Washington University in St. Louis' Olin Business School has added a new wealth and asset management degree track as part of the Masters of Finance degree program beginning in fall 2017, the school announced on its website.
The new option will join existing degree tracks, which include corporate finance and investments, and quantitative finance. Its creation was a response to what the school cites as a nationwide need for new advisers to manage growing retirement assets, both inherited and donated.
The new track will provide students “with practicum, internship, mentoring and employment opportunities” in addition to instruction from Olin faculty, the website said.
Richard Ryffel, a senior lecturer in finance who worked in wealth and asset management for 25 years, said in a telephone interview that many students have expressed interest in the industry.
Also, “there was a definite need for talent here in St. Louis to feed the machine that is our big financial services cluster,” Mr. Ryffel said, citing firms such as Wells Fargo Advisers and Edward Jones, as well as invetsment consultants Asset Consulting Group, Summit Strategies Group and Mercer, the New York-based firm with a large presence in St. Louis.
“It marries a great research faculty that has been and will continue to crank out very qualified financial theorists that will go into a variety of practices, but now we've leveraged our local community to help us put together some new courses we're developing,” Mr. Ryffel said. He said it will help students understand the asset and wealth management business well enough to separate themselves from “other candidates that might have more relevant experience.”