Aetna Financial Services to Endow Chair,
Fund Center in Business School
Aetna Financial Services and University officials announced Monday that Aetna will contribute more than $2.7 million to the School of Business Administration. Combined with nearly $1.3 million in state matching funds, the total value of Aetna's contribution will exceed $4 million.
Aetna's gift will be used to endow a faculty chair and to establish the Aetna Center for Financial Services within the School of Business Administration.
"Public research universities have a responsibility to contribute significantly to the economic progress of their state and region," said President Philip E. Austin. "Aetna Financial Services' generous gift creates a wonderful partnership between a great university and a leader in Connecticut's business community, and I am enormously gratified by the confidence in our academic and research program signified by this support."
"Through this gift, we're pleased to demonstrate Aetna Financial Services' commitment to Connecticut in a way that benefits both the business and educational interests of our state," said John Y. Kim, president of Aetna Financial Services-U.S. "The success of our business depends on understanding why, when, and how Americans save. The dangerously low savings rate is a critical social and public policy issue, and we believe our partnership with the University of Connecticut can be part of the solution - a meaningful step toward improving Americans' ability and desire to save for their goals."
Part of Aetna Financial Services' gift will be allocated to endowing the Aetna Chair in Financial Services, a new faculty position in the School of Business Administration. The University will begin a search for candidates immediately, and expects to fill the position by fall 2001.
The remainder of the gift will fund the creation of the Aetna Center for Financial Services. The center will conduct research on long-term savings, investment, and income management, and will seek to inform relevant public policy debate. Fundamental to the center's mission will be the creation of a financial services database, to be sustained by and available to academic and corporate subscribers.
"Aetna Financial Services' investment in the school will provide interdisciplinary expertise on emerging issues in personal financial services," noted Dean Thomas Gutteridge. "Aetna Financial Services has advanced to the forefront in this new arena by partnering with UConn to establish a center of excellence in marketing and financial services."
Aetna Financial Services' contribution is one of the leadership gifts in the University's capital campaign, which will be announced next year. As part of the UConn 2000 program, the Legislature has agreed to provide $1 for every $2 given to the University for endowment. Endowment funds are permanently invested with only interest from the investment used.
The University of Connecticut's School of Business Administration was recognized recently as a top business school in the Northeast. It is ranked 65th out of more than 1,200 by the Princeton Review, and is ranked 15th in the nation among regional business schools by Forbes magazine, in terms of the return-on-investment its students can expect to earn from their MBA. Also, Computerworld ranked UConn 23rd out of the top 25 techno-MBA programs in the country.
Aetna Financial Services, through its operating companies, markets a wide array of investment-management products and services, including mutual funds and variable annuities, to businesses, educational institutions, state and local governments, non-profit organizations, and individuals. As of March 31, Aetna Financial Services had over $77.2 billion in assets under management and administration, and serves nearly 2 million individuals and 37,000 plan sponsors.