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Wharton Launches Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance

Posted by Chioma Isiadinso

Another month, and another new finance-related initiative at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

In February, a $10 million donation established the school’s Alternative Investments Program. Now, the school has launched a new FinTech center, the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance.

Its namesake is Ross Stevens, an undergraduate alum of Wharton, who is supporting the new center. Stevens is CEO of Stone Ridge Holdings Group.

The Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance plans to encourage FinTech research in a variety ways, including by creating course offerings and mentorship programs for students interested in FinTech research. It envisions FinTech companies partnering with small groups of students on research projects.

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The Stevens Center also intends to collaborate with Wharton’s existing FinTech clubs, and to host business leaders on campus. The center’s first event, on April 3, will bring Jackie Reses of Square Capital and David Klein of CommonBond to campus.

Leading the center will be David Musto, a finance professor at Wharton and a former classmate of Stevens. Stevens will chair the center’s advisory board.

Wharton’s dean, Geoff Garret, said that “Wharton has always defined the state of the art in finance teaching and research” and that FinTech is now “morphing from a buzzword into the rocket fuel of financial innovation,” making the new center timely.

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He added that “the Stevens Center will bring together the best thinkers from academia and industry to ensure that Wharton continues to chart the future of finance.”

Meanwhile, University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann said the mission of the new center would be “to ensure that innovations in finance make the greatest positive contributions to businesses and communities across the globe.”

In doing so, she said the Stevens Center would “catalyze Penn’s world-leading research and industry engagement and enrich the opportunities available for our outstanding students.”

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Wharton is one of the top business schools that has embraced FinTech most enthusiastically. Even in 2015, an article in Wharton Magazine described FinTech as “the next big deal at Wharton,” highlighting student-led initiatives like Wharton FinTech.

For applicants interested in FinTech, the school’s engagement with how technology is changing finance makes Wharton an attractive option.

If you’re eyeing Wharton and wondering how your profile as an applicant fits in at the school, we can help you put your application in context and figure out how to emphasize the unique strengths you bring. Just ask us for a free MBA application assessment!