David Beim died peacefully at his home in Riverdale, N.Y. on June 6. He was 79. The cause was cancer.

He was born in Minneapolis, Minn., the youngest of three children born to Raymond and Moana Beim. His grandfather Clinton Odell was the founder of Burma Shave, whose signs and roadside verse became well-known during the early years of America’s romance with the automobile. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy, Stanford University and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

He spent the first 25 years of his career in investment banking, including 10 years on Wall Street at The First Boston Corporation and executive roles at the Export Import Bank, Dillon Read & Co. and Bankers Trust, where he built the company’s corporate finance function.

He spent the next 25 years as a professor of finance and economics at the Columbia Business School, where he taught courses on finance, banking, emerging markets and business ethics.

He was active philanthropically in both civic and educational causes. For 17 years, he served as the chairman of Wave Hill, which he helped become financially sustainable by establishing its first endowment. Driven by his passion for the outdoors, he served on the board of Outward Bound, including five years as chairman. He served as a trustee of Phillips Exeter Academy, where he wrote an influential paper that encouraged Exeter to increase the financial aid it provides to lower-income students. He was also an active member at the Council on Foreign Relations.

David’s greatest joy was his family, and he is survived by his beloved wife Elizabeth, his children Amy and Nick, and five grandchildren. The family has vacationed together in West Chop since 1998. David served as president of the West Chop Preservation Foundation, and Elizabeth is a board member and the former chairman of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum.