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Lally School of Management & Technology at Rensselaer Launches New Innovation Dialogue Series

September 2, 2009

Lally School of Management & Technology at Rensselaer Launches New Innovation Dialogue Series

This year, the Lally School of Management & Technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will host a weekly dialogue series exploring new and emerging ideas in the world of management and business. The series will focus on “Doing Business in an Era of Significant Change” and will showcase innovation in diverse fields, including finance, technology commercialization, energy, information technology, healthcare, publishing, and ethics. 

Marshall N. Carter, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange

Kicking off the series on Wednesday, September 2, is the Jerome S. Reinert ’56 Visiting Executive Lecture by Marshall N. Carter, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Group and deputy chairman of the parent company NYSE Euronext. Carter shared  his thoughts on “Navigating a Perfect Storm — Regaining Our Bearings After the Global Financial Crisis” in the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) theater.

During the lecture, Carter covered a range of topics including the current state of the U.S. and global economies, how the crisis will shift the way our financial markets and institutions do business, and the specific responsibilities of leaders at all levels and in all industries.

“A year or so ago, none of us would have imagined the events that have unfolded in our financial system,” Carter said. “The impact has been felt throughout America and globally. We are not completely safe, and there is still potential for harm to our financial system and economy, which has experienced a great loss in value and in confidence in the financial services industry.”

Carter noted that this crisis will force a transformation in the way our financial markets and institutions do business, as well as likely alter the familiar roles of the Federal Reserve and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “There has to be a philosophy of ethical behavior that comes from executives operating in a professional and ethical way,” he said. “Leaders at all levels and in all industries, not just CEOs, have specific responsibilities that encompass the ethical and legal aspects of their jobs. Additionally, business leaders have economic responsibilities. They are expected to make decisions based on balancing the demands of all three.”  

Carter was chairman of the Board of Directors of NYSE Group for two years prior to the merger with Euronext. He has served as a director of the NYSE since November 2003. Before joining the NYSE, Carter also served as Chairman and CEO of State Street Bank. Prior to joining State Street, he held several positions related to finance, operations, and the global securities businesses at Chase Manhattan Bank. Most recently, he served as a lecturer in leadership and management at the Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Carter is a former Marine Corps officer who was awarded the Navy Cross and Purple Heart during two years service as an infantry officer in Vietnam. He also served from 1975-76 as a White House Fellow at the State Department and Agency for International Development. He holds a holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; a master’s degree in operations research and systems analysis from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California ; and a master’s in science, technology, and public policy from George Washington University, which he attended on the GI Bill. In 2006, Carter was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Role of the Business School in the Future of Finance
So exactly what role does the business school of the oldest technological university in the U.S. expect to play when it comes to understanding the interrelationships of the world’s financial markets and the industry as a whole?

According to David Gautschi, dean of the Lally School, business schools in universities are tasked to advance understanding of enterprise, markets, and how they interact.

“This can only be accomplished by acknowledging a relevant context. The events of the past 12 months certainly demonstrate that political decisions or political indecision, technological progress in computing and communications, demographic shifts in terms of the needs of society, and generally held assumptions and expectations about how the world works all conspire to influence enterprise development and the function of markets,” said Gautschi. “Finance and financial markets, especially in the American experience, have contributed to remarkable economic expansion, opening opportunities for enterprise and market development. The financial crisis of 2008, however, has demonstrated how poorly U.S. financial institutions have served not just the country but an interconnected global economy.”

“By themselves U.S. financial institutions accumulated over $4 trillion of losses, inducing or exacerbating a contraction in industrial production and staggering increases in unemployment. Business schools in universities have the clear and collective responsibility to assure that the coming generations of executives and financial decision makers understand not only the fundamentals of finance, but the responsibilities that are inherent in the practice of finance.” 

In April, the Lally School launched its International Center for Financial Research (ICFR) and announced a new master’s degree track in Financial Engineering and Risk Analytics (FERA). The program capitalizes on Rensselaer’s signature strengths, and is a collaboration between Lally’s finance faculty and departments across campus including computer science, applied mathematics, decision sciences and engineering systems, and economics. 

“It is crucial for business leaders to have an exposure to and understanding of finance and risk management even if their business is not in finance.” said Iftekhar Hasan, the Cary L. Wellington Professor of Finance at Rensselaer, and editor of the Journal of Financial Stability, a publication dedicated to understanding the elements of financial crises. “They need this exposure and an agility to respond to financial downturns. We hope to take advantage of the lessons learned from the current crisis to ensure that our future graduates possess the necessary skills they will need as the market recovers. Rensselaer hopes to be the engine of training the next generation of leaders in finance.”

For more information and the program schedule for the Lally School 2009-2010, visit: http://www.lallyschool.rpi.edu/Members/nashj2/events-lally/innovation-event-series.

Contact: Jessica Otitigbe
Phone: (518) 276-6050
E-mail: otitij@rpi.edu

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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,600 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.