PHILADELPHIA, PA, February 27, 2012 — Next week nearly 800 executives in the financial services industry will join more than 40 Wharton School faculty members on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania for the 60th annual Securities Industry Institute (SII). A one-week executive education program that brings together financial leaders and leading academics to examine current industry practices, improve leadership skills and debate ideas for the future, SII is the result of a six-decade long relationship between the Wharton School's Aresty Institute of Executive Education and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA).
"SII is the longest continuous executive education program in the United States, maybe even the world," said Jeremy J. Siegel, Wharton Professor of Finance and Academic Director of the Securities Industry Institute. "This is a real joining of theory and practice that's beneficial for both groups."
This year a record number of participants will partake in workshops and lectures on investment knowledge, industry knowledge and professional skills development organized around the themes of technology, social media and global market changes. The Wharton executive education program will include a 60th-anniversary celebration featuring a look back at SII through the years and decade-themed food, music and live entertainment. "For 60 years, SII has stood for world-class teaching and an industry commitment to develop leaders who stand for integrity and a sense of responsibility to the public," said Michael Zuccarello, Chairman of the Securities Industry Institute Board of Trustees. "I've been part of SII since 1998 — as a presenter, a participant, a class representative and a trustee—and what I love most is when participants tell me SII was a career-changing experience. For me, Wharton in March is electric."
Launched back in June 1952, SII began as a seminar-based gathering of the Independent Bank Association (IBA) and Wharton professors. Despite concerns about the value of a joint meeting between banks and academics, 112 men attended the one-week event, which was largely focused on hot stock presentations. With no hotels nearby the university, participants stayed in un-air-conditioned dormitories and experienced record heat and relentless bugs. Though they expressed initial wariness and suffered many inconveniences, the meeting was a hit. In the 1960s, interest was so strong that enrollment had to be capped at 400. By 1973, the Securities Industry Association took over IBA, which eventually transformed into SIFMA and gave the program its current name. Today, SII is a three-year, workshop-based program recognized as the premier training ground for the financial services industry's rising stars and future CEOs.
"The SII is important because it represents a genuine opportunity for participants to step back and invest in their human capital, and that is, frankly, very rare," said Christopher Geczy, Wharton Adjunct Associate Professor of Finance and Academic Director, Wharton Wealth Management Initiative. "It will have a permanent place in history."
ABOUT THE WHARTON SCHOOL
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania — founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school — is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. The most comprehensive source of business knowledge in the world, Wharton bridges research and practice through its broad engagement with the global business community. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and an alumni network of 88,000 graduates.
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) brings together the shared interests of hundreds of securities firms, banks and asset managers. SIFMA's mission is to support a strong financial industry, investor opportunity, capital formation, job creation and economic growth, while building trust and confidence in the financial markets. SIFMA, with offices in New York and Washington, D.C., is the U.S. regional member of the Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA). For more information, visit http://www.sifma.org.