Staff, students and alumni joined Bank of England Governor Mark Carney last night to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the MSc Finance degree.
The Business School hosted an exclusive party for 160 guests at the London Stock Exchange to mark the milestone, which featured an in-conversation between Dr Carney and David Miles, Professor of Financial Economics at the Business School, a former Monetary Policy Committee member at the Bank of England.
This was followed by a Q&A discussion with an audience including Professor Francisco Veloso, Dean of Imperial College Business School, alumni and current students from the MSc Finance, and other senior finance academics.
Welcoming guests to the event, Professor Veloso reflected on the dramatic changes that have taken place in the financial world over the past 20 years and what the Business School is doing make sure the MSc Finance stays relevant. He said: “Intellectual insight, research leadership and strong teaching are key to making this degree relevant to today’s business climate."
“Our MSc Finance helps build the business leaders of tomorrow by providing the strong financial training, skills and knowledge needed for students to get a head start in their careers. We keep the programme relevant to today’s business world by covering the frontier topics of today. The quality of the programme has been shaped by our teaching staff over the past 20 years and by continual engagement with the financial community.”
Dr Lara Cathcart, Programme Director of the MSc Finance praised the success of the academics responsible for developing the programme. She said: “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 Masters, they were dismissed very early on.”
"This is a significant achievement and shows how times are changing within the finance world." Dr Lara Cathcart Programme Director, MSc Finance
Dr Cathcart then highlighted Imperial’s achievement of representing an equal split of men and women on this year’s MSc Finance for the first time. She said: “This year we also reached another key milestone in achieving an equal split between male and female students. This is a significant achievement and shows how times are changing within the finance world. These are exciting times for business schools and the finance industry.”
Alumni who studied on the MSc Finance were also keen to heap their praise on the programme.
Daniella Llanos Flores (2012 alumnus), who works as a Senior Market Risk Manager at Credit Suisse said: “The MSc Finance was key in kick starting my career in financial services. The solid technical skills training gave me an advantage over other candidates – Imperial’s MSc Finance curriculum is definitely amongst the best in the UK. It was the alumni network that allowed me to find and get my first set of interviews upon finishing the degree. It was through an alumnus that I found a position in Credit Suisse’s Market Risk department, where I am still currently working.”
Ali Akbar Ahsan (1999 alumnus), a Partner at Magellan Capital said: “The MSc Finance, helped me secure my first role with Barclays and played an important role in my career progression since.”
Robert McWilliam, a member of the MSc Finance Advisory Board and Managing Director at ING Bank said: “London is the global financial centre for banking, insurance, asset management and increasingly fintech. Proximity to these markets (and Advisory Board volunteers) coupled with the quantitative discipline for which Imperial is justifiable famous, will ensure the programme continues to deliver for both students and employers.”
Commenting on Imperial’s success at achieving an equal number of men and women on the programme he said: “You are doing better than most banks! Diversity is an increasing focus in the banking industry generally so keep producing bright, motivated female graduates. PRMIA runs a Women in Risk series of event which are very well supported.”
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