Finance remains one of the most popular MBA Jobs and those starting MBA and Masters programs at Imperial next year will be given a huge boost by these two top US finance academics.
Franklin Allen, whom is professor of finance and economics at Wharton, a consistently high figure in the US MBA Rankings, and Doughlas Gale, who is professor of economics at New York University will head Imperial’s new Brevan Howard Centre for Financial Analysis.
The new finance centre was launched after one of the largest (£20.1M) donations in business school history, from Brevan Howard, the world’s third largest hedge fund. The firms co-founder is an Imperial alumnus.
Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics at Harvard University and former IMF Chief Economist, praised the appointments: “Franklin Allen and Douglas Gale are two of the giants of modern banking and corporate finance,” he said.
“Together, they have literally written the book on comparing financial systems. The addition of these two major theorists is a big boost that should generate keen excitement among students.”
The pair both have strong links with the UK: Prof Gale earned a PhD from the University of Cambridge, while Prof Allen studied a DPhil at the University of Oxford.
Prof Allen said that the finance centre will “be second to none in the world” and added: “We plan for the research produced at the Brevan Howard Centre to have a direct and positive influence on financial policymakers and practitioners.”
Imperial is renowned for its work in natural sciences, engineering and medicine, but it is one of the best ranking b-schools in the UK. 93 per cent of last year’s MBA cohort were employed within three months of graduating, while their salaries increase by an average of 74 per cent.
While Imperial is frequently highlighted in connection with entrepreneurship, it has a strong finance background and the Brevan Howard Centre for Financial Analysis with strengthen students’ connections with the industry.
Prof Gale has plans to improve Imperial’s financial standing on the global stage. “Although the Business School is relatively young, it has made rapid progress and I am confident that it can attain the global stature that Imperial College has in the natural sciences, engineering and medicine,” he said.
It is a significant coup by Imperial and MBA and MSc students will no doubt be keen to take advantage of the bank of financial knowledge these two professors can bring to the table.
Sir Keith O'Nions, President of Imperial College London, hopes the new additions will help transform the school into a “global leader in financial economics”.
Several business schools have in recent years launched finance-specific MSc courses and it remains a staple career choice among MBA graduates.
For those seeking a career in finance, Imperial offers three such specialist electives alongside its core modules: Private Equity Finance, Advanced Corporate Finance and Behavioural Finance. The school’s career services department is well placed to provide routes into the City of London and many graduates have used Imperial to further finance-related careers.
Several Imperial MBAs have credited Imperial’s culture as the reason for choosing their MBA program over other top finance courses in London.
Simon Copsey studied an EMBA at Imperial alongside his role as Vice President at Goldman Sachs – one of the top multinational investment banking firms in the world. Simon entered the company as an Analyst Developer (technology) and has risen through the ranks over a three-year career.
Simon says the EMBA has taught him like a “business tapas” and that it “changes the way you think” about tackling problems. It opened him up to other finance-focused opportunities at Goldmans Sachs.
“When I looked at Imperial, I went to a sample lecture and it felt like home,” he told BusinessBecause. “The things that they stand for are very close to my heart and everyone feels like family. I immediately signed up after that evening. I was entranced.”
Sophie Long worked as a trader across various companies in the City of London and was “hooked” by the buzz of the trading floor. She decided to study an MBA at Imperial this year to further her finance career.
“It was an easy choice for me,” she said. “Most of the places I looked at were so impressed with the ‘name the school will give you’. I felt that I didn’t want to be one of another 200 graduates: I quite like me.
“Imperial said: ‘we’ll take you and make you the best’. It was the only school that was interested in what I wanted, and not what they could offer me.”
Prof Gale said the centre would aim to involve practitioners and policy makers as well as academics.
It will initially be involved in the teaching of MBA and masters students, but Prof Allen said he hoped this would extend to undergraduates in the future.
With such highly-regarded financial academics joining the school next year, more MBAs like Simon and Sophie are expected to take advantage of Imperial’s finance options.