The Wharton School Announces $12 Million Gift from Alumni Bruce Jacobs and Kenneth Levy to Establish the Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research and Wharton-Jacobs Levy Prize for Quantitative Financial Innovation

PHILADELPHIA--()--The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is pleased to announce a $12 million gift from Bruce Jacobs and Kenneth Levy, classes of 1986 and 1982. The gift will include $10 million to establish the Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research and $2 million to fund the Wharton-Jacobs Levy Prize for Quantitative Financial Innovation. This commitment marks one of the largest gifts to The Campaign for Wharton, the school’s ambitious $550 million fundraising effort.

The Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research will enable the school to develop and expand its resources in an important field of study within finance. The Center will support faculty research projects in quantitative finance and will fund Ph.D. dissertation fellowships for doctoral students pursuing dissertations in quantitative financial research. It will disseminate its research through a White Paper Series hosted on its website, as well as an annual conference that will bring together academics and practitioners. Donald B. Keim, Wharton’s John B. Neff Professor of Finance, will be the director of the Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research.

The Wharton-Jacobs Levy Prize for Quantitative Financial Innovation will recognize one or more persons who have published peer-reviewed journal articles that demonstrate outstanding research that has contributed to a particular innovation in the practice of quantitative financial analysis and asset management. By focusing specifically on financial innovation, the prize is anticipated to become one of the most distinguished awards of its kind. The recipient(s) of the award will receive a cash award of $80,000, and will be chosen by a five-person Selection Committee of prominent academics and practitioners. The prize will be awarded every other year at the Jacobs Levy Center’s conference.

"The Jacobs Levy Center will build upon Penn's rich tradition of applying interdisciplinary approaches to help solve the complex problems facing the world today," said University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann. "In addition to inspiring generations of thought leaders in both academia and industry to advance quantitative finance, the Wharton-Jacobs Levy Prize will distinguish itself in recognizing innovation and excellence in the field. We are very grateful for Bruce and Ken's vision and generosity."

“We believe that establishing a research center and a prize for innovation will foster the advancement of quantitative financial research and practice,” said Bruce Jacobs, co-founder of Jacobs Levy Equity Management. “Given recent market volatility and economic uncertainty we think the timing of this gift could not be more critical as investors are seeking new solutions to meet their growing funding gaps.”

“Bruce and I both emerged from Wharton’s doctoral program into an investment world that had little patience for academic notions such as the efficient market and random walk hypotheses. We created Jacobs Levy Equity Management to apply the academic ideas and tools we had learned at Wharton, expand upon them, and put our proprietary research into practice in the real-world pursuit of value-added investing for clients,” said Ken Levy, co-founder of Jacobs Levy Equity Management. “Our firm’s success is a testament to the usefulness of quantitative financial research.”

The Center will incorporate these core values:

Knowledge for Action
Prepare the next generation of business leaders with new knowledge by funding innovative research.

Promoting Academic Pursuit
Create a new cadre of academics (Ph.D.s) who continue to push the boundaries of existing financial knowledge.

Good Governance
Promote research in, and the practice of, good governance and ethics.

Knowledge for the Future
Embolden research in finance that can help investors meet their goals, based upon the innovative ideas of Jacobs Levy as well as the respected strength of Wharton’s Finance department.

“The establishment of the Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research is an extremely significant event for the Wharton School and for the field as a whole,” said Thomas S. Robertson, Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise and Dean of the Wharton School. “The Jacobs Levy Center not only will have a transformative effect on quantitative finance, but also will keep Wharton at the forefront of innovative models and financial research. With the firm’s strong ties to Wharton and exceptional commitment to pioneering quantitative financial research, Jacobs Levy Equity Management is an ideal partner in this endeavor.”

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.

About Bruce Jacobs, Ken Levy, and Jacobs Levy Equity Management

Born and raised in New Jersey, Bruce Jacobs received his Ph.D. in Finance from Wharton, where he also served on the finance faculty. He was a Senior Managing Director at Prudential Asset Management Company before co-founding Jacobs Levy Equity Management with Ken Levy. Ken, born in Philadelphia and raised in New Jersey, received his M.B.A. and M.A. in Finance from Wharton, and prior to Jacobs Levy Equity Management served as Managing Director at Prudential Asset Management Company. Bruce and Ken have written extensively on security analysis, portfolio management, long-short investing, security market simulation, and market crises. They are currently working on a book about long-short portfolios, and Bruce is completing a book on recent financial crises, including the 2007-09 credit crisis.

Bruce and Ken are committed to supporting research that has the potential to dramatically advance the field in a manner similar to that of their own breakthrough discoveries. Jacobs Levy Equity Management was a founding sponsor of the Research Foundation of the CFA Institute and supports the NYU Salomon Center for the Study of Financial Institutions. Bruce serves on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Portfolio Management and the Advisory Council of the Financial Analysts Journal. His philanthropic efforts include Morristown Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital and its Cardiovascular Institute as well as the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. Ken contributes to The Manhattan Institute, The Foundation for Economic Education, and The Cato Institute. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Justice.

Co-founded 25 years ago, in 1986, by Bruce I. Jacobs, G’79, GR’86, and Kenneth N. Levy, WG’76, G’82, Jacobs Levy Equity Management is widely recognized as a leading provider of quantitative equity strategies for institutional clients. Building on the pioneering research of its founders, the firm focuses on detecting profit opportunities in U.S. equities and exploiting them through risk-managed portfolios engineered with the objective of providing consistent value-added performance. Jacobs Levy manages assets for a prestigious global roster of corporate pension plans, public retirement systems and endowments/foundations, including many of Pensions & Investments’ “Top 200 Pension Funds/Sponsors.” For more information on Jacobs Levy Equity Management, visit

For media inquiries in relation to the gift as well as Jacobs Levy Equity Management please contact Steve Bruce or Katrina Allen of ASC Advisors at (203) 992-1230.

For more information, please visit

With an ambitious $550 million goal, The Campaign for Wharton includes foundational elements and cutting-edge initiatives, in such areas as faculty and student support; research programs and curriculum development; technology and facilities; and unrestricted support. Launched in 2005 and ending on December 31, 2012, The Campaign for Wharton will help to ensure Wharton’s prominence as the thought leader in global business education.


Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Peter Winicov, +1 215-898-8036


Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Peter Winicov, +1 215-898-8036