Wilshire Associates is teaming up with a local university in Suzhou, China, to launch an investment management and risk analysis certificate program next month, and the firm expects the results to help fuel its own rapid expansion in the country.
With 13 five-hour sessions between May 7 and June 5, the program — crafted by the Santa Monica, Calif.-based financial services firm and the Research Institute of Quantitative Finance at Xi-an Jiaotong-Liverpool University — will give students a foundation in building and managing investment portfolios, together with the mathematical grounding to analyze risk.
Undergraduate and graduate students will account for most of the program's 20 to 50 spaces this year, said Elton Xu, a Wilshire vice president who opened the firm's Suzhou office last year, in a telephone interview. As time goes by, junior- to midlevel industry professionals might choose to participate as well, Mr. Xu said.
With retail investors accounting for 80% or more of the turnover in Shanghai and Shenzhen, the new program is part of a broader effort needed to introduce “more institutionalized, long-term thinking” to China's markets, Mr. Xu noted.
And with its headquarters in Suzhou, Wilshire will be well-positioned to benefit as it helps nurture a more sophisticated pool of financial professionals, Mr. Xu said. Having started with just himself and five interns in early 2015, Wilshire now has 18 full-time employees, and many of those employees were plucked from the university's International Business School Suzhou, Mr. Xu said.