(May 30, 2014) – Despite thousands of students graduating
each year in economics, maths and other financially useful topics, alumni from
one US Ivy League university have dominated global fund management staff
rosters since the 1960s, according to research from eVestment.
While Harvard has produced financial grandees such as Goldman
Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, JP Morgan Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, and Blackstone
founder Steve Schwarzman— not to mention bestowing an MBA on hedge fund supremo
Ray Dalio of Bridgewater—it does not take the top spot of feeder universities
to fund management.
And Yale, with its model
endowment portfolio and impressive alumni—also
including Blackstone’s Schwarzman, this time for his BA—is remarkably mostly absent
from even the top ten list.
In fact, when taking the total number of graduates to move
into asset management—in various areas of the business—in any graduation year,
the University of Pennsylvania has overwhelmingly taken the top spot over the
past five decades.
Across a time frame of 1960 to 2014, eVestment bunched cohorts
from four graduation years together and found that out of these 11 groups,
seven of them were topped by Pennsylvania graduates who led the charge into
fund management jobs.
Harvard graduates topped the pile in 1970-74, but were found
in second place in six of the cohort groups, slipping down to the fourth spot
in the 2010-2014 category.
Yale alumni topped the industry feeder list just once—1960-1964—then
failed to appear in the top ten institutions again, save for a sixth place in
of Pennsylvania boasts a handful of former students who have become prominent
in the financial world, including Donald Trump, Steven Cohen, founder of SAC
Capital Advisors, and Robert Kapito, president of BlackRock. Perhaps most
notably Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, attended for two years
before quitting his studies for the University of Nebraska.
John Bogle, the founder and retired CEO of The Vanguard
Group and C. Robert Henrikson, chairman, president, and CEO of MetLife, also all call
Pennsylvania their alma mater.
Its endowment seems to be doing well, lately too: it rose 16.5%
from $9.69 billion to $11.29 billion in the fiscal year 2012-2013, thanks to
investment returns and donations, according to its annual
And this domination is not just a local phenomenon. Due to
the size of the US—and its education system—the country’s graduates have moved
around the world and run money for international asset managers. However, they do
not control the whole system.
In terms of strategy, Pennsylvania alumni are the most common
graduates running portfolios of US equities, US fixed income, and global and
Oxford University graduates dominate European and UK equity
portfolios and Asia-Pacific strategies. European and UK fixed income teams are
most often run by University of London graduates.
Australian universities make a good showing in Asia-Pacific
fixed income, where graduates from New South Wales take the top spot.
The only non-Ivy League university to appear in any top spot
of eVestment’s research is the University of Chicago, the alumni of which dominate
in global fixed income.
does rule the roost of one set of investment teams, however: Hedge funds.
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