Gordon Hires Executive Director for Master of Science in Financial Analysis
If four years on Wall Street have taught Alexander Lowry anything, it’s that the industry needs ethics. Even more, he says, it needs a Christian perspective. With that in mind, Lowry comes to Gordon as the executive director of the Master of Science in Financial Analysis program, which begins January 2018.
“The goal,” he says, “is to create a preeminent program that combines rigorous academic grit and robust spiritual formation. I’m very excited to build and shape this program from the outset, and forge a path to long-term success.”
In his nearly 20 years in financial services and management consulting, the ’99 Haverford College graduate, who earned his MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has worked for prominent firms including PA Consulting Group and JPMorgan Chase. During a dozen years as a management consultant, Lowry assisted executives of private and public sector companies in transforming their businesses. He implemented the annual business planning process for a Fortune 50 company, developed the blueprint for a new 10,000-person organization and designed the global shared services function for $50 billion international enterprise with 175,000 employees. All the while, Lowry honed his financial analysis skillset; he led the investment committee for the firm’s $750 million pension including evaluating, selecting and monitoring investment managers.
In his role as a vice president at JPMorgan Chase, his responsibilities ranged from deputy to chief operating officer of the U.S. Private Bank to, most recently, right hand to the deputy director of the firm’s private foundation. During this most recent appointment, he led a wide range of management and administrative functions, helping to direct the firm’s global philanthropic investments by giving and investing $240 million annually across 40 countries.
Lowry envisions the one-year Master of Science in Financial Analysis program as a holistic experience. Its multi-faced objective is to equip students with essential business and analytical skills, such as preparing them for CFA level I and II exams, within a framework of Christian values. Lowry says he hopes students will learn more than what’s in their textbooks by focusing on moral aspects as much as technical aspects. His goal is to advantage students in the marketplace through extracurricular opportunities such as bringing speakers to campus so students can network, emphasizing job search skills and perhaps even developing an investment club.
The Master of Science in Financial Analysis is the newest in Gordon’s suite of master’s programs, which also includes graduate leadership, graduate education and graduate music education.
“The program at Gordon is a unique way to train and prepare future leaders by building on Gordon’s commitment to preparing students to become successful in their careers and to be defenders of truth,” Lowry says.
Pointing toward the Parable of the Talents, Lowry notes that finance is embedded throughout the Bible. “I believe that God created the foundations of finance and commands us to use finance for social good, specifically for stewardship, justice and love,” he says. “I feel God calls each of us to be excellent at our jobs.”
The program’s Christian distinctive is something that will set apart graduates, Lowry says, considering the many industry scandals in recent history. “What [the scandals] taught us is that we can’t take the details for granted,” he says. “When you’re thinking about hiring finance staff, you want people who can expertly crunch the numbers but also who won’t fudge them. If you imagine yourself as a senior leader at a firm, you need to be able to depend upon the information you’re given to make the right decisions.”
“From my perspective,” he says, “we want to prepare people to be successful in this field so they can bring honor to God through their skillset, and then bring our Christian perspectives to the financial services industry.”
Hailing from a liberal arts college himself, Lowry says he and his expectant wife, Rebecca, look forward to transitioning from New York into Gordon’s community this fall.