2022 was a dramatic year for the financial services industry. The S&P 500 closed the year down nearly 20%. Mortgage rates have doubled since January 2022. These historic moments beg the question: what comes next?
Students at the Fox School can look to the Fischer-Shain Center for Financial Services for guidance on how industry professionals are navigating these situations. Created in 2019, the Fischer-Shain Center helps connect students at the Fox School with regional and national financial industry firms and professionals. By creating a space for dialogue and facilitating relationships, the center offers students insight into experiences they’ll have one day in the industry.
The research center was established with the generous support of John Shain, BBA ’73, who currently serves as the president of Automated Financial Systems, Inc. Philip English, research associate professor of finance, and Samuel Rosen, assistant professor of finance, both serve as research directors at the center.
“Finance is a fundamental part of our society,” says Rosen. “We wanted more students involved in the financial services industries. So, we reached out to banks, financial analysts and bankers because we wanted the professionals to connect with our students whose aim is to work with smart, motivated people in an industry that isn’t going anywhere.”
In late 2022, the center hosted a conference where students, academics and industry professionals were invited together to learn from each other.
“We are on our way to creating academic programming across the whole Philadelphia region for the banking industry,” Rosen shared as part of his opening remarks. “It’s a long time coming.”
Researchers in academia from Villanova University, University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, as well as professionals from local banks and financial institutions, were invited to the event.
“We had finance professionals from the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve banks of Philadelphia, New York and Atlanta,” explains Rosen. “We were shooting for a lot of engagement on the collegiate level.”
Researchers presented insights on topics relevant to the financial services industry, such as commercial lending, mortgage supply and loan convention violations. Professionals offered their own critiques, after which the floor was open for an audience Q&A.
Rosen says that the conference was a huge success and embodied the center’s values.
“The center stands on three legs,” explains Rosen. “One, we want to get more students involved [in the financial services industry]. Two, since the center is an academic institution, we want to introduce research that is topical and beneficial to society. And three, we want to connect—connect students interested in finance to leading professionals and connect interesting research happening in academia with the finance industry.”
The conference was just one of the fall events organized with the support of the Department of Finance.
“We have continued our Finance Seminar Series, where we invite faculty from across the world to discuss their research and hot topics in the industry,” explains Rosen. “We are also excited that four finance undergraduate students recently received grant funding from the Charles Schwab Foundation to participate in the 2022 IMPACT conference in Denver.”
This year, Rosen is hopeful that the center and the department will continue to host events that bring together students, researchers and professionals.