2015 Distinguished International Alumni Award Recipient — Ashvin Vibhakar
The 2015 Distinguished International Alumnus is Ashvin Vibhakar, Ph.D., a resident of Little Rock, Ark., who came to UCM from India to complete a Master of Business Administration in Finance degree in 1973. Since August 2015, he has served as the Joe T. Ford Chair of Finance at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, having recently retired as managing director and senior advisor, executive sponsor for the Future of Finance Project, CFA Institute, in Charlottesville, Va.
A chartered financial analyst, Vibhakar retired in August from the CFA Institute's Future for Finance Initiative, a global effort launched in 2012 to shape a forward-thinking financial industry focused on better serving society. Before coming to UCM to earn an MBA, he completed a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India.
During the next 30 years, he became a prominent professor and administrator at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, where he earned numerous teaching honors and developed the Institute for Economic Advancement in the College of Business Administration. He also obtained a doctorate in finance from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
As the Joe T. Ford Chair of Finance, Vibhakar has returned to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's College of Business Administration to help the continued expansion of strong working relationships with the banking, financial services and investment communities.
In 2007, Vibhakar joined CFA, an organization with 128,000 members in 149 countries and territories, to serve as the managing director of its Asian-Pacific Operations, based in Hong Kong. His responsibilities included developing and implementing various operating strategies in the Asia-Pacific region, including member society relations, employer and university outreach, CFA Program candidate recruitment and support and member services.
He more than doubled the market size in his 18-country territory and has operated with the philosophy that by putting investors’ interests first, markets function at their best and economies grow. He’s known by many as a passionate teacher, striving to improve his communities and an industry under national and global scrutiny. CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals setting the standard for professional excellence and credentials.
Talking about his experiences at what was then Central Missouri State University, Vibhakar noted that the university provided him "many learning opportunities beyond academics that I cherish today." He added that the value of creating a learning environment that makes learning easy and enjoyable was something he took away from his university experience. "It is that experience that guided my behavior in my job."
Vibhakar is the recipient of many teaching awards, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, that he attributes to what he learned at UCM.