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The Wharton School

New Major Coming to Wharton

The Wharton School is planning to roll out a new quantitative finance MBA major next year.

The UPenn business school announced that it will also be adding an endowed professorship and $25,000 tuition awards for qualified second-year students. The gift is part of an $8 million alumnus donation from Bruce Jacobs, co-founder of Jacobs Levy Equity Management, Bloomberg Business reports.

“When I started out, quantitative finance wasn’t a profession,” Jacobs, the firm’s co-chief investment officer, tells Bloomberg. “Now much of finance is quantitative, and it’s important that business leaders, regulators and the heads of Wall Street houses have a basic understanding of it.”

GOAL

The new quantitative finance major will aim to prepare students for a range of careers in the financial industry, according to Wharton’s website, including quantitative asset management and trading, financial engineering, risk management, and applied research.

While the major will be based in Wharton’s finance department, it will also include relevant cross-disciplinary studies from accounting, statistics, and operations, information and decisions.

“MBA students majoring in Quantitative Finance will have both the technical expertise that allows them to compete for quantitative positions in finance, and the generalist MBA experience that provides them with the necessary leadership skills to quickly rise to the top of their organizations,” according to Wharton.

HIGH-END ANALYTICS AND FINANCE

Jacobs earned his master’s in applied economics as well as a doctorate in finance from Wharton. Prior to entering the private sector, he also taught at the b-school for five years, according to Bloomberg.

“This is really about the fusion of high-end analytics and finance that Bruce’s biography speaks to,” Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett tells Bloomberg.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Jacobs further stressed the importance of having quantitative strategies.

“It’s essential that quantitative products be designed to avoid amplifying volatility, so when volatility is high, it’s not further amplified,” he tells Bloomberg.

Sources: Bloomberg Business, Wharton