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Lesli e R ichar d Jacob s/G low Imag es Why Women Seek European MBAs As of November 2012, 141 North American women were enrolled in five prominent European MBA programs, including London Business School in the U.K., HEC Paris and INSEAD in France, IE Business School in Spain, and SDA Bocconi in Italy. But what influenced their decisions to study in Europe? The Forté Foundation interviewed a selection of these women and also conducted an online survey for a study commissioned by the London Business School. Of the 141 women, 65 participated in the online survey. For 91 percent, the main factor was the diversity of their classmates. For 80 percent, the primary reason they enrolled in a European MBA program was to build stronger international networks. The survey also found that each woman fell into one of three distinct categories: Dual Background (40 percent), Traveler (35 percent), or Candid American (25 percent). Dual Background women were born outside of North America, immigrated to the U.S. or Canada as children, speak a first language other than English, often have science or engineering degrees, and seek MBAs to advance their careers. Many choose to study in Europe because they have family living there, but Roger Edelen Richard Evans Gregory Kadlec cent, but their average expense ratio was only 1.19 percent. That finding suggests "invisible trading costs" that could negatively affect fund performance. plan to return to North America after graduation. Travelers were born in North America but have an interest in global cultures. They have studied topics such as economics and international relations, and often have studied or worked abroad. They want to earn their MBAs to move up in the corporate sector, and most will consider positions in Europe, Asia, or North America after graduation. Finally, Candid Americans have lived and worked their entire lives in North America, earned degrees in areas such as finance, and had successful careers with finance or professional services companies. This group considered MBA programs in the U.S., but decided to take a risk and enroll in a European school. They are earning their MBAs to change careers—and possibly countries—or even start their own businesses. This project aimed to better understand women's motivations for studying business, not just studying overseas, says Elissa Ellis Sangster, executive director of the Forté Foundation. "It's an important step in building the pipeline of women business leaders and reaching them as early as possible with solid information about business education." "The more important question concerns how funds' expenditures on trading costs relate to return performance," Edelen says. "If funds are able to recover trading costs with superior returns, these expenditures might enhance overall performance. This, however, does not appear to be the case. We found a strong negative relation between aggregate trading cost and fund return performance." "Shedding Light on 'Invisible' Costs: Trading Costs and Mutual Fund Performance" appears in the January/February 2013 issue of Financial Analysts Journal. The paper, with computational tables, is available online at BizEd May/June 2013 57

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