Database and Partnership with Moody's Give Isenberg a Competitive Edge

August 13, 2013

A new partnership between Isenberg's finance department and Moody's Corporation will bring the School, its faculty, and students a wealth of strategic resources. Through Moody's generosity, Isenberg has received three years of valued access to the company's suite of data bases, which cover the entire waterfront of credit-focused data involving economies, companies, countries, municipalities, and other entities.  In addition, the partnership will include support for a year-long seminar featuring key speakers in the finance industry and academe. And it will introduce students first-hand to Moody's and the credit ratings industry through semiannual student visits to the company's headquarters in New York City.


"This gift exemplifies our desire to give our students and faculty access to some of the best tools available to further the educational and research environment at Isenberg," observes the school's dean, Mark A. Fuller. "We're tremendously excited about this collaboration, which furthers our ability to offer a world-class business school experience.


"The Moody's database will allow tremendous synergy in its usage with twelve Bloomberg Terminals that we received earlier this year from Babson Capital, a subsidiary of Mass Mutual," observes Finance Department Chairman, Sanjay Nawalkha. "The credit area tends to be much more opaque than the equity area, so our ability to access real time information from Bloomberg and analyze it using Moody's most comprehensive historical data sets will give our undergraduates and MBA students a distinct edge over competing finance students from other business schools in the New England region," he adds. 


"It is an excellent fit for our faculty, who have widely published research interests that examine the role of credit in default risks, fixed income investments, and bankruptcies," notes Mila Sherman, an associate professor of finance at Isenberg who helped secure the partnership and whose own current research involves credit contagion. Isenberg's Center for International Securities and Derivatives Markets (CISDM), she continues, frequently explores credit in the field of alternative investments.  "And our graduate student researchers and top undergraduates will gain added access to the database through faculty and faculty-guided research," she adds.


With the gift, Isenberg joins an elite circle of top finance programs with full-subscription access to the service. "The partnership will also establish the Moody's Finance Seminar, which will bring 25 influential speakers from industry and academe to Isenberg each year. The research seminar, which will allow students and faculty and students to interact with leading innovators and practitioners, will explore recent developments and best practices in credit risk, ratings, structured products, financial institutions, sovereign risk, and municipal markets.


Isenberg students will gain further industry immersion through twice-yearly visits to  Moody's headquarters in Manhattan,  where, hosted by the firm,  they will learn industry history and state-of-the-art practices first hand. "We plan to bring 50 of our top students to Moody's each semester," notes Sherman. "We expect that they will gain a deeper appreciation of the importance of ratings in capital markets and that the Isenberg-Moody's partnership will continue to grow in value."