A Vision for Darden’s Next Center for Excellence
Building on the foundation of our current centers of excellence, the Darden School will become known as a leader in the field of Asset Management by producing market-facing research and preparing skilled future asset managers. The Darden School aspires to be among the very best schools in management education. Such standing requires a full complement of expertise. In the finance area, the School’s traditional strength has been in corporate finance. The purpose of the Darden Center for Asset Management is to balance Darden’s current finance capability with a strong program in asset management.
Our expectation is that the new Center for Asset Management will (1) foster the development and global dissemination of innovative research on asset management that bridges theory and practice, and (2) provide resources to create and sustain an asset management education infrastructure at the Darden School.
This Center is intended to ensure that we are competitive with our peers in every important area of business education. This is an area of great interest to our students, an area that profoundly impacts the lives of our citizens as business continues to shift away from defined benefit plans, and becomes increasingly more competitive as investment alternatives proliferate and management techniques become more complex. Darden students must be extremely well prepared to compete with graduates from our peer schools. In general, to retain our preeminent status as a provider of business education, Darden needs to have a superior ability to research asset management and provide hands-on experience for our students.
Impact & Benefits
Darden envisions that the Center will:
- establish Darden’s role as an influential, innovative thought leader in asset management;
- attract and retain faculty who are thought leaders in the area of asset management;
- attract a larger cohort of MBA students with a passion for asset management;
- develop new curriculum in the area of asset management, both for degree and non-degree programs, creating a more logical and practical order to class offerings. Potential new courses include: Trading Strategies, Behavioral Finance, Advanced Asset Allocation, Endowment Management, Managing Investment Advisors, and Alternative Investment Vehicles;
- initiate joint research ventures between Darden faculty and scholars at other leading institutions;
- attract renowned scholars and influential practitioners as guest speakers, visiting instructors, and seminar leaders;
- build corporate relationships and enhance student recruitment and placement; and,
- increase visibility by improving faculty capacity for research, improving our research ranking, and generating citations in major academic and media publications, such as the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Business Week.
Activities supported by the Center to foster the generation of new ideas and expand the education infrastructure will include, but not be limited to:
- support and encourage a stream of top quality research that not only addresses current management challenges and market conditions, but identifies future challenges and opportunities;
- host regular conferences and other forums that bring together practicing managers and active researchers in an environment that promotes the exchange of insights, generates critical debate, and encourages innovative and fresh thinking;
- actively bring to the attention of managers the implications of current research for the best practices in asset management as well as provide a vehicle for bringing to the attention of researchers the thoughts and insights of managers;
- champion the asset management curriculum at Darden and provide support for the expansion and advancement of that curriculum, particularly through facilitation of direct engagement with practicing managers;
- directly support hands-on student education in asset management through the enhancement of Darden Capital Management; and,
- develop and market educational materials that engage with core issues in asset management and are recognized as innovative and effective.