If ever there were a time to launch a new degree on risk management, one might guess this is it.

While the derivatives industry constantly talks about risk management in the financial markets and in trading operations, Chicago-based DePaul University’s Fred Arditti Center for Risk Management sees a broader opportunity. The school is offering a new “Enterprise Risk Management” (ERM) masters degree this fall. It also is featuring another undergraduate program, in actuarial science, that emphasizes risk management tools. Both programs will focus on a broad spectrum of risk that affects companies in the financial markets and those outside this sector.

“When we look at financial risk today, we think of market risk,” said Carl Luft, academic director at DePaul’s Arditti Center. “And its easier to deal with those risks in liquid markets. But there are many other risks, from operational risks, cyber and systems risks, regulatory risks.”

In short, risk management is a growing part of every company and these programs aim to help provide strategic risk management tools. The courses will integrate instructors from other university departments such as: finance, computer sciences, digital media and DePaul’s law school.

“As we see there is a broader demand for enterprise risk management, we want to bridge that gap between the academic and the industry,” said Alex Perry, of DePaul University’s Arditti Center.

The general idea is that companies will better navigate in their industries if they have a more holistic understanding of the risks they face and often handle in a fragmented way. For example, currency trading and treasury operations deal with market risk while cyber security is focused on protecting business information or customer information, while the general counsel is looking at regulatory risk. Companies that can pull all of those risks into one model and devise a strategy to deal with it will thrive in the coming years, said DePaul’s program designers.

To bolster interest in the program, DePaul is offering two $15,000 research grants for research in the risk management field. Two grants are open to anyone, student or non-student. The deadline for applications is February 15. Awards will be announced this spring.

For more information, email: arditti@depaul.edu. Full grant guidelines can be found at: http://go.depaul.edu/arditti.



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