22/06/2014 – Business education is itself a business, so it is not unusual to receive a marketing spiel when enquiring about a programme. Just occasionally, however, it is possible to detect a sense of urgency from an academic who feels he or she is on a mission.
For Massimo Massa, professor of banking and finance at Insead, the sense of urgency relates to the need for more knowledge of the world of finance. “The crisis changed things,” he says. One of the main messages to emerge from the catastrophic events that led to what is being referred to as the “Great Recession”, is that managers had been authorising financial deals they did not understand. “They were ashamed to ask how they worked.”
Prof. Massa sees a perfect storm brewing, in which the complexity of the financial system must be balanced against a pressing need to provide for an ageing global population.
Financial education, he says, should no longer simply be aimed at generating profits. It is now crucial for reducing risk and generating wealth. Ageing populations are relying on money they have set aside. “How this money is managed is crucial.”
Insead’s response was to join other business schools, especially in Europe, that already offered such programmes to provide a master in finance programme. Launched in 2013, it is aimed at professionals with four to six years work experience. It is a departure from Insead’s traditional offerings – MBA programmes and short courses for executives – and is a determined attempt to produce professionals who can work in a strategic role within the financial services industry.
Prof Massa envisages them taking on jobs as divisional managers in banks or as partners specialising in finance in a consultancy.
Despite Prof Massa’s sense of mission, the latest application trends survey from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) published annually in September might indicate poor timing. More than half (53 per cent) of schools surveyed in 2013 reported fewer applications for master of finance programmes against 42 per cent reporting a rise in interest.
Lee el artículo completo en Financial Times.