The first chair in finance at the University of Vienna was established in 1991 with the appointment of Edwin O. Fischer at the Department of Business Administration. In 1993 Engelbert J. Dockner and Josef Zechner were appointed. Prof.Fischer left for the University of Graz in 2002.
As part of the general restructuring process at the University of Vienna the Department of Finance was founded in January 2005. It consisted of the faculty members and administrative staff of three chairs in banking and finance and the chair in financial services and public utility management. It was also responsible for the management of the Gutmann Center for Portfolio Management. (See old website of the Department.)
Due to fact that professors Dockner and Zechner left for the WU at the end of 2007 the department has been dissolved and the finance group was integrated in the Department of Business Studies. With the appointment of professors Lóránth and Gehrig in 2009 and 2010 the department has been reestablished in January 2011.
The department's primary objectives are to be actively involved in the international scientific finance community, to produce excellent research and to translate research experiences into an innovative and well founded teaching. The Department of Finance offers courses in the international business program, the traditional business program, the economics program and the statistics program of the University of Vienna. With the academic year 2017/18 a specialized master's program in Banking and Finance has been established.
Research of the faculty members covers topics like financial intermediaries, banking regulation, systemic risk, corporate finance and capital structure, risk management, portfolio-management, market microstructure and asset pricing in incomplete (international) financial markets.
Teaching is differentiated according to the respective level. The Department offers courses, both on the bachelor’s and the master’s level, in the traditional business programme and the international business programme. These courses also serve as electives in the economics programmes and the statistics programmes of the University of Vienna. A new specialised master’s program in Banking and Finance started in the academic year 2017/18. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the portfolio management program. This program was established by Engelbert Dockner and Josef Zechner jointly with the ZZ Vermögensverwaltung in 1995. It gives students the opportunity to independently manage real portfolios and thus gain experience in applied portfolio and asset management. Additionally, members of the Department have also offered courses in the bachelor’s programme in Business Informatics and the teacher training programme in Geography and Economics.
At the graduate level the members of the department are actively involved in the PhD education. Since the winter term 2005/ 06 the faculty members have been co-organizing the courses for the for the Vienna Graduate School of Finance (VGSF), a joint initiative of our Department, the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration and the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna. The VGSF is fully funded by the Austrian Science Fund and offers an excellent research oriented doctoral education with the help of internationally well respected visiting scholars.