with MU Extension, the FRI shares in the University’s mission of engagement and economic development. Learn more about FRI, our staff, and programs from the About FRI page.

Hot Topic Hotline Dec 1: "Inflation, Monetary Policy, and Interest Rates"

Our next HTH Webinar will be Thursday, Dec 1, Noon-1pm Central for a discussion on “Inflation, Monetary Policy, and Interest Rates: What they may mean for utilities and regulators“. How much further will the Fed have to increase interest rates to get inflation under control? Could we experience a “soft landing” or is a full-on recession more likely to result? How might high interest rates affect utilities’ incentives to make significant capital investments in the near future? What might inflation and increased interest rates mean for utility investors’ actual versus authorized ROEs? And what might be the implications for utilities and regulators?


Our panelists include Dr. William Emmons, Lead Economist at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, who will offer his perspective on the inflation situation and the possible paths forward. Discussants include Talina Mathews, CFO of Big Rivers Electric Corp. and Kentucky Commissioner Emeritus; Ted Thomas, Founder of Energize Strategies and Arkansas Commissioner Emeritus; and David Springe, Executive Director of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA).


FRI’s Hot Topic Hotlines are free and open to the public and are archived on our YouTube channel (FRI-MIZZOU).


"Public Utilities and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law"

Our 31st annual Public Utilities Symposium, was held on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia on Wednesday, September 21.  This year’s theme was “Public Utilities and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”  The program included an outstanding lineup of state commissioners, utility executives, and consumer advocate representatives. Sessions addressed clean energy infrastructure, water and wastewater contaminant regulations, grid resiliency and cybersecurity, and a view from the C-suite of industry.


Our 2023 Symposium will be held on September 20. The theme for the program is Transportation, Transmission, and Distribution.


Learn more about all of FRI’s programs on the Programs page.