20 Years MSc Finance

Written by


Blog type

Marking the anniversary of 20 successful years of MSc Finance, over 160 alumni, students and faculty on the programme congregated at a special event at the London Stock Exchange.

Over the last 20 years, the finance industry has faced a period of uncertainty and disruption, driven in part by the revolution of technology. Despite the ever-changing industry, our MSc Finance has continued to equip students with the skills that will be relevant to the industry today and into the future.

MSc Finance is ranked 12th in the world by the FT and has the highest application rate on a postgraduate programme at Imperial College London. This year we are very proud that MSc Finance has achieved gender parity with 50% female students for the first time in 20 years.

The London Stock Exchange was abuzz with excited chatter as alumni reminisced with their former classmates and caught-up with the faculty members who guided them through their degrees. Students had the opportunity to network with, and get advice from alumni, as they embark on their career in finance.

Networking was put on hold for the main event of the night, Professor David Miles in conversation with the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney. Professor Francisco Veloso, Dean of Imperial College Business School, opened the talk with a warm welcome.

Lara Cathcart MSc Finance 20 years

This was followed by a speech from Dr Lara Cathcart, Academic Director of MSc Finance and MSc Risk Management & Financial Engineering. Lara has been with the programme since day one and was an integral figure in the launch of the MSc Finance 20 years ago. She reflected on the early days of the programme:

I cannot believe it has been 20 years since we launched this MSc Finance. I can still remember the conversation we were having at the time. Would there be enough demand for such a degree in finance? How many students would we be able to attract? Needless to say, whatever doubts we had about the viability of such a Master’s, they were dismissed very early on.

Lara attributed the success of the programme to the experience and foresight of previous Academic Directors, the great finance programme team, world-class faculty and the students and alumni, who she said are our greatest ambassadors.

MSc Finance 20 years Feature

We spoke to alumni, Advisory Board members and students about their experience on MSc Finance and the anniversary event.

Ali Akbar Ahsan

MSc Finance 1999. Partner at Magellan Capital.

“The MSc Finance is truly multidisciplinary and unique in this respect. It was an innovative idea at the time of its launch and has stood the test of time, demonstrating its value then and now. It helped me secure my first role with Barclays and played an important role in my career progression since.”

Pallavi Bhalla

Current MSc Finance student.

“The event tonight was a great experience. It was really nice to hear Mark Carney speak about his experiences, what he thinks the trends are going to be in the future. It was a nice way to interact with alumni and everyone on my programme in a more informal setting.”

Daniella Llanos Flores

MSc Finance 2012. Senior Market Risk Manager at Credit Suisse.

“The MSc Finance programme was key in kick-starting my career in financial services. The solid technical skills training gave me an advantage versus other candidates – Imperial’s MSc Finance curriculum is definitely amongst the best in the UK. Additionally, in my case in particular, it was the alumni network that allowed me to find and get my first set of interviews upon finishing the degree. As a matter of fact, it was through an alumnus that I found a position in Credit Suisse’s Market Risk department.”

Robert McWilliam

MSc Finance Advisory Board. Managing Director at ING Bank.

“I am a banker with 30 years’ experience in capital markets and PRMIA Global Board member.  I bring some of my work challenges and observations to the Board so the programme remains current. Quantitative skills are a core requirement in banking.  I can – and have – employed an Imperial College Business School MSc student and know that they will make an immediate contribution.”

Maeva Montagnier

Maeva Montagnier

MSc Finance 2017. Fixed Income Capital Markets Analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“I chose to do another Master’s because I really wanted to work in London in a top-tier bank, and I knew that my first degree was not enough to get me this. I chose Imperial because the MSc was ranked number one in the UK, provided the ability to tailor the programme to the skills I wanted to develop during the year. It also has a very strong reputation with employers who value and recognise the quality of Imperial’s graduates.”

Written by


Blog type

About Nicole Pires

Content Marketing Manager
Nicole is the Content Marketing Manager for Programmes Marketing.