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Courses offered in Finance

Undergraduate Level Courses

Information about Finance Major

This introductory course provides students with a foundation to build a meaningful understanding of corporate finance and the role of the financial manager. The financial manager's task is to attempt to maximize the value of the firm to its owners by making investing and financing decisions that improve the firms risk/return tradeoff. We focus on two basic decisions: the investment decision, (to what projects should funds be allocated), and the financing decision, (where should the funds be obtained). As the course progresses we will cover such topics as: discounted cash flow valuation, bond valuation, stock valuation, cost of capital determination and the decision criteria to apply to project evaluation.

This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamental concepts in investment management. The major topics covered will include: optimal portfolio selection and asset allocation, asset pricing models, performance evaluation, individual security selection and valuation. While the main emphasis of the course is on common stocks, we will also spend a fair amount of time on fixed income securities and derivatives. The course is fairly quantitative and students should be familiar with the basic concepts of probability and statistics and be comfortable using spreadsheet packages like Excel.

This is an introductory course on derivative products.  My goal is to help you to develop a framework for analyzing and using financial derivative instruments.  By the end of the course, you should have a good understanding of the features of commonly used derivative products and the analytical tools you need to make good managerial decisions.  I will cover forwards, futures, and options.  For every derivative product, I will introduce the market mechanics, develop pricing equations using algebra, and discuss how to use it to manage risk.  In addition to the theory, pricing and analysis of options, this course will give students first-hand experiential learning about the options market with an options trading simulation using real-time data through StockTrak.

This course provides a comprehensive survey of financial securities, the markets in which they trade, and the institutions facilitating the creation and exchange of these financial instruments. We will cover the pricing and trading of several securities including stocks, bonds, and derivatives; special emphasis will be given to the determination of interest rates. We will survey major financial markets in the U.S. and abroad. Key financial institutions will be examined with a focus on how they manage their assets and liabilities and how innovative securities support that management. We will also address various aspects and implications of financial regulation and deregulation, and the globalization of financial markets.

This course examines various fixed income instruments and derivatives of those investments.  The risk profiles of the instruments will be determined and used in establishing fixed income investment portfolios appropriate for different objectives and strategies.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  • Assess the valuation of bonds from pricing models and yield curves.
  • Determine risk exposures for individual bonds and portfolios of bonds.
  • Determine market expectations for future interest rates.
  • Value options embedded in some corporate bonds.
  • Employ active interest-rate speculation strategies.
  • Use derivative instruments to speculate or hedge risk.
  • Measure fixed income portfolio performance.

A business case-based undergraduate elective, MGMT 41300 investigate the theory and practice of corporate financial management.  Topics include short- and long-term-financial planning, capital-investment analysis, corporate-capital structure and firm valuation.  We also discuss more advanced corporate finance topics such as divided policy, mergers and acquisitions and the initial public offering (IPO).  Depending on student preferences, both lab-based sessions with a high emphasis on the use of Excel to build financial models and regular classroom sessions are available.

In the business world today, finance professionals are going to be given opportunities to analyze and model data.  The objective of MGMT 41310 is to give students opportunities to work with financial data sets to ask and answer real question that businesses have.  In this course, students will use several data analysis software packages.  Additionally, the course will include extensive application of Excel tools for Financial Modeling.  Typically offered in Fall Spring.

This course will focus on the major aspects of venture capital (VC) and private equity transactions: strategy, analysis, valuation, contract design, and structure.  Private equity funds are responsible for a large percentage of merger activity both inside and outside the U.S.  The venture capital portion of the private equity industry has provided financing for most of the prominent new companies that have gone public in recent years.  The buyout portion of this industry has helped many established public companies go private.  Consequently, the organized private equity market has become a major component of the capital markets.  The course blends a variety of perspectives from finance, strategy, and entrepreneurship.

Understanding the private equity industry involves answering a number of interesting questions, such as:  Why are institutional investors attracted to the private equity industry?  Will private equity continue to be successful for investors in the current environment?  Why has the venture capital industry been slow in recent years and are its prospects likely to improve?  How do sponsors identify and evaluate opportunities?  When is “going private” the right strategy for public shareholders?

