In designing the Master of Finance program we spoke to a number of finance professionals in Iowa and asked for their feedback. Comments we received on the program and curriculum appear below.
Joshua Lohmeier, CFA
Portfolio Manager – Head of US Investment Grade
Economics always has and always will be essential and Mathematics/Statistics are invaluable to the finance industry. In my entire career since 1999 many of the best, brightest, and most successful people I have had the pleasure to work with often had a strong comprehension of both economics and mathematics. This includes quantitative methods, econometrics, regression and statistics etc. As a Finance major with an emphasis in Accounting I have had to work hard throughout my career to bolster these areas. The curriculum you have defined for your Master of Finance (MFin) program will definitely be a significant benefit for anyone wishing to enter or further a career within the finance industry. I would highly recommend it.
Investor Relations Director
I think this is an important skill set and see its applicability in many areas at DuPont Pioneer (Market Research and Economics, Supply Planning, Finance). We’ve hired some talented people in Finance with these types of skills who have gone on to have greater impact in the organization.
Manager, Market Economics
John Deere Enterprise Market Research
The skill-set taught in programs like this is becoming increasingly important for companies to stay competitive and to “compete on analytics”. Even the most experienced sales and marketing executives have embraced the benefits analytics can bring to decision making above and beyond their traditional processes. The problem solving, statistics, and economics skills taught in programs like this give employees a big advantage in the workplace. Time series analysis, which really isn’t covered much in Econometrics, was very helpful for me getting started in forecasting. Forecasting (financial and other) is very important for large companies and is becoming increasingly quantitative.
Brent J. Mathisen
Director, Commercial Mortgage
I think this type of training would be more suited for a number of positions and would provide more specific training as compared to the general MBA.
Risk Manager, Corporate Credit – Retail Basel II
Wells Fargo Company
My experience at Wells Fargo has been in Consumer Risk Management Analytics. I do feel that a more focused curriculum in quantitative analysis makes the student’s skill set more desirable than a general finance MBA degree, if the student is interested in a career in quantitative fields in the financial industry. The analytics includes credit scoring, risk/marketing analysis, credit loss forecasting and stress testing, and economic/regulatory capital quantification.
Dave Halfpap, CFA
Head of Investment Strategy
AEGON USA/TransAmerica Investment Management
There currently is a need for more technical related education for various positions within the financial field, including AEGON; Investment Risk, Corporate Risk, Derivatives, etc. You’ll even find this starting to creep into internal audit where many of the models and so forth have to be verified.
Recruitment Analytics & Sourcing Manager
Principal Financial Group
I have a lot of people who want to get into Jr. Analyst/PMA roles but technically they just have no chance of competing with the candidates we get because even with an MBA they are not specialized enough. This type of Master of Finance degree, combined with a CFA, would set them up well to compete for these very sought after positions.
Executive Vice President, Chief Capital Markets Officer
Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines
I do think that there is a need for strong technical financial skills both at our bank and in the financial community (whether that be here in Des Moines at companies such as the Federal Home Loan Bank, Principal, Wells Fargo, Nationwide or at global financial institutions). My group (Capital Markets, which includes Portfolio Strategy and Treasury/Trading) and our Enterprise Risk group contain several highly quantitative individuals with either a similar MSF degree or, in some cases, PhD. The Master of Finance curriculum would meet a lot of our needs for individuals to help manage and monitor our roughly $50 billion balance sheet.