Tuesday’s Headlines: Inside the World’s Most Expensive Executive MBA Program

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So what exactly does $176,000 get you at Wharton San Francisco, the University of Pennsylvania’s west coast executive MBA program? How about a lavish new campus, an ultra modern building and the latest technology in each classroom? Then there’s the concierge-style service from the school staff, free iPads, all-inclusive accommodation at the Meridian hotel and the chauffeur service that drives students back and forth. Yes, you do get what you pay for.

According to the Financial Times, the campus is flooded with natural light. Paintings from local artists hang on the walls. There are breakout rooms and mother-and-baby rooms furnished like airport executive lounges, two teaching rooms each with a capacity for 75 students and a lecture theater for 160. Each room has the latest audio-visual equipment and cameras for web-conferencing speakers from the east coast and Wall Street. And in the smaller seminar rooms, students can Skype their classmates on the east coast or overseas.

But Bernadette Birt, the program’s executive director, says there’s more to Wharton’s executive MBA than fancy technology and swank buildings.

She says students are willing to pay big money to attend the program in part because they get more than 700 hours of contact time.

“They are getting more for their money,” she tells the Financial Times. “Other programs offer 400 hours and their fees are not much less than ours.”


Other News:

Swiss Bank Credit Suisse may reduce the workforce in its investment banking division by as much as 30 percent. [DealBook]

Moody’s Investors Service has lowered its long-term ratings on 28 Spanish banks by one to four notches. [Wall Street Journal]

Seeking to replace troubled European lenders that have retrenched there, Chinese banks such as the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China are worming their way into Australia’s syndicated loan market. [Wall Street Journal]

Wells Fargo Advisors has named Mary Mack president of its Financial Services Group. [On Wall Street]

Greenhill & Co., an independent investment bank, says Eric Mendelsohn will join the firm’s New York office as a managing director focused on restructuring advisory. [DealBook]

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney has given its more than 17,000 financial advisors the green light to start using social media networks. [Investment News]

Seeking to tap into the growing number of retirees, Manulife Financial Corp. plans to expand its 401k business in the U.S. [Investment News]

Spain and Cyrus are both applying for billions of euros in aid to bail out their banks. [New York Times]

Client demands to pull money out of hedge funds were at the lowest they’ve been in four years. [Reuters]

First Horizon National Corp. says it will add $250 million to a reserve fund designated for mortgage repurchase requests from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae on loans originated by the bank during the 2005-08 period. [Memphis Business Journal]

Heritage Business Bank, a San Jose business bank, has hired David Porter as its chief credit officer. [San Jose Business Journal]

Pinnacle Financial Partners, Nashville’s largest locally based bank, is asking to switch regulators. [Nashville Business Journal]

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