New UAlbany Center Examines Institutional Investing

Contact: Karl Luntta
(518) 437-4981; cell (518) 265-4114; pager (518) 341-0316

ALBANY, N.Y. (July 22, 2002) -- In an era in which mutual funds, pension funds and insurance companies dominate world financial markets, the University at Albany School of Business has established the nationís first academic Center for Institutional Investment Management (CIIM). The Center will focus on research and analysis of strategic institutional investing.

The practice of institutional investment management has become increasingly relevant to finance practitioners as well as the average American. "Institutional investors face a complex set of regulatory and fiduciary constraints, as well as considerable ethical challenges," said Richard Highfield, dean of the University at Albany School of Business. "Their decisions affect the economic health not only of the institutions themselves, but of countless individual clients."

The Centerís work will complement educational initiatives already in place at UAlbanyís School of Business, both at the MBA and undergraduate levels. While finance will be the core of CIIMís learning and research, the curricula will encompass todayís vital businesses issues: ethics, information management and decision making.

The Centerís state-of-the-art research facilities and new data resources will promote interaction among industry practitioners, faculty and students. One of its innovative seminar programs offers opportunities to conduct research under faculty guidance, with alumni interaction. In addition to analyses of research topics, activities will involve work-site tours, networking, mock interviews and resume critiques. Students participating in the seminar will present research findings to faculty and University at Albany alumni, who are among the most successful in the business world -- the School of Business consistently places graduates in prestigious Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, and regional, national and multinational consulting companies and accounting firms

"The increased reliance on private capital markets, along with demographic trends such as the aging of the population," said newly appointed CIIM Director Hany Shawky, professor of finance, "heightens the importance of institutional investors -- not simply to non-financial institutions, but to the entire society."

David Smith, associate professor and chair of the School of Businessí finance department, cited the innovative nature of the Center. "The field has not been served exclusively by any academic center," he said. "UAlbanyís Center will be a pioneer in offering practical insight into the strategies and mechanics of institutional investing. It will provide an enriched learning environment that prepares students for success across all aspects of this diverse and challenging profession."

The Centerís resources will become available to students and researchers in the fall 2002 semester.

Established in 1844 and designated a center of the State University of New York in 1962, the University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in eight degree-granting schools and colleges. For more information about this nationally ranked University, visit


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