The Financial Times has rated EMBA-Global, the partnership between Columbia Business School and London Business School, first in the world in its late 2008 rankings of executive MBA programs.

The ranking recognizes both schools’ efforts to create a leading global program.

“Business and the management of people and organizations is becoming increasingly complex in today’s fast-moving, interdependent world,” said Lyn Hoffman, associate dean at London Business School, in an interview with Columbia’s Public Offering, an online synthesis of research and articles.

“EMBA-Global has sought to do that, and we are delighted that our alumni are having such success in their own global careers.”

The rankings are the first to be released by the Financial Times since EMBA-Global announced its upcoming expansion into Asia. In May 2009, EMBA-Global Asia will welcome its inaugural class at the HKU Business School.

Ethan Hanabury, associate dean of executive MBA programs, told Columbia's online publication, Public Offering, that he believes that the top ranking reflects the anticipation surrounding the program’s expansion. He cites the program's benefit in offering classes in three major financial hubs.

“EMBA-Global Asia students will have an unmatched opportunity to study global business in every respect through professors from each of the three institutions and their fellow students, who are accomplished executives from around the world,” he said.

Columbia’s EMBA-NY program finished No. 2 among U.S.-only programs and 10th overall in the global rankings. The Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA was ranked 16th overall and No. 3 among U.S.-only programs.

The 2008 EMBA rankings were based on data from surveyed graduates from the class of 2005.

Despite current global economic conditions, Hanabury believes that EMBA-Global students are positioned to succeed. “We are finding that for current EMBA students, it is a great time to be in business school,” he said.

“They can bring insights right back into the workplace. Companies want perspective about the changing economic landscape and to learn about current research.”