J.P. Morgan and the University of Colorado Denver last week announced the opening of the J.P. Morgan Center for Commodities, a first-of-its-kind partnership in the academic world that will provide innovative programs and academic work in the field of commodity finance, economics and policy. The J.P. Morgan Center for Commodities is supported by the firm’s $5.5 million gift to the University of Colorado Denver Business School and aims to solidify Denver as the world’s hub for this field of study.
“No academic program matches what the J.P. Morgan Center for Commodities will provide,” said Don Elliman, University of Colorado Denver chancellor. “J.P. Morgan will partner with the CU Denver Business School to create that vital intersection for commodities education and the industry. This partnership will not only prepare future leaders in the industry but also will help the public better understand the important role commodities play in our local, national and global economy.”
Said Blythe Masters, head of J.P. Morgan Global Commodities and a member of the JPMorgan Chase Executive Committee, “We are thrilled to support the University of Colorado Denver as they expand academic and public understanding of the commodities industry. We don’t see this as simply a gift to the school; it is an investment to better prepare our future and existing talent and improve public understanding through exciting new research.”
The J.P. Morgan Center for Commodities will offer students and the industry innovative courses and research on commodity markets, sustainable development, regulations, investing and trading, risk management and ethics. No other university in the world combines these fields of study and industry practices into one focused curriculum.
The J.P. Morgan Center for Commodities occupies an iconic location on the first floor of the new 120,000-square-foot CU Denver Business School building in downtown Denver. The center features a state-of-the-art Finance and Commodities Lab, using industry-standard financial software and technology tools, donated by CQG, I H S and Trading Technologies, as part of students’ curriculum. The lab will provide students with hands-on experience and a better understanding of how trading can help commodity producers and consumers alleviate some physical risks and financial uncertainty in these industries.
The center will make a high-profile addition to the University of Colorado Denver and leverage the school’s global reputation for academic excellence.
“The partnership between J.P. Morgan and the CU Denver Business School represents a tremendous opportunity to establish a new and innovative place of learning that will link business education and real world experience in the commodities industry,” said Sueann Ambron, dean of the Business School. “We see the center as a tangible validation of J.P. Morgan’s leadership in commodities and a dedication to education.”
Faculty and staff at the center will collaborate with the commodities industry to develop relevant course work and research in industries such as agriculture, energy and minerals. Courses will feature internationally renowned professors and guest speakers from the industry. The firm’s gift also will support the J.P. Morgan Endowed Chair for Commodity Finance, Economics and Policy, as well as several scholarships for high-achieving students earning degrees related to commodities with plans to enter the industry.
Environmental sustainability and socially responsible development will be an integral aspect of the education offered at the J.P. Morgan Center for Commodities. Students will gain exposure to this vital dimension of natural resource management and the broader implications for business and the community.
The CU Denver Business School will offer specialization certificates, undergraduate and graduate emphases and degrees and professional education through the J.P. Morgan Center for Commodities. Students may currently take courses in areas such as finance, risk management, sustainability and international business related to commodities. Beginning in fall 2012, students may take a specialization in finance, risk management and commodities. Also, professional education courses will begin at the Center in 2013.
The vision is to create a world-class educational program that will support the increasingly significant role of commodities in Colorado, the U.S. and the world. Colorado’s history as a leader in agriculture, energy and mining make Denver an excellent location for the center. Even today, Colorado’s economy is heavily driven by commodities enterprises. For example, 27 percent of U.S. natural gas resources are located in the Rocky Mountain West.
JPMorgan Chase, which has roots in Colorado dating back to 1874, provided $3.2 million in grants and in-kind value to Colorado nonprofits in 2011. Along the Front Range, Chase has 125 branches that serve more than 1 million Colorado customers.
The CU Denver Business School is the largest accredited graduate school of business in the Rocky Mountain West, with 1,400 undergraduate and 1,500 graduate students, and is known as an innovator with strong business partnerships. It has programs that are the building blocks for commodities, including programs in finance, risk management, energy, sustainability, and international business.