Wharton Now

New Alumni Affairs Director Named

Jillian McGowan is Wharton’s new Director of Alumni Affairs and Annual Giving. McGowan joins the School from Trinity College, Dublin, where she served as the institution’s first Director of Alumni beginning in 1999. At Trinity, she successfully planned, implemented, and managed its first alumni relations program including the university’s first alumni annual giving effort.

“A priority for me will be to partner with alumni to develop even stronger links between the School and our graduates,” McGowan said. “Alumni can benefit in many ways from continued interaction with Wharton and indeed with each other. I look forward to developing a strategy to establish a strong, mutually beneficial relationship between the School, our alumni and our student population. I welcome input in that process.”

Before joining Trinity College, McGowan held a number of marketing positions within the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) and its subsidiaries in the UK. She holds a BA degree in European Studies from the University of Limerick and an MBA from Trinity College.

Wharton Undergrad Named Rhoades Scholar

Wharton senior Joyce Meng, W’08 was among 32 American students to receive the Rhodes Scholarship last fall. Meng, a Joseph Wharton Benjamin Franklin scholar as well as a Wharton Research Scholar,said she is excited to study at Oxford University, where she plans to earn two master’s degrees in economics. Meng, who is captain of the debate team, plays ice hockey and is involved in several Wharton clubs, is the only Penn student to earn a Rhodes Scholarship this year.

After her freshman and sophomore years, the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business student worked at international finance firms in Taiwan and Hong Kong, respectively. Last summer, after interning for Goldman Sachs, Meng worked for FINCA International, a microfinance firm. Along with four others—Wharton seniors Jason Mischel, W’08 and Julie Pearne, W’08, Wharton and Engineering sophomore Alexander Yen, W’10 and alumna Clara Chao, W’07 — she founded Youth Bank, a microbusiness incubator in Lagos, Nigeria, that works to provide financial opportunities for urban youth.

“Joyce really represents the best of Penn,” Provost Ron Daniels told The Daily Pennsylvanian. “She’s a high achiever, she has a wide range of interests and she cares so much about making the world a better place.” To apply for the Rhodes Scholarship, students must be nominated by their universities. This year, 764 students were endorsed by 294 different colleges and universities.
– Reported by The Daily Pennsylvanian

Minister P. Chidambaram

The new face of Indian business is mature, confident, strong, hungry for growth and ready to be among the best in the world, India Finance Minister P. Chidambaram told a standing-room-only crowd at the first of Wharton’s 2007-2008 Leadership Lectures last fall. Addressing an audience in Wharton’s Dhirubhai Ambani Auditorium, Chidambaram highlighted a range of topics including India’s surge in economic power, the importance of a global economic community and the need to maintain a healthy relationship with its world partners.

“In recent years you’ve invited the CEOs of the  best U.S. businesses, Microsoft and Starbucks, Tyco and Intel, to speak at this series,” Chidambaram said. “What do they have in common? Each one is a child of an innovative idea and a leader in its business.

There are many Indian business leaders who would qualify to speak at this series on the grounds of innovation, and I am here today to speak on their behalf.” He also emphasized that Indian business must go from local to global, qualifying India’s recent 9.4 percent GDP growth by saying, “If that growth does not impact the global community, it’s not sustainable.”

Despite his outward confidence, Chidambaram acknowledged that he has worries, particularly about events that are outside of his control. He listed potential problems including a sharp rise in crude oil or commodity prices, a recession in the United States and Europe, the “sub-prime mortgage problem” and what he called “bellicose speeches” in the United Nations.

Playing Across Three Continents

Last fall, Wharton MBA students in the microeconomics core course matched wits with INSEAD MBA students in France and Singapore through a crosscontinent computer simulation. Playing the MGEC Markets Games, students tested their understanding of how to build cooperation and trust in business relationships. A total of 234 teams (144 teams from Wharton, 60 teams from INSEAD Fontainebleau and 30 teams from INSEAD Singapore) played four markets games—Product Quality, Quantity Competition, Advertising, and Spatial Location. Each representing one firm, the teams tried to maximize their firms’ profits.

“The thing that I found interesting was the intellectual exchange that occurred over each round,” said Heeyoon Chang, WG’09. “It was surreal to think that there was another group of four or five ‘friends’ who were sitting in a group study room in Fontainebleau or Singapore strategizing as well, and the only way we could get to know them was through an input of some numbers.”

Now in its second year of play across the schools, the game was rolled out as a pilot program to a limited number of teams last year. The two professors who initiated this collaboration—Wharton management professor Keith Weigelt and INSEAD economics professor Tim Van Zandt—said that the simulation was very effective this year, with 66 percent of the students choosing the best performing strategy.

“This teaching experiment is a great example of the innovation coming out of this partnership,” said Wharton management professor and Wharton/INSEAD Alliance Executive Director John Kimberly. The Wharton/INSEAD Alliance is a partnership that expands the knowledge resources and global reach of both schools across their four collective campuses in the U.S. (Philadelphia and San Francisco) Europe (Fontainebleau), and Asia (Singapore).

