The World Bank – Milken Institute Public Financial Asset Management Program at Bayes Business School (formerly Cass) equips leaders in public asset management with a deep understanding of capital markets together with a governance framework and the strategic tools to invest national resources for long-term prosperity and the wealth of future generations. The program provides a mix of: rigorous accredited coursework at the Bayes Business School; lectures and hands-on workshops with leading international practitioners; and professional work placements with world-class investment management firms. This is combined with first-hand immersion in London’s world-class financial center, and lifelong membership of a global alumni network. Participants complete the program with a Postgraduate Diploma, and also have the option of converting the Diploma to a full MSc by completing a 60-credit work-based project module with Bayes Business School, for a fee. This module can be completed online within six months of graduating from the program.
This program is modeled on the highly successful IFC-Milken Institute Capital Markets Program at the George Washington University, now in its eighth year, which has so far trained over 180 capital-market regulators, central bankers, ministry of finance and other public officials across more than 45 countries. Graduates of both programs have the opportunity to interact with each other and a wide range of business leaders and policymakers, and to be recognized as key players in the global capital-market ecosystem.
Week-long “bootcamp” covering foundational skills and knowledge (starting Sept 18, 2023)
Semester of tailored coursework at Bayes Business School (formerly Cass), resulting in award of a Postgraduate Diploma (Sept 2023 through Feb 2024)
Speaker Series with industry leaders and CIOs of investment funds
Applied workshops with The World Bank Treasury practitioners
MID-SEPTEMBER, 2023 – MID-FEBRUARY, 2024
Internships with world-class investment management firms
Leadership development workshops (negotiations, management, etc.)
Policy expertise and networking opportunities with London’s wealth management marketplace
MID-FEBRUARY, 2024 – MID-JUNE, 2024
Alumni Engagement & Continued Learning
Opportunity to convert Postgraduate Diploma into a full MSc for a fee, by completing a work-based project module online within six months of graduation
Engagement and networking with a global network of capital market practitioners, and public asset managers spanning from 40+ developing and emerging markets
MID-JUNE, 2024 ONWARDS
The start of classes is preceded by a week-long bootcamp, which will provide participants with foundational skills and knowledge to support their learning and give them the opportunity to network with their cohort. The coursework then lasts four months and is comprised of weekly lectures, action learning sessions, online activities and independent learning. Taught by Bayes Business School faculty, this portion of the program includes four core modules, each worth 30 credits:
- Global macro-economy and sovereign wealth management
- Risk Management and Quantitative Techniques for Public Asset Owners
- Financial Markets, Instruments and Institutions
- Portfolio Management for Public Asset Owners
Successful completion of these four modules results in the award of a Postgraduate Diploma. In addition, participants also have the option of converting the Postgraduate Diploma to a full MSc by completing a 60-credit work-based project module with Bayes Business School, for a fee. This module can be completed online within six months of graduating from the program.
Applied Workshops & Speaker Series
Supplementary hands-on modules further prepare participants for the realities of managing national wealth and reserves. Modules include:
- Weekly The World Bank-Milken Institute Speaker Series, delivered by prominent guest practitioners from public and private sectors to cover topics such as governance, strategic asset allocation, risk and performance management, and infrastructure financing, among others
- Series of applied technical workshops delivered by World Bank Treasury specialists
- Review of case-studies and group exercises focused on governance and policy, with Central Bankers, SWF and Pension Fund CIOs
- Workshops in leadership and professional development delivered after completion of the coursework and before the start of internships
Following the completion of the core courses, Scholars spend 4 additional months putting what they have learned into practice across world-class investment management firms. Internships are hosted across a range of institutions, including:
- Hedge funds & asset managers
- Investment management firms more broadly
- Public pension funds
- Development Finance Institutions
Upon graduating, participants have opportunities to interact with an international alumni network of policymakers and market practitioners. Engagement includes:
- Online alumni portal
- Group work and continued learning
- Publication opportunities
- Access to policy roundtables and bespoke events throughout the year
Academic Learning Objectives
The academic coursework is delivered in an intensive full-time format, integrating both classroom learning and independent and group-based study, exposing participants to globally relevant content which is designed to develop skills as leaders in public asset management and enable participants to demonstrate both strong personal skills and sound technical knowledge.
On successful completion of the academic portion of the program, participants will be expected to have acquired the following tools, which they will then put into further practice during their internships:
Knowledge and understanding:
- Analyze the wider context in which public asset management decisions are made, such as macroeconomic policies (fiscal, monetary, exchange rate) and international capital markets
- Use foreign exchange reserves in the context of sovereign investing taking into account changing demographics.
- Assess financial risk using a range of risk management models
- Evaluate and price financial instruments such as fixed income securities (including sovereign debt), equities and structured products
- Differentiate between traditional (equities and bonds) and alternative asset classes such as infrastructure, real estate and private equity
- Explain the key theories and concepts underlying traditional and contemporary asset management techniques.