To explore these questions, the course is broadly structured in three parts that will examine venture capital and private equity from the perspective of the entrepreneur, of the investors in the limited partnership (LPs), and of the investors in the private equity partnership (GPs).

The course will follow a combination of traditional academic lectures, case study analysis, reading materials, and guest speakers from industry.

This course provides a framework for understanding how corporate financial decision making is affected by exchange rate risk, country risk, international taxation, regulations etc. The discussion takes the perspective of the management of a multinational corporation. Topics covered include the international financial markets, the measurement and management of exchange risk and political risk, and the financial aspects of the decision to undertake a foreign project, set up cross-border operations or acquire a foreign company. The specific goals of the course are to provide students with a deep knowledge of international capital markets and an analytic framework for understanding cross-border decision making (financing, capital budgeting, valuation) and the impact of factors such as exchange rates on corporate decisions.

This course will focus on the major aspects of merger and acquisition transactions: deal strategy, deal analysis, and deal design.  We will cover the reasons (both good and bad) that transactions are done, the mechanics of the transactions, the valuation of the firms involved, various aspects of deal structure, and the roles of the parties involved.  Mergers and acquisitions represent significant changes that involve the entire enterprise.  As such, this course will also examine various transactions related to corporate structure, including corporate governance, venture capital, initial public offerings, divestitures, leveraged buyouts, and bankruptcy.  We will examine these issues from the perspective of financial decision-makers within corporations, recognizing that such fundamental decisions must be based on sound financial and valuation analysis, as well as conducted with a basic understanding of firm strategy, law, accounting, and organizational behavior.  The course will be based on readings and case study analysis, with an emphasis on active class discussion.

Since careful analysis of such transactions requires a solid grounding in valuation, we will practice building valuation models through cases, group projects, and applications to current events.  In addition to building financial models in Excel, students will learn to use common financial databases including Thomson ONE Banker, Bloomberg, SEC EDGAR, NetAdvantage, and Morningstar.  We will use these databases for a number of data analytics projects including performing statistical event studies of corporate decisions and building a model to predict credit ratings.  The final project involves a detailed analysis of a merger, including stand alone and with synergies valuation as well as analysis of the ex-post performance of the combined firm.

Graduate Level Courses (excl. PhD Level Courses)

This course provides an introduction to fixed income securities in financial markets. The main focus of the course is valuation of these securities and manage the inherent interest rate risk in portfolios. The course place a strong emphasis on applications using realistic examples and covers commonly traded fixed income securities, including traditional coupon bonds, forwards, interest rate options, swaps, as well as mortgages and mortgage backed securities. The analytic tools we use to achieve these objectives include construction of discount factors, bootstrap, immunization, duration and convexity matching and developing binomial tree models for discount factors and short-term interest rates to value and hedge interest rate derivatives. We also discuss economic interpretations of the yield curve.

This course is an introduction to financial management. As such, the course addresses the two basic financial problems that all companies face: (1) On what should funds be spent (i.e., investment decisions)? (2) From where should funds be obtained (i.e., financing decisions)? Specific topics include financial statement analysis, financial planning, stock and bond valuation, project analysis, estimating the cost of capital, understanding capital structure, and estimating firm value. Readings, case analyses, and problem sets focus on the basic tools used by financial analysts and financial decision makers.

This course builds on the material covered in MGMT 61000. Topics covered include advanced corporate valuation techniques with applications in mergers/acquisitions, initial public offerings, and leveraged buyouts; debt, equity, and convertible securities issues; dividend policy; bankruptcy reorganizations; and advanced capital budgeting techniques.

The objective of this course is to provide students with a sound foundation for the main concepts in investment management and portfolio theory. The major topics covered will include: trading mechanics, optimal portfolio selection and asset allocation, and the theory of empirical use of asset pricing models. The main emphasis of the course is on common stocks, especially portfolios. The course does not cover individual security selection and valuation. This course is fairly quantitative and relies on the economic theory and analytical tools developed throughout the course. The materials covered in the class have direct real world applications. We will spend a great deal of time discussing empirical evidence. As this is an advanced class, tenets of investment theory are analyzed from a very critical standpoint. Unfortunately, this will often times lead to answers such as "it depends", "no one knows," and "we need more data." Given the empirical nature of the course, it is crucial for the students to follow financial press regularly.