Wharton Professor Keith Weigelt Debriefs with the "Proof" Learning Team in Philadelphia

INSEAD Professor Nikos Vettas Discusses Simulation Results with His Class in Fontainebleau

Initiative Tackles Corporate Political Influence

In the wake of a sea change about how corporations think about ethics, compliance and governance, the time has come to wrestle with corporate political influence, says Wharton professor William S. Laufer, the director of Wharton’s Carol and Lawrence Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research.

A new collaborative effort by the Zicklin Center and the Center for Political Accountability (CPA) aims to do just that. The effort will focus much greater attention on company political spending and activity and the role of corporate governance in overseeing and regulating this activity, according to Laufer and CPA executive director Bruce F. Freed. “Too little attention has been paid to this subject,” Freed said. “Growing company involvement in the political process through direct and indirect spending significantly raises the risks faced by companies and shareholders.

It also has an impact that extends well beyond the corporation. All of this has important implications for corporate governance that the new CPA-Zicklin effort will examine.” Several new initiatives are planned including a conference and on corporate governance corporate political accountability in February.

Upcoming research includes a study of how directors carry out their oversight responsibilities of company political spending and activity, a survey of the codes of conduct of S&P 500 companies and how they regulate political spending, and an examination of existing regimes for political disclosure and accountability of the U.S. and a range of foreign countries and companies. For more information on the initiative or the conference, visit the Zicklin Center’s website at www.zicklincenter.org.

Finance Conference: Wall Street Risks, Rewards and Opportunities

If the capital markets are models of efficiency, how could the recent staggering mortgage-related securities losses happen? Two Wall Street titans — Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, and Kenneth Moelis, WG’81, of Moelis & Co.—addressed that question at last fall’s Wharton Finance Conference in New York City. Despite having different perspectives — Blankfein  market rose through Goldman’s fixed income, currency and commodities divisions, while Moelis is a veteran M&A investment banker —Moelis and Blankfein agreed that risk management is a corporate culture issue. To manage risks effectively over time, employees must put the firm’s welfare and the preservation of important client relationships ahead of everything else.

In October, said Moelis, “firms got hit from The Blind Side” — a reference to a recent bestseller by Michael Lewis about professional football “and a number of Wall Street leaders suffered career ending injuries.” Said Blankfein, “Risk is risk, and you can’t be perfect at managing it.”

The annual Wharton Finance Conference brings together industry practitioners, government finance officials, alumni, students and faculty to discuss issues in finance and present new ideas and research. This year’s conference featured panel discussions on topics including mergers and acquisitions, the changing face of private equity and investment banking, and whether emerging markets are indeed still emerging. For complete coverage of the Wharton Finance Conference, visit Knowledge@Wharton.

Major Indian Bank Partners with Wharton

India’s second-largest bank has partnered with Wharton Executive Education to launch a landmark leadership development program in India. In October, Wharton faculty delivered the custom program to ICICI Group senior executives at the company’s training center near Mumbai.

The intensive, eight-day leadership program worked with 60 senior executives there. “Indian companies, especially more progressive ones such as ICICI, have very advanced learning and development internally,” said Sandhya Karpe, senior director at Wharton Executive Education. With a presence in 17 countries, ICICI Group has been named among the top 20 companies in the world for leadership development in a recent ranking by Fortune magazine. “Indian companies are now looking to take their executive education to the next level,” Karpe said.

Whitney Young Conference Tackles Global Health Partnerships

Global health partnerships between pharmaceutical companies and NGOs and the realities of selling medicines across borders were among the myriad topics discussed during the 34th annual Whitney M. Young Jr. Memorial Conference held last November and December in Philadelphia.

Student and corporate attendees also addressed the state of private equity and how credit market turmoil may affect minorities in private equity to raise capital, building a business from the ground up, and what it takes for African American candidates to climb to the top of the corporate ladder in today’s increasingly competitive business environment, among other subjects.

The Whitney Young Conference began as a lecture series in 1973 and has evolved into an annual three-day event consisting of a career fair, panel discussions, workshops and receptions, all produced and administered by the African American MBA Association, a Wharton student-run organization.

Prof. Bradlow Becomes Editor of Marketing Science

Marketing professor Eric Bradlow, the K.P. Chao Professor and Academic Director of the Wharton Small Business Development Center, became the editor of the leading marketing journal Marketing Science this January. Bradlow, who has been widely published in leading marketing journals and is a fellow of the American Statistical Association, is also a statistical fellow of Bell Labs and was named DuPont Corporation’s best young researcher while working there in 1992. An applied statistician, Bradlow uses high-powered statistical models to solve problems on everything from Internet search engines to product assortment issues.

Wharton Women in Business Conference

Tracy Shanbrun Lerner, W’81, has worked until the day she delivered each of her four children and immediately after their births. So it’s not surprising that the founding partner of Chesapeake Partners L.P., a Baltimore-based hedge fund, has delegated the food shopping. But Lerner also eats breakfast and dinner each day with her kids and her husband Mark, W’80/ C’80, and has never missed a play, concert or parent/teacher conference.

