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International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans: Investment Courses

Program Overview

Recognizing the complexity of effective investment portfolio management, Wharton and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans together are offering courses to help investment and benefits professionals more strategically manage risk and their organization’s investment portfolios.

Four programs are offered on a rotating basis at either Wharton’s Philadelphia or San Francisco campuses. These programs are designed to broaden your understanding of the markets and your fiduciary responsibilities, strengthen your portfolio oversight, and provide the knowledge and tools to make more informed investment decisions.

Read more about the Experience & Impact »

Program Highlights & Benefits

  • Learn the core concepts and tools needed for effective portfolio oversight
  • Obtain a solid grounding in the principles of modern portfolio theory
  • Enhance your ability to assess the strategic impact of the moves of your competitors and how to maintain competitive advantage
  • Learn the intricacies of alternate investment strategies, from real estate and hedge funds to private equity  

Contact Us

To learn more about these programs, visit the International Foundation website or contact: Tiffany Ulbing, at +1.262.373.7652 or via email.

For further information regarding the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) designation, please contact +1.262.786.6710, option 3.


Still considering your options? View programs within Industry Associations or use our Program Finder.

Experience & Impact

Wharton faculty — led by Jeffrey Jaffe, PhD, an expert on corporate finance, investments, and money management — will apply their field-based research and the latest strategic insights to give you a strong foundation, theory, and practical application of investment management.

Each program offered is an independent unit that may be completed in any sequence, although we strongly encourage individuals with little investment programs experience to complete the Portfolio Concepts and Management program as a foundation prior to attending others.

Portfolio Concepts and Management

Through lectures, exercises, and participation in an interactive case study, you will examine the latest thinking in portfolio investment and grow your confidence in your ability to evaluate investments with a broad, fundamental understanding of investment products and practices.

Overall, you will:

  • Learn the fundamental concepts needed for effective portfolio oversight.
  • Obtain a solid grounding in the principles of modern portfolio theory.
  • Gain practical experience needed to make sound investment management decisions.
  • Apply what you have learned in an interactive case study.

Advanced Investments Management

This program is for those who have a solid grasp of investment management fundamentals and seek to learn more, or have taken the Portfolio Concepts and Management program and are looking for the “next step.” It is assumed participants will already understand the basic principles of portfolio theory, performance evaluation, and risk/return.

Overall, you will:

  • Engage in a thorough and rigorous program that builds on participants’ existing knowledge base and experience.
  • Learn the latest trends in performance analysis and management.
  • Discuss advanced asset allocation topics.
  • Apply what you have learned in an interactive case study.

Who Should Attend

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans: Investment Courses is designed for International Foundation member trustees and other benefit professionals with varying levels of knowledge and experience, including administrators and staff, human resources and benefits professionals, corporate officers and executives, and finance personnel and investment managers. The courses also attract investment professionals and multiemployer and public plan trustees in both the U.S. and Canada.  

Participants leave the program with an expanded peer network, plus specific tools and frameworks they can use to be more effective administrators and investment managers. They also gain new insight into the global marketplace and how it impacts their funds’ investment strategy.


Jeffrey F. Jaffe, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Academic Director

Associate Professor of Finance, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Corporate finance, investments, money management, and the effects of information on the behavior of security prices

A. Craig MacKinley, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Joseph P. Wargrove Professor of Finance, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Asset pricing models, behavior of futures prices, econometric modeling, stock market behavior

Christopher Geczy, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Adjunct Professor of Finance; Academic Director, Wharton Wealth Management Initiative; Academic Director, Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research, The Wharton School

Todd Sinai, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Professor of Real Estate and Business Economics and Public Policy, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Commercial real estate and real estate investment trusts, real estate and public economics, risk and pricing in housing markets, taxation of real estate and capital gains


The Foundation and Wharton continue to provide a stellar investment program. The curriculum and faculty present real-world information that I can take home and apply immediately. There is no doubt I will be a better trustee because of it.”

Michael Brown

Board Chairman, Municipal Employees’ Retirement System of Michigan

An incredibly deep dive into emerging markets that broadened not only my understanding of the markets but my fiduciary responsibilities.”

James Rossler Jr.

Trustee, Ohio School Employees Retirement System

Thought-provoking, mind-expanding yet understandable teaching from these professors who are very knowledgeable and experts in their fields. I will continue onward in the Wharton pathway of education for the board trustees.”

Barbara M. Phillips

School Bus Driver, Ashland City Schools and Board Trustee, Ohio’s School Employee Retirement System

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