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While many Wharton students take their knowledge to financial institutions, two graduates hope to turn the tables by pumping money into financial research at their alma mater.

Yesterday, 1986 Wharton graduate Bruce Jacobs and 1982 Wharton graduate Kenneth Levy announced a $12 million gift to create a financial research center and fund an annual research prize.

Ten million dollars will go towards creating the Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research, which will provide resources for faculty research projects and dissertations for doctoral students in quantitative finance.

Both Jacobs and Levy — who manage assets through their firm, Jacobs Levy Equity Management — strongly believe in the future of the quantitative financial research.

“Our firm’s success is a testament to the usefulness of quantitative financial research,” Levy said in a statement.

The remaining $2 million will establish the Wharton-Jacobs Levy Prize for Quantitative Financial Innovation, an $80,000 prize awarded every other year at the conference held at the new Jacobs Levy Center. Recipients will be selected by a committee of five based on their published, peer-reviewed journal articles and their research of quantitative financial analysis and asset management.

Since the prize will favor innovative ideas in the financial field, the donors hope it becomes one of the most distinguished awards of its kind.

Penn President Amy Gutmann believes that the new Center will continue Penn’s history of using interdisciplinary means to better the future, according to the statement.

While Jacobs hopes the gift will help improve the current financial situation, Levy feels that the money will help Whartonites apply the knowledge they have learned in classrooms.

“Bruce and I both emerged from Wharton’s doctoral program into an investment world that had little patience for academic notions … We created Jacobs Levy Management to apply the academic ideas we had learned at Wharton, expand upon them and put our proprietary research into practice,” Levy said in the statement.

This donation marks a very significant donation in The Campaign for Wharton, a program that began in 2005 and has until December 31st to reach $500 million in donations.

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