Brett Williams, Major General USAF (retired), spoke at the second annual Cybersecurity Conference , a standing-room-only event hosted by the Arditti Center on Risk Management.
In 2013, the Center for Financial Services (CFS) at DePaul
University hosted Sheila Bair, fresh from her stint as chair of the Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
In 2014, DePaul’s Arditti Risk Management Center held its first
Cyberrisk Security Conference, which featured keynote speaker Peter W. Singer, one of the nation’s foremost experts on military, cyber and national security.
In 2015, CFS held a one-day conference with Nobel Economics
Laureate Eugene Fama.
While these speakers are impressive, they make up just a part
of the education, partnership and research eco-system that DePaul’s Department
of Finance at the Driehaus College of Business has created with The
Three centers comprise the institute: the Center for
Financial Services, the Arditti Center for Risk Management, and the Driehaus Center
for Behavioral Finance. The recent creation of The Research Institute to serve as an
umbrella for the three comes just as the Center for Financial Services and the
Arditti Center are poised to celebrate their 10th anniversaries in
“We’re establishing a center of excellence for local Chicago
financial institutions,” says Alexander Perry, associate director of the
Research Institute. “We want to be a conduit for the community, providing
students a way to engage with professionals in the banking and risk management
industries, as well as offering forums and conferences for finance
professionals to engage with each other on relevant issues.”
To understand the impact of the department’s outreach, you
just have to look at the recent accomplishments of the centers.
Creating a Center of
Ten years ago, Elijah Brewer was a new DePaul associate
professor of finance with an idea. After speaking with a friend, who was a board member
at the Federal Reserve Bank at Chicago, Brewer drafted a proposal for a new
financial center at the DePaul.
“We wanted a center that would enhance the value of education
for both undergraduate and graduate students,” recalls Brewer, now chair of DePaul's Department of Finance department. “We wanted also to sponsor conferences that would help
spur public debate on the issues that are important to bankers.”
That idea evolved into the Center
for Financial Services.
Since then the center has hosted nine annual conferences on
wealth management, helped foster a new degree program, the MS
of in Wealth Management, and spearheaded an executive forum series
featuring such high profile speakers as U.S. Ambassador William Burns and
Shelia Bair, who served as an executive-in-residence at DePaul.
In addition, the center has established partnerships with
Chicago’s leading financial institutions and regulators, including MB
Financial Bank, BMO Harris, First Bank and Trust of Evanston and, of course the Federal
Reserve Bank of Chicago.
The center's true legacy can be seen
in DePaul’s classrooms. For example, Mark Hoppe, CEO of MB Financial Bank, is one
of several business leaders who has provided real-world advice to students. Through his
connections with the Center of Financial Services, Hoppe and other MB Financial executives were invited to
participate in a case study in a Money and Banking class taught by Lamont
Black, assistant professor of finance. Read
the story here.
It was in this class that student Elizabeth Hernandez met the executives and that sparked her interest in commercial banking.
“This was my favorite part of the class,” Hernandez says of
the executives’ presentations. “If you read something from a book or you go
over it in a case study, it’s not the same as when the people involved actually
explain their decision-making process. You learn much more. It got me
interested in commercial banking.”
Need for Risk Management Knowledge Expands Offerings
Recently, the centers have expanded their focus on risk
management, says Brewer.
Now in its second year, the Cyberrisk Conference, sponsored
by the Arditti Center, is a one-day conference popular with insurance, finance
and other professionals, as well as students.
In 2015, the conference doubled in size and it is projected
to be even bigger next year. The keynote speaker, Major
General USAF (retired) Brett Williams, spoke to a standing-room-only audience.
In addition to the cyberrisk conference, the Arditti Center
is keen on expanding educational opportunities in risk management. The center
supports DePaul’s new Actuarial
Science (BSB) major, a joint degree with the math department, and the MS
in Enterprise Risk Management, which helps
finance professionals become fluent in risk management.
“It is my vision that under the umbrella of the Arditti
Center we can carve out a corner of this department dedicated to advancing
education in the risk and insurance arenas,” says Brewer. “Risk is all
encompassing and we want to help prepare our students for this growing
Preparing for the
DePaul’s finance department has big plans on the horizon for
the Research Institute. More real-world topics, such as climate change and women in
finance, are being considered as themes for future conferences. And the institute will hosts its first large-scale event, a
10th Anniversary Celebration, in 2016 to recognize long-time partners and secure funding for its centers.
Perry says helping DePaul students
navigate the world of finance remains the central focus of the centers.
“Our goal is to have the Research Institute be a major force
in all things finance, but we want to stay true to our Vincentian mission,”
says Perry. “We want to open up doors as much as possible for our students,
many of whom are first generation, or minority students, to connect to the
larger community of financial institutions.”
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