Our Establishment of AltFinance


Why Wharton created a groundbreaking partnership to support America’s HBCUs

Altfinance New Logo

Shared Mission

Wharton’s shared mission with AltFinance is to increase diverse representation in the alternative investment industry by providing HBCU communities with access to specialized curricula and sustainable financial support.


Who We Serve

Together, we are creating opportunities for highly-motivated HBCU students to access the education, exposure, and experiences needed to succeed in the alternative investment industry.

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, 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 business students who attend Wharton’s HBCU partner schools 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.

Erika James, Dean of the Wharton School

“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 the students who participate. 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 students 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.

Card Back Card Front