In response to increasing challenges to businesses, and the demand for experts to mitigate numerous types of risk across their enterprises, the School of Business has renamed and significantly revised the curriculum for one of its master’s degree programs.
The M.S. in Financial and Enterprise Risk Management (FERM) program will be offered at the Stamford campus starting in Fall 2024. The program replaces the popular master’s degree in Financial Risk Management, first introduced in 2010.
The degree will prepare graduates to address a variety of risk factors that pose threats to businesses, including financial, operational, informational, geopolitical, regulatory, and cybersecurity risk. Graduates of the FERM program will be versed in structuring a corporation so there are safeguards throughout the enterprise.
“Risk management is perhaps the fastest growing and most important competitive component in every industry today,’’ said Chinmoy Ghosh, head of the finance department.
The School of Business currently offers a master’s degree in Financial Risk Management, which will be folded into the FERM program, Ghosh said.
“We’ve always addressed these issues, but now they are moving to the forefront of our graduate students’ education. Our corporate partners have identified this as one of their most vital needs,’’ said professor Michel Rakotomavo, academic director of the FERM program.
The U.S. Labor Bureau predicts greater-than-average job growth in the field over the next 10 years.
“The faculty recognize the significance and scope of enterprise risk management, which encompasses the varied risks an organization faces,’’ Ghosh said. “This transformative shift and revitalization of this program reflects our commitment to not only educating, but also empowering our diverse body of students, and equipping them with the multifaceted expertise required to navigate the intricacies of risk management in a modern corporation.”
The new FERM program will be offered exclusively in Stamford, and all courses will be taught in person. The program will accept up to 60 students in the new cohort in Fall 2024.
Alumnus Frank Minerva ’81 MBA, Managing Director – Head of National Sales Strategy & Management for UBS, and a member of the risk program’s advisory board, said the spectrum of risk has grown in recent years. Climate issues, geopolitical tensions, even rapid changes in the banking industry have posed new sources of concern. It makes sense, he said, to look at risk from all angles.
“There is a need in the marketplace for people who have anticipatory perspective on what might happen, and what could be consequential risk to an enterprise,’’ he said.
In addition to its academic rigor, the revised program will offer experiential learning opportunities that distinguish it from other graduate programs. One of those is the FRM Fund which allows select students to invest $1 million in stocks, bonds, and derivatives.
Recent UConn finance alumnus Sirui Ji ’23 MSFRM thought the experience of working with the fund was a valuable component to his education.
“UConn’s financial risk management program equips us with advanced quantitative analysis skills and invaluable hands-on experience. In the FRM Fund, with the guidance of our professor, we focused on the U.S. stock market, analyzing companies and stocks, and making significant investment decisions,’’ he said.
“We utilized traditional asset-pricing methods, applied quantitative risk-management techniques, and even employed options to safeguard our positions,’’ he continued. “This experience is unique and has been pivotal in shaping my professional path.”
Previous risk-focused programs have attracted a mix of young professionals and more seasoned managers. After completing their master’s degrees, they are often promoted to risk analysts and vice presidents.
The cohort structure has been popular, building a strong network and creating skill-sharing and job-seeking connections. The program is expected to draw students from diverse academic and geographic backgrounds, Rakotomavo said.
“In a world where risk is an ever-present challenge, the changes being introduced to the Financial and Enterprise Risk Management program reaffirm the institution’s commitment to producing agile, innovative, and skilled professionals ready to navigate the evolving landscape of risk management,’’ said Kaitlyn Speaker, associate director of national recruitment for STEM business programs.
“As the demand for risk experts continues to surge, this program promises to be a beacon of excellence in preparing the leaders of tomorrow to meet these challenges head-on,’’ she said.
To learn more, Please visit https://risk.business.uconn.edu/about/master-of-science-in-financial-and-enterprise-risk-management