The move follows the increasing prominence of energy independence and newly tapped oil sources, said John Buley, consulting professor of finance and executive director of Center for Financial Excellence. The concentration will allow students to explore how businesses can incorporate sustainability into their decision-making process.
"Energy markets and industries are being impacted by the discovery and development of major new oil and gas assets," said Jim Anton, senior associate dean for faculty and Wesley A. Magat Professor. "At the same time, carbon emissions, environmental concerns and regulatory policy provide challenges as well as opportunities for businesses."
Buley said he views the energy finance concentration as a companion to the already existing energy and environment concentration, though the new concentration "relates to larger efforts at Duke including the Energy Initiative and the Duke forward fundraising campaign."
The energy finance concentration focuses on incorporating energy markets into risk management, investment and decision making.
New classes being offered include a seminar series sponsored by Fuqua’s Center for Energy, Development and the Global Environment, which features guest lectures from business leaders such as John McNabb, vice chairman of investment banking at Duff & Phelps, and Robert Latoff, director and senior partner of McKinsey & Company. Another class taught by EDGE Executive Director Dan Vermeer called Business Strategies for Sustainability will focus on comparing different strategies utilized by corporations to meet their sustainability-related challenges.
The concentration is then capped off by a new Project Finance, Anton said, adding that it will allow for a "deeper integration of energy and finance."
Fuqua is first the MBA program among its peers in the Businessweek top 10 to offer an energy finance concentration.
“Until recently, energy finance concentrations were located at Business Schools in cities with high industry concentration of energy companies such as Dallas, Houston, Denver and Oklahoma City,” Buley said.
Fuqua added the new concentration after seeing increasing interest in the field from students and faculty, he added.
"We believe that if a student is going to be a leader of consequence in the energy industry over the next 30 years of her career, she needs to be aware of the environmental context in which in which that industry operates," said EDGE Managing Director Katie Kross. "And likewise, a student who aspires to a career in corporate environmental sustainability cannot be fully prepared to lead in that field without an understanding of energy issues."