Lerner shared her wisdom on balancing a hectic career and family life at the 29th Wharton Women in Business Conference, held last fall in Philadelphia. A keynote speaker at the conference with Travelocity president and CEO Michelle Peluso, W’93, Lerner urged conference attendees to pursue their passions and prioritize what’s most important to them. She also offered some of the helpful details that have allowed her to be present at home and at work, such as packing her children’s lunch boxes in the morning while talking to her traders to agree on the day’s strategy. WWIB conference panels and workshops also addressed entrepreneurship, globalization, non-profit and socially responsible career alternatives, technological advancements and women and Wall Street, as well as negotiating to win and managing personal finances.

Conference organizers also awarded the WWIB Kathleen McDonald Distinguished Alumna Award to Eileen Naughton, WG’87, Google’s director of media platforms. Naughton develops and executes crossplatform solutions for sales, marketing and operations across Google’s nonsearch businesses, including Google’s content network and YouTube, and its newer efforts in audio, mobile, print and TV.

Alumni Gift for Entrepreneur in Residence Program

In recognition of a generous gift from Robert Haft, W’74, Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs has re-named its popular Entrepreneur in Residence program the “Robert Haft Entrepreneur in Residence Fall Series.” At the same time, the Robert Haft Entrepreneur in Residence Fall Series has announced another semester of one on one sessions with the founders of successful growth firms. This year the program includes entrepreneurs such as David Brailer, PhD’92, of Health Evolution Partners, Joel Cantor, WG’89, of Cantor Development and Jeff Fluhr, W’95, of StubHub. Entrepreneurs in Residence meet with students for 30-minute sessions at which time a student can discuss ideas, opinions, and strategies for potential or actual business ventures.

The State of Business Journalism

Consolidation, cutbacks and competition from the web — these are the realities facing journalists from all over the world. Thirty nine business journalists attending last fall’s 39th annual Wharton Seminars for Business Journalists came together to discuss these and other issues, including the impact of blogs and citizen journalism, how global expansion has affected the standards of news organizations and whether a place remains for labor intensive investigative reporting in today’s age of shrinking budgets.

Media outlets in attendance included CNN, Marketplace, Les Echos, CNBC, Financial Times, Nikkei, New York Times, Nightly Business Report, Reuters and the Associated Press. The seminars were sponsored by more than 20 companies and organizations such as Alcoa, Cephalon, Freddie Mac, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, NASDAQ, the National Press Foundation, Novo Nordisk, Southwest Airlines, Tyco International and Verizon.

Prof. Mitchell Wins Two Awards

Olivia S. Mitchell, the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans Professor, is the 2007 recipient of the Carolyn Shaw Bell Award. The award is given each year by the American Economics Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession (CSWEP) to an individual who has “furthered the status of women in the economics profession, through increasing our understanding of how women can advance in the economics profession and the mentoring of others.”

In addition to her participation in committees and task forces related to women in business, Mitchell’s influence as a mentor “has extended itself beyond her own students; she has given many her attention willingly and with enthusiasm,” CSWEP officials wrote in announcing the award. Mitchell also won the 2007 Pyramid Prize, with colleague Annamaria Lusardi of Dartmouth College. The $50,000 award was given for Mitchell and Lusardi’s article

“Baby Boomer retirement security: The roles of planning, financial literacy, and housing wealth,” which was published in the Journal of Monetary Economics. The Fidelity Research Institute Pyramid Prize is given yearly to the author of published research the Institute believes best helps improve the lifelong financial wellbeing of Americans.

WRDS Conference Hosts Over 120 Participants

More than 120 Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) users visited Wharton’s Philadelphia campus in early October for the Second Annual WRDS Users Conference. The Wharton-developed WRDS program provides researchers worldwide with instant access to 12 terabytes of financial, economic and marketing data through a uniform, web-based interface. The WRDS community today includes more than 200 organizations such as the business schools of Stanford and Harvard, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Prof. Shropshire Named Top Sports Educator

The Institute for International Sport recently named Professor Kenneth Shropshire, director of the Wharton Sports Business Initiative, one of the “100 Most Influential Sports Educators in America.” Shropshire is the author of several award-winning books such as The Business of Sports, The Business of Sports Agents, The Sports Franchise Game, In Black and White, Sports and the Law, Basketball Jones, and most recently, Being Sugar Ray: The Life of Sugar Ray Robinson, America’s Greatest Boxer and Celebrity Athlete. The Wharton Sports Business Initiative recently hosted 36 NFL athletes, including Drew Brees, Ahman Green, Takeo Spikes and Troy Vincent, in a business program to assist athletes in transitioning into the business world.

Profs. Bradlow and Fader Win Marketing Awards

Professors Eric Bradlow and Peter Fader, with PhD student Sam Hui and Herb Sorensen of TNS-Sorensen, won the EXPLOR Award in September at the American Marketing Association Marketing Research Conference. The award recognizes exemplary performance and leadership in online research, and it highlights innovative applications in online research and the most innovative uses of technology in applications that advance research, online or otherwise. At the same conference, Peter Fader also won the David K. Hardin Award for an article published in Marketing Research magazine that was chosen as best of the year by the magazine’s editor and a committee selected by the editor.

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