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Imperial College has rebranded its business school just eight years after it was first named.

The Tanaka Business School took its name from Dr Gary Tanaka, who completed his PhD at the College, following his £27m donation towards its new building in 2000. Last month it became the Imperial College Business School.

Sir Roy Anderson, Imperial’s Rector said: “Imperial College is known globally for carrying out research that improves quality of life worldwide. The Business School’s activities play a central role in this mission. By putting the College’s name into the Business School’s title we are making clear its position as an integral part of the College.”

A college spokesman stated that the rebrand, involved “no significant cost associations other than standard marketing costs”.

The reversal has sparked speculation that Imperial may be trying to disassociate itself from Dr Tanaka, who was charged with fraud in 2005.

Tanaka and his business partner Alberto Vilar were arrested in June 2005 under several allegations of fraud concerning their company Amerindo Investment Advisors Inc. Although Tanaka was accused of having spent investors’ money on racehorses, there was no suggestion that donations to Imperial were misappropriated. Charges were dropped in 2007.

A spokesman for Imperial said there was no link between the charges and the decision.

Dr Tanaka said, ‘the growth and development of the Business School under the helm of Professor David Begg and former Rector Sir Richard Sykes have been a source of great pride since my association with it began. This latest move is a step towards enabling it to reach its maximum world-wide potential.”

Academics have met the decision with enthusiasm. Dr David McCarthy, Senior Lecturer in Finance, said, “it’s a great idea. It’s going to be great for the school. I think it’s a great thing”.

The building, designed by Foster and Partners, will continue to be known as The Tanaka Building.


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