- Solve asset allocation problems with long term investors and social development in mind
- Evaluate portfolio performance
- Appraise environmental, social and governance issues in decision making
- Select and apply the most appropriate quantitative tools to facilitate effective risk management for public asset owners.
- Assess the role of corporate governance in public asset management
- Evaluate global economic and financial market conditions
- Research and analyze financial and macroeconomic data
- Develop and improve report writing and presentation skills
- Successfully analyze and manage risk in relation to asset management decision making
- Critically analyze and form investment decisions
- Devise, implement and monitor an investment plan
- Apply analytical problem-solving strategies and risk management techniques
- Work effectively in a cross-cultural team
- Demonstrate decision making skills
Values and attitudes:
- Integrate ethics and responsibility in asset management process as investment decisions made have implications on both return and risk of public asset owners
- Demonstrate awareness of ethical issues associated with lack of transparency of sovereign wealth funds
- Reflect on the impact of economic policy on wider society
- Value a combination of quantitative analysis and personal judgement to assess risks and make investment decisions
- Show honesty and integrity in their professional work
- Assess the impact of different cultures and values on asset management and the acceptance of financial risk
Employers may nominate and encourage application up to 5 motivated individuals within each organization, who are mid-career and have the potential to contribute effectively to public investment management and governance upon return.
The application process is highly competitive where the admissions committee may select 1-3 qualified participants from each country, based on the strength of their applications and interviews.
Selected candidates will spend nine months in the program consisting of two consecutive parts: academic coursework in London and workplace training in the UK’s financial industry.
Participants will receive a postgraduate diploma accredited by Bayes Business School upon successful completion of the academic coursework.
For an additional fee after completion of the program, participants also have the option of undertaking an online dissertation that can convert the Postgraduate Diploma into a full MSc degree accredited by Bayes Business School.
To be eligible to participate in the program, selected candidates must be paid by their employer their regular salary and benefits during the nine-month period. Employers are also expected to help participants cover their living expenses for the first part of the program, as well as tuition (unless the candidates qualify for a WB-MI tuition scholarship).
Participants are expected to return to their current employment for at least two years after completion of the program, with a clear path for career progression and with a view to contributing effectively to the operations of the organization, and further development of local public investment management practices.
Applications for our second program cohort (beginning coursework in September 2023 and finishing internships in June 2024) are open until April 15, 2023. Requirements for the application to the program are listed below:
- English language test (time-sensitive, participants should make sure to schedule the test as early as possible):
- In order to meet UK Home Office / Student visa requirements, and as further detailed here on the Bayes Business School website, a candidate must be a citizen of or have studied a university degree in one of the countries listed here in order to be exempt from an English language test.
- All other candidates are required to present a valid approved English language test. Please note that if you have taken such a test in the past, the test has a validity of two years – if your test was taken before 1 June 2021, we will require a new test.
- Minimum test scores for this program are as follows: The required IELTS Academic score is 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in Writing (note that the test must be taken at an in-person testing center and the IELTS Indicator is not accepted); the required For the IELTS in-person test (note that the on-line version is expected to be launched in spring) scores required are 6.5 overall with 6 in writing section and no less than 5.5 in any other section; and for the TOEFL test( both in-person and on-line accepted) scores required are no less than 92 overall with no less than 22 in writing.
- Statement of Purpose (maximum 500 words)- the admissions committee will want to hear about your background, your personal and career objectives, and your motivations for participating in the program
- Academic transcripts from all past universities, in English or with translation (note: this should include details on classes taken and grades obtained; university diplomas are not sufficient)
- Resume/CV (including education and employment history, in English)
- 2-3 letters of reference from current/previous employers and/or professors.
- Analytical essay (maximum 600 words/ 4,000 characters)– Please answer ONE of the three questions below:
- Question 1: Countries are exposed to a wide range of global macroeconomic challenges and uncertainties, both cyclical and structural in nature. When managing a multi-asset portfolio, how would you hedge against and /or take advantage of these challenges? Are there any country-specific attributes that might influence this decision?
- Question 2: How should asset managers think about diversification and risk management? Compare and contrast the perspective of two or more of these actors: a public pension fund, a sovereign wealth fund, and a central bank?
- Question 3: You manage a sovereign wealth fund that is funded by natural resource wealth. How might you think about your macroeconomic, fiscal, and inter-generational responsibilities in terms of managing this wealth? What investment criteria/hurdle rates might you use, and how would you translate that into a broad asset allocation strategy?
Participants can submit their application online at this link.
Once applications have been received, the PFAM program team will review the files considering a wide range of criteria, including the depth and breadth of professional work experience, academic performance, references and quality of written materials.
Interviews will then be scheduled through Skype / Zoom with a shortlist of candidates. Final admissions decisions for the September 2023 intake will be made by mid-June 2023.