Class Year: 1987
Position and Employer: Co-founder and Managing Director, EPIC Investment Partners
Engineers want to know how things work. Ravi Shankar MBA ’87 is no exception. He arrived in America from his native India with a mechanical engineering degree, $20 in his pocket and a question: how do financial markets work?
Shankar successfully figured that out. He is the co-founder, managing director, chief investment officer and CEO of EPIC Asset Management in London, which has more than $6 billion in assets under management. He credits much of his success to his Drexel LeBow MBA.
“LeBow gave me a great, hands-on education,” he said. “The professors not only teach the mechanics of making decisions, but also how to become a good manager. These are critical skills.”
As an MBA student and research assistant in LeBow’s department of finance, Shankar says he spent a lot of time with faculty who taught him lifelong lessons and skills that, to this day, have influenced his work in his firm and on the many boards of other worldwide companies. This has allowed him the opportunity to be influential within these organizations and for his staff.
“A banker must make decisions every hour,” he says. “But in order to evaluate a situation, you have to have a solid foundation and framework in which to do so. After 24 years, the information I learned from my classes at LeBow such as Capital Budgeting, Forecasting Methods and Portfolio Management are still influencing me in my career and decision-making. I am applying those concepts and analytics every day.”
Prior to founding EPIC in 2001, Shankar spent a number of years in firms in which he developed and managed large global investment banking businesses that emphasized products such as multi-current fixed income institutional portfolios and mutual funds.
And while the stakes in global investment banking are high, Ravi takes the challenges all in stride.
“Success is not defined by the accumulation of wealth, but by being a step ahead of the competition,” he says. “My Drexel LeBow MBA was an extension of my quest to know how the global economy works, and how I could play a part within that.”