The University of Connecticut has finalized plans to offer a new undergraduate major in financial management starting next fall at its Stamford campus, a significant step in the University’s academic expansion initiative in the region.
The major, approved Wednesday by the UConn Board of Trustees, was developed to provide students with the skills they need for successful careers in corporate financial management and analysis, investments, and portfolio management.
The bachelor’s degree program will be offered at UConn-Stamford through the School of Business starting in fall 2013, with the first class graduating in 2017.
Fairfield County is home to a vibrant business community and numerous Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies and, given the significant concentration of financial services businesses in the area, there is great demand for financial services professionals.
The curriculum includes the same general education requirements and business core requirements as other UConn business majors. Financial management majors will also complete electives in which they will learn about issues ranging from mergers and acquisitions to investment strategies, portfolio management and business ethics.
UConn also anticipates working closely with area companies and professional organizations on programs to benefit students such as mentoring, job and internship networking, speakers, and scholarships.
“The Fairfield County business community has frequently expressed a strong desire for the University to initiate such a program,” says John Elliott, dean of the School of Business. “Development of the major was both an important and a welcome task, as many business faculty and administration on the Stamford campus strongly believe that a financial management major is needed at that location.”
The University has received many requests from students over the years for a financial management major at its Stamford campus. UConn’s program will be the only public undergraduate finance major in Fairfield County to be accredited by the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business).
The curriculum is closely tied to professional financial services practices, having been developed in partnership with the local Stamford Chartered Financial Analyst Society (CFA Society Stamford).
“The Stamford CFA Society is pleased to partner with the University of Connecticut in its pursuit of ethics-based investment education,” says Michael Dineen, committee chair of the SCFAS Investment Management Program and senior vice president/portfolio manager for Atlantic Asset Management LLC in Stamford.
“The Stamford CFA has a history of partnering with universities through their undergraduate Investment Management Program and cultivating a young generation of future CFAs,” Dineen says. “The partnership uniquely exposes students to a structured program closely tied to professional practice and a level of mentoring support well suited for a highly competitive marketplace.”
The major’s location at UConn-Stamford also puts students in the midst of one of the nation’s most active corporate hubs. Among the larger companies nearby are General Electric and its financial services unit, GE Capital; UBS, Royal Bank of Scotland, Starwood Resorts and Hotels, Pitney Bowes, Xerox, Purdue Pharma, and General Re.
Fairfield County also has a large concentration of investment management firms in the area, including Bridgewater Associates, Aladdin Capital Management, and SAC Capital Advisors.
“Because of the growing size of the finance job market in the greater Stamford area,” Elliott says, “our large alumni base between New York City and Stamford, our research-oriented faculty, the persistent feedback from students requesting a finance major, and the large investment in the UConn-Stamford campus by the University and the state government, we feel our program is timely and has great potential to play a significant strategic role in the economic development of the greater Fairfield County area.”