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Executive Education - October 22, 2008

Twelve finance executives join inaugural PhD in Finance class

With its residential and executive tracks, its organisation into consolidated weeks, and its e-learning tools, the EDHEC PhD in Finance is designed both for recent graduates who elect to join the EDHEC Risk and Asset Management Research Centre as research assistants and for established finance professionals who chose to remain in their full-time jobs. Since presenting the programme in April 2008, EDHEC has fielded more than 800 requests for information, 500 of them for the executive track alone. To respond to the exceptional interest shown by professionals, the opening of the executive track was brought forward one year. On October 13, a select group of 5 recent university graduates and 12 experienced professionals from the world over embarked on the three-year doctoral programme.

Chosen from among nearly 100 applicants for the inaugural class of the programme, seventeen doctoral students from sixteen countries began their PhD in Finance coursework on EDHEC Business School’s Nice campus on October 13.

The EDHEC PhD in Finance prepares doctoral students for academic careers in top institutions and for the highest responsibilities in the finance industry; during the three years of the programme, PhD candidates will acquire the knowledge and the tools to conduct research that will lead to veritable innovation in finance.

The programme relies on a faculty of world-renowned specialists in financial economics, asset management, and quantitative methods and it is enriched by the resources and industry partnerships of the EDHEC Risk and Asset Management Research Centre. The faculty brings together top EDHEC researchers and affiliate professor from leading institutions worldwide. With its residential and executive tracks, and its teaching conditions, dissertation direction, and financial aid tailored to each participant, the programme is suitable both for recent university graduates and for established professionals.

The presentation of the EDHEC PhD in Finance in the international press and the information sessions in Frankfurt, London, Milan, Paris, New York and Zurich revealed great interest in the novel concept of this doctoral programme and its two tracks. Over the last six months, EDHEC has fielded more than 800 requests for information, 500 of them for the executive track alone. To respond to the exceptional interest shown by professionals, the opening of the executive track—planned initially for the second entering class—was brought forward one year.

The number—nearly one hundred—and the high quality of the applications made it possible to build an entering class with an excellent academic background and a great variety of professional experience.

The five doctoral students on the residential track have are recent university graduates and come from Africa (Cameroon), Latin America (Colombia), Asia (Thailand), and Europe (Germany, United Kingdom). They hold master’s degrees in engineering, economics, and finance1 and have acquired initial experience either in industry or in academic research centres. They work three days a week as research assistants at the EDHEC Risk and Asset Management Research Centre and, as such, enjoy significant financial aid, all while contributing, in synergy with their dissertation, to work at the heart of the concerns of the finance industry.

The professionals who participate in the EDHEC PhD in Finance are able to profit from and deepen their expertise without interrupting their careers, as the residential obligations on the executive track are limited to forty-three days over the three years of the programme. The twelve doctoral students on the executive track have an average of fifteen years of working experience. They represent eleven, nationalities (India, China, France, Israel, Italy, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Tunisia, Ukraine, and USA) and pursue international careers from San-Francisco to Tokyo in Europe (50%), Asia (17%), the Middle East (17%), and North America (17%). They work in asset management (42%), consulting (25%), investment banking (17%), private banking, and academia. Half of them are chief executives or business unit managers and the other half portfolio managers, research analysts and consultants. A majority of them serve large financial institutions such as ABN AMRO, Barclays Global Investors, Deutsche Bank, Franklin Templeton Investments, or Société Générale.

These professionals have very strong academic credentials having studied at high-quality institutions and complemented their first degrees with master’s degrees.2

The research proposals submitted by the accepted applicants attest to the great seriousness of their professional development plans and deal with such diverse subjects as portfolio management with derivatives, index and benchmark construction, uncertainty and statistical noise in portfolio construction, inclusion of alternative classes and strategies in asset allocation, pricing of exotic products, asset-liability management, dynamic allocation, behavioural finance, and macro-economic analysis of financial markets.

During the first of the four residential weeks of the academic year, the doctoral students on both tracks of the EDHEC PhD in Finance began two of their core courses and participated in their first monthly research workshop, the first steps in a demanding learning process leading to the highest possible distinction for finance professionals.

Further information

For further information, log on to: http://phd.edhec.edu or contact Ms Maud Gauchon, PhD Admissions, at +33 493 183 267 or maud.gauchon@edhec.edu.

Information sessions

Following the Summer and Autumn information sessions held in New York, Frankfurt, Zurich, Milan, Paris, and London, the next online programme presentation will take place on November 12 (2:30-4:00pm CET) and the next live presentation will be held at the London EDHEC Alternative Investment Days Conference on December 9. To register for an information session, please contact maud.gauchon@edhec.edu.


1 Awarded by Ecole Polytechnique (France), EDHEC Business School (France), Northwestern University (USA), Universidad de los Andes (Columbia), and Thammasat University (Thailand).

2 Their first degrees in engineering (42%), science (25%), economics (25%), and arts (8%) were complemented with graduate studies in finance (50%), business (33%), science and engineering (25%), economics (8%), and international affairs (8%). All executive track participants hold master’s degrees and one of them holds a doctorate. They graduated from such institutions as UC Berkeley, BITS Pilani, the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, EDHEC Business School, Imperial College, the Indian Institute of Technology, Israel Institute of Technology, the London School of Economics, National University of Singapore, Panthéon Sorbonne University, and Zhong Shan (Sun Yat-sen) University.