This course provides an analytical framework for addressing various aspects of financial decision making from the perspective of the management of a multinational firm. We will begin by exploring how changes in the exchange rates may affect a firm’s cash flows and value. As many firms attempt to manage their exchange rate risk exposure through hedging, we will then discuss whether and how firms can hedge currency risk. In the second part of the course, we will mostly focus on capital budgeting decisions. We will see how these decisions are affected by the complications due to divisional differences, currency, tax, and country risk considerations.

This is an introductory course on derivatives products. The goal is to help students develop a basic framework for analyzing and using financial instruments. The course covers the most fundamental derivatives products: forwards, futures and options. For each derivatives product, the course answers three questions: how is the product traded, how do firms/individuals use the product to manage their risks, and how do you determine the correct price for the product. The nature of the course is quantitative, yet also emphasizes economic intuition. By the end of the course, students should have a good understanding of features of the most commonly used derivatives products and analytical tools needed to make good managerial decisions.

The course examines most recent empirical issues in investment management, focusing mostly on market anomalies, trading strategies, and behavioral finance. For the most part, it will be a departure from the efficient markets view of finance in analyzing imperfections in the marketplace and biases in individual decision making. The course begins with an in depth analysis of two key players in the marketplace: mutual funds and hedge funds. These topics will be followed by a lecture on performance evaluation techniques. The course will then continue with an in depth discussion of market efficiency with an emphasis on deviations from market efficiency: market anomalies. It will provide an extensive review of most popular market anomalies and trading strategies used in the marketplace. In the final part of the class, limits to arbitrage and behavioral finance will be discussed in detail. The course consists of lectures, case and paper discussions and in-class experiments.

This course uses a combination of lectures and cases to study the fundamentals of financial risk management. The course’s main objective is to cover techniques to identify, measure, and manage risks that financial and non-financial firms encounter. Specifically, the course covers equity market risk, interest rate risk, currency risk, commodity price risk, and default risk. Tool-wise, we start with standard exchange-traded derivatives (such as forwards, futures and options); we then move on to over-the-counter products (such as swaps and exotic options).  During the course, we also build a framework to integrate financial risk management solutions with a firm's long-term strategy. A basic knowledge of derivatives is recommended before taking this class.

This course examines the process of financing the corporation in private and public securities markets. The sequence of topics roughly parallels the life cycle of a typical corporation.  We begin by discussing the advantages and disadvantages of different types of venture financing.  Second, we introduce valuation methods in the venture capital setting.  Third, we study the venture capital financing contracts, known as the term sheets.  Fourth, we discuss the process of exiting investments in young firms.  Fifth, we analyze the investment banking and initial public equity offering process for firms.  Finally, we examine bankruptcy reorganizations should a firm go under.

The course consists primarily of case studies supported by readings on the particular case topic.  Students are expected to be prepared for class and will be called upon in class to discuss various issues related to the assigned reading or case study.

This course covers the major aspects of merger and acquisition transactions: deal strategy, deal analysis, and deal design. It covers the reasons (both good and bad) that transactions are done, the mechanics of the transactions, the valuation of the firms involved, various aspects of deal structure, and the roles of the parties involved. Mergers and acquisitions represent significant changes that involve the entire enterprise. As such, this course pulls together material covered in previous finance courses, while also linking financial decision-making with the overall strategy of the firm and dabbling in law, accounting, and organizational behavior. Material is covered through case study analysis supplemented by related readings and individual assignments. In addition, groups of students write and present a proposal for a deal between real-life firms.

The objective of this course is to provide students with the necessary skills to value and hedge a wide variety of derivatives contracts used in financial markets. The main tool of analysis of the course is stochastic calculus set in continuous-time. Some basic knowledge of stochastic processes would be helpful, but not essential: we will cover what we need in class. The course covers valuation of securities using modern martingale methods as well as the necessary parameter estimation and numerical methods such as Monte Carlo simulations. Applications will include derivatives such as options on stocks, bonds and currencies, as well as valuation of defaultable securities, and modeling the term structure of interest rates and risk management with Value-at-Risk.