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Financial Services Lab links Rauch Business Center to Wall Street

With the support of a $3.5 million endowment, the College of Business and Economics will open a Financial Services Laboratory this fall on the second floor of Rauch Business Center.

The lab’s mission is to establish Lehigh and CBE as a world-class leader in three critical areas: financial services, information technology, and health and bio-pharma economics.

David Myers, assistant professor of finance and law, said he hoped the lab would give students experience beyond the classroom.

“What we’re hoping to do is get students more familiar with real world software, real world data, and hopefully expand the use of the laboratory beyond the finance department,” he said.

The FSL Web site, www.lehigh.edu/fsl, summarized the lab’s goals to increase international recognition for Lehigh’s financial services department, attract top-ranked students, and retain superior faculty.

The lab itself consists of a 27-seat classroom designed to simulate the Wall Street trading environment with a state- of-the-art wireless networking and engineering facility. About 2,000
undergraduate and graduate students will take courses in the lab. The FSL serves as a think tank for research on financial services market structure.

Myers said most of the financial support for the lab came from alumni and from various corporations, particularly IBM. IBM was first to donate to the project, providing the FSL with 27 wireless laptops.

“We are going to try to increase corporate ties with IBM and Thompson,” Myers said.

The two major alumni contributors to the FSL are Mark Paley, ’83, a managing director at Lehman Brothers, and Joseph Perella, ’64, chairman of institutional securities at Morgan Stanley.

For now, finance and industrial engineering classes will be making use of the FSL. In the future, students in mathematics, computer science, accounting, and business information systems may also take advantage of the lab.

Perella said in an informational pamphlet, “A Financial Services Laboratory at Lehigh will be a distinctive advantage for its faculty and future business leaders it prepares. Science has always relied
on labs for research and practical teaching, and so should business.”

The lab is expected to open within the next two weeks, with a definite debut by the end of September. A dedication ceremony will take place in October.

--Evan Sachs, Business Writer, The Brown and White

This article was reprinted with permission from The Brown and White.

Posted on Friday, June 04, 2004

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