Executive Education

2018 Top EMBA Programs for Financial Services Executives

EMBA for financial services

The decision about where to get your Executive MBA (EMBA) is a serious one – especially for financial services executives. Whether you are trying to break into the industry or further your career in the field, finance is a highly-specialized field. Plus, having an MBA is expected for many finance roles.

“In certain organizations (top-tier consulting firms, for instance), having an MBA or an advanced degree is practically a requirement for certain positions,” says Elizabeth Freedman, author of The MBA Student’s Job-Seeking Bible. “It’s hard to move up without that credential, no matter how talented.”

While you will want to select an EMBA program that offers the specialty, you’ll also want to look at the student body. Here are some EMBA programs with a high concentration of students from the finance industry, from Ivy Exec’s 2018 Best Executive MBA Programs ranking.


Percentage of students in finance: 30%

New York University’s Stern School of Business teamed up with the HEC Paris School of Management at École Des Hautes Études Commerciales De Paris and the London School of Economics and Political Science to offer the TRIUM Global Executive MBA. Graduates of the program receive jointly issued EMBAs and a vast network of alumni.

The TRIUM EMBA program is overall 3 in the world and it takes 18 months to finish.

Students attend on a modular basis. There are six modules, each one lasting for 10-12 weeks. Locations include: California, London, New York, Paris, and Shanghai.

The TRIUM Global Executive MBA averages 65 students per cohort on average. The most common industries amongst students other than finance are: Consulting, Energy, IT, Legal Services, and Manufacturing.

EMBA Global Americas & Europe

Percentage of students in finance: 25%

The EMBA-Global Americas and Europe comes from London Business School (LBS) and Columbia Business School. Students of the program receive two EMBAs.

The program is ranked 1 in the world and takes 20 months to finish.

EMBA Global Americas & Europe is a modular program that requires monthly attendance. Students go back and forth between New York and London. Optional electives may take you to Hong Kong or to one of the programs other international program options.

The average class size is 73. Finance is one of the main industries in the program. Other top industries include: Consulting, IT, Manufacturing, Retail, and Telecommunications.


Percentage of students in finance: 23%

The INSEAD Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) comes from world-renowned business school, INSEAD. Overall, it is ranked 1 in Europe and 1 in the world.

With campuses in France, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi, travel is a major component. Students take modules that last 1-2 weeks (4-11 weeks for sessions in Asia). The first half of study is spent at your campus of choice. In the second half, all the campus tracks combine into a single cohort that rotates between locations.

The total cohort size averages 235 students, but you will only have class with a portion of that in your first half of the program. Outside of finance, most students come from the following industries: Energy, Technology,. Media, Telecommunications, Manufacturing, and Retail.


Percentage of students in finance: 20%

The University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School is home to the UNC Executive MBA Program. It is 3 in its region and 18 in the world. The program takes 20 months to complete.

Students can choose from a weekend EMBA schedule option or an evening one. There is also an international travel component.

The average class size is 50 students. Student interest in finance is topped only by healthcare. Other popular industries include technology, manufacturing, and consulting.


Percentage of students in finance: 20%

University of Navarra’s IESE Business School is home to the IESE Global Executive MBA. The program takes 16 months to finish and it is ranked 5 in Europe.

It is a modular program, with students being asked to stay in residence for two weeks, every two months. You can choose an Americas track or a European one. Both schedule options start in Barcelona as a single cohort, then they split. The majority of study in the IESE Global Executive MBA Americas will be in New York while the proportion of study at the Barcelona campus is greatest for those in the European track. However, all students will study in both locations as well as Silicon Valley and Shanghai, ensuring a range of experiences.

The average cohort size is 60. Other than finance, you can expect to meet students from the following industries: Manufacturing, Consulting, Telecommunications, and Pharmaceuticals.


Percentage of students in finance: 19%

The Rutgers Executive MBA Program comes from Rutgers Business School. The program lasts 20 months and it is highly ranked. Overall, it comes in 5 in its region and 15 in the world.

Classes meet on alternating weekends, plus an additional week of residency every school term. In addition, the Rutgers EMBA requires 10 days in Beijing and Shanghai.

The average class size is 57. Top industries other than finance include: Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology, Healthcare, Government, Consumer Products, and Technology.

Pace Master in Finance for Professionals

At Pace, the Master in Finance for Professionals is designed around interdisciplinary problem-solving, with team projects often developed in the heart of Manhattan’s Wall Street, with actual New York-based clients.

Encouraging its cohort to focus all their attention on one module at a time,  the Pace Master in Finance for Professionals allows for concentration on just one team project per module. The program takes place over a 12-month period, made up of modules lasting 8 weeks each (6 modules total). Although the program includes just six on-campus residencies, students and professors are connected throughout the 12 months via Blackboard electronic discussion boards.

An additional facet of the program, is its innovative approach to  technology, which includes providing numerous financial risk models and econometric packages.

IE Global Executive MBA

Percentage of students in finance: 14%

 The IE Global Executive MBA from IE Business School is a top-ranked program with a unique global approach that boasts world renowned faculty. Combining technological immersion and a culture of innovation with an entrepreneurial mindset to propel finance professionals within international business.

“When you start the GXMBA, the most immediate goal is boost your management career and increase your knowledge, so you go in ‘guns blazing’ ready to compete….What you quickly realize is that your professional development is intrinsically linked to your personal growth, thus it is in listening and understanding your classmates that you will became a leader professionally.” – Catalina Ramirez, Director of Global Client Finance at McCann Worldgroup Director & Founder at Scantech International

The Global Executive MBA blends face to face and online interactive periods with a fundamental belief that the world is your classroom, as evident by residential programs in Madrid, Singapore, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo.

Ivy Exec’s goal in releasing its annual EMBA program rankings is to support its members and the broader, global professional community in making better-informed decisions when selecting the best-fit Executive MBA program for themselves. Pursuing an EMBA is a significant investment of time, not to mention money, so these rankings may help a professional consider potential ROI ahead of time.

About the Author

Renee Ann Butler is a business writer whose writing has appeared in numerous outlets related to finance and investing, from TheStreet to SCORE. She has an MBA, degrees in psychology, and over 15 years of experience working with hedge funds and startups.