Dick Charlton UMD

From left to right: Josep Eisenhauer, Ph.D., dean of the College of Business Administration, Richard Charlton, Chairman Emeritus of NEPC, and Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D., President of University of Detroit Mercy.

University of Detroit Mercy announces the creation of a new center of excellence in the College of Business Administration (CBA): The Charlton Center for Responsible Investing.

Funded by a generous gift of $3 million from College of Engineering & Science alumnus Richard “Dick” Charlton ’65, this is the largest single gift from a living alumnus to the current $100 million Campaign for University of Detroit Mercy. Charlton is the founder of NEPC, LLC (formerly New England Pension Consultants). Following a lifetime of successful experience, he knows what executives and corporate leaders look for in business students and is in a unique position to create positive change through education.

The announcement of this new center of excellence comes at a pivotal time. According to a 2018 survey conducted by the Certified Financial Planners Board Center for Financial Planning, only 3.5% of the 80,000 certified financial planners in the U.S. are African American or Latino. Charlton’s gift and the Center for Responsible Investing will have a direct, measurable impact on the recruitment of minority students into the financial markets field and over time help to reverse this trend. This center represents a bold step on the part of Charlton and the University to bring important change to the industry and reinforce Detroit Mercy’s mission, commitment and service to the city of Detroit.

An announcement and media availability opportunity for this center was made on Wednesday, April 24, in the President’s Dining Room of the Student Union on the McNichols Campus. President Antoine M. Garibaldi and Dick Charlton were available for questions.

The center will provide a holistic approach to investment education, which includes recruitment of under-represented students; promotion of research and programming skills; understanding of long-term asset allocation; preparation for professional certifications; experiential learning opportunities and community and industry engagement, among other activities. Specific initiatives of the center will comprise the following:

  • Recruit students interested in finance, with a deliberate focus on minority recruitment.
  • Assist finance students in securing relevant internships and professional employment in the institutional investment field, including investment banking, as well as in the financial divisions of major corporations and other institutions.
  • Educate future finance and investment professionals by integrating technological and investment education, with an eye to providing the tools professionals will need in the workplace.
  • Establish a speaker series to attract prominent investment experts on topics such as finance and technology, algorithmic finance and artificial intelligence.
  • Provide support for finance students to undertake educational experiences at financial institutions, compete in investment competitions on a regular basis, and pursue professional certifications such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designations.
  • Expand the Majestic Fund (a student-run portfolio of real financial assets) through an initial gift and ongoing fundraising, to a level that will allow proper diversification of assets and generate returns to enhance the Finance program, while maintaining the emphasis on asset allocation and the adherence to Jesuit and Mercy principles.
  • Initiate a small student-run social Innovation Fund to provide loans on a competitive basis to start-up social enterprises that receive business skills training through the College’s Center for Social Entrepreneurship.
  • Develop a student-run investment newsletter for regional distribution that covers the Charlton Center’s activities while also containing data, trends, news and feature stories on socially-responsible investment opportunities and investors in Detroit.
  • Provide graduate assistantships through which students would be hired to support the Charlton Center’s director and aid finance faculty with course preparation and scholarly research.

“This initiative is focused on establishing additional avenues of opportunity,” said Charlton. “Having lived in the City of Detroit proper for 16 years and having had the privilege of recruiting management employees for Michigan Bell and the Bell System during part of that time, with a conscious focus on minorities and women, I became aware that there is a significant talent pool that often goes untapped. To the extent that we can enhance opportunities and facilitate the realization of that talent, I believe we are all winners.”

Antoine M. Garibaldi, president of Detroit Mercy, is particularly pleased that this gift will provide opportunities for underrepresented and minority students from Detroit who wish to earn a degree in business with an emphasis on financial investment and markets.

“Dick Charlton’s gift is a tremendous example of dedication and commitment to Detroit Mercy students,” he said. “Because of his extraordinary generosity, the University will advance the importance of responsible investing while simultaneously make a dynamic impact on the lives of young men and women,” he added.

The Center for Responsible Investing joins several other centers of excellence in the College of Business Administration. These include The Center for Social Entrepreneurship, America’s Business High School, The Financial Markets Lab and the Center for Practice & Research in Management & Ethics (PRIME). In addition, the College’s graduate and undergraduate Management programs are consistently ranked among the nation’s top 25 by U.S. News & World Report.

To learn more about Detroit Mercy’s College of Business Administration, visit https://business.udmercy.edu/index.php.

View the press release on University of Detroit Mercy’s site here.