THE WHARTON WAY
Our Establishment of AltFinance
HOW WE COLLABORATE ACROSS DISCIPLINES AND DIVIDES
Why Wharton created a groundbreaking partnership to support America’s HBCUs
What We Will Accomplish Together
We are investing in the promise of alternative finance to bring diversity to the financial industry. To achieve this goal, Wharton partnered with Apollo Global Management, Ares Management, and Oaktree Capital Management to launch the $90 million AltFinance: Investing in Black Futures™, an initiative that will fund recruiting, training, and career opportunities at three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) over the next ten years.
Through Wharton, this consortium of finance companies established a non-profit, the AltFinance Corporation, to administer the program, with $3 million from each company pledged annually. This initiative is the first of its kind for the alternative finance industry.
We are making the resources and expertise of America’s oldest collegiate business school accessible to promising and talented Black business students by introducing them to the emerging and influential alternative finance industry.
How We Will Contribute
Our role with AltFinance is to take on the educational component of the initiative; this is why the School is creating a virtual institute open to interested students at all HBCUs, providing coursework and educational tools developed by top professors and finance professionals.
Offered to full-time students enrolled in degree programs at their HBCUs, the coursework is non-credit and not part of a degree program but rather a supplement to their learning journey. Wharton is already at the forefront of alternative finance research, primarily through the Harris Family Alternative Investments Program, and we remain committed to carving pathways in the field on behalf of new and emerging audiences.
We provide extensive opportunities for pre-collegiate students with non-credit educational enhancement programs in finance through our Wharton Global Youth Program; and, as it happens, Global Youth’s Executive Director, Eli Lesser, will also oversee the development of the AltFinance virtual institute.
Professor Serguei Netessine, one of our Vice-Deans, is also helping us bring this project to life with one of our Wharton alums, Mark Rowan, who is Apollo Global Management’s co-founder and CEO. Mark’s firm, like many in the industry, experienced difficulties recruiting minority candidates. This lack of diverse representation is one of main factors that inspired Mark, Wharton, and AltFinance’s other partners to spring into action.
“We are proud to play an important role in the creation of AltFinance which, through its efforts to support HBCUs, will make an immediate and positive difference for students of color. As the country’s largest business school, with a reach from pre-college students to C-suite executives, it is Wharton’s privilege to offer our world-class faculty and resources to those who are so deserving.”
— Erika H. James
Dean, The Wharton School
Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise
Professor of Management
What We Will Achieve
Increasing opportunities for historically underrepresented minorities at the highest levels of business management and corporate governance is key to creativity, growth, and access in finance. Wharton is committed to the support of HBCUs by equipping their students with knowledge, resources, and employment opportunities to ensure they can succeed and thrive professionally.