Catalog Version

Summer/Autumn 2013
Catalog update:
May 15, 2013

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Students are required to follow the Academic Handbook and Code of Student Responsibility

This concentration requires completion of four graduate-level Finance courses including one required course and three electives.  RE 530 may be taken as one of the elective courses to satisfy the four course requirement.

Course Requirements

Students may design a specialization such as Corporate Finance, Investments, Derivatives, or Banking, or they may take a broad array of courses.  Those students interested in specializing in a particular aspect of Finance, can use the following to guide their course selection decisions.
 

Banking Courses

Corporate Finance Courses

Investments Courses

Risk Management Courses

RE 530

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT AND FINANCE

This course is designed to develop the vocabulary, concepts, and skills for rational real estate investment decisions. It will consider both the debt and equity side of private market real estate decision making. Topics include risk analysis, regional and sub-market economics, and property specific analysis. Case analysis is an integral part of the course.
Prerequisites:
FIN 555 is a prerequisite for this class.

FIN 510

ADVANCED MONETARY THEORY AND POLICY

This course is designed to provide the analytical tools for a critical examination of monetary and fiscal policies together with their impact on economic activity in general, and on the commercial banking system in particular. Problems involving interest rates, the value of money and qualitative portfolio changes are examined in detail in the light of current theoretical contributions.
Prerequisites:
FIN 555 is a prerequisite for this class

FIN 512

COMMERCIAL BANKING

The objective of this course is to analyze the role of commercial banks in the financial system in order to understand the problems and issues confronting bankers now and in the future. The student will learn to measure and evaluate bank performance; understand how banking firms make their money and how this has been changing over time; understand the management of assets and liabilities, the valuation of bank mergers and acquisitions, and how government policy influences the behavior of commercial banking firms. The course applies traditional finance and strategic management concepts to the management of financial institutions. The emphasis will be on developing a toolkit to solve problems not only in commercial banks but also in other financial services firms. The student will develop proficiency in relevant financial concepts, analytical frameworks, data analysis, and techniques in the field of financial economics. The course consists of a blend of lectures, discussions, and case studies. Prerequisite: FIN 555
Prerequisites:
FIN 555 and GSB 420 are prerequisites for this class.

FIN 513

MONEY AND CAPITAL MARKETS

This course analyzes interest rates, foreign exchange rates, federal funds futures market, the operation and regulation of financial institutions, and the impact of Central Bank actions on securities markets and the economy. The educational objective of the course is to provide graduate business students with the opportunity to acquire a thorough understanding of the theoretical and applied concepts that determine the operations of the money and capital markets. When you finish this course you will be able to demonstrate how the release of economic news about the real sector and the conduct of monetary policy influence the pricing of assets (interest rates and foreign exchange rates); measure and evaluate the impact of central bank actions on securities markets and the economy; understand the importance of having an independent central bank for macroeconomic performance; measure and evaluate the price volatility of interest-bearing securities; and understand how central bank monetary and regulatory actions can affect the stability and soundness of financial institutions. This course is designed to achieve maximum student involvement in order to add the greatest amount of value to their graduate educational experience. The emphasis will be on developing a toolkit to solve problems that financial analysts and other researchers encounter in security markets and financial institutions. We desire to become proficient in certain financial market concepts, analytical frameworks, data analysis, and various techniques in the field of financial economics. Accordingly, the course is structured to include extensive reading, several written statistical assignments, and class discussions that are based on the readings. These written assignments have three objectives: to make sure that the reading material has been absorbed in full measure; to serve as the foundation for class discussions; and, to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the substantive class material and the ability to apply this material in ?real world? situations. Prerequisite: FIN 555
Prerequisites:
FIN 555 and GSB 420 are prerequisites for this class.

FIN 562

RISK MANAGEMENT

This course examines risk management from a broad enterprise perspective by focusing on the various risks faced by a firm. The course covers various methods that can be used to minimize risk and its effect on firm value. Prerequisite: FIN 555
Prerequisites:
FIN 555 and GSB 420 are prerequisites for this class.

FIN 551

PROBLEMS IN CORPORATE FINANCIAL POLICY

This course enables the student to apply the basic principles of corporate finance learnt in Fin 555 and in Fin 553 to problems in corporate finance with the complexities encountered in practice. Through cases and discussion of topical issues, the course provides the student with an opportunity to analyze practical financial situations and problems. The course requires the student to be familiar with fundamental concepts such as valuation methods (WACC, Free Cash Flow and Capital Cash Flow, APV, Trading and Transaction Multiples), portfolio selection, CAPM, and analysis of capital structure. The course emphasis is sufficiently general so as to be of interest to a wide cross-section of students. At its most fundamental level, the course attempts to improve problem-solving skills that relate to problem definition, gathering and organizing the relevant information, developing feasible alternative courses of action, evaluating alternative choices, and recommending and defending the best course of action. In addition to analyzing specific problems or issues, the course will consider how these issues relate to the strategic objectives of the firm and examine the ?big picture? assumptions that are used in the numerical calculations. Prerequisite: FIN 555. Recommended Strongly : FIN 553
Prerequisites:
FIN 555 and GSB 420 are prerequisites for this class.

FIN 553

ADVANCED CORPORATE FINANCE

This course builds on Fin 555 and focuses on fundamental themes in corporate finance. Topics covered include the analysis of capital investments, valuation methods, cost of capital, real options, agency costs, corporate governance, payout policy, equity issues, hybrid forms of financing, and mergers and acquisitions. The main theme of the course is on valuation and the overall focus is on enhancing enterprise value. The course also uses several case studies to illustrate the application of finance theory to practical problems. Prerequisite: FIN 555
Prerequisites:
FIN 555 and GSB 420 are prerequisites for this class.

FIN 557

INTERNATIONAL FINANCE

This course examines the effect of political and economic factors on the financial decision-making of the firm. The objective of the course is to enable the student to i) utilize the knowledge of the determinants of currency values, and the mechanism through which they work, to forecast changes in currency values ii) to analyze and manage the spectrum of risks arising from a firm?s international operations and iii) to be familiar with how the international financial system works and with the major players in the system. Prerequisite: FIN 555
Prerequisites:
FIN 555 and GSB 420 are prerequisites for this class.

FIN 558

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

The course provides an overview of common corporate restructuring strategies and the economic motives for undertaking them. Topics covered include mergers, acquisitions, friendly and hostile takeovers, financial re-capitalization, leveraged buyouts, management buyouts, going private, convertible securities, tracking-stock, spin-offs, split-ups, carve-outs and reorganization under bankruptcy, liquidation, and out-of-court restructuring. The course integrates corporate governance and agency dimensions, financial and strategic management aspects, and legal and accounting considerations into a unified framework. This framework is then used to investigate issues such as pre-merger planning, fact-finding, accounting and tax implications, anti-trust problems, post-merger integration, and the short-term and long-term shareholder wealth consequences of financial and organizational restructuring transactions. The course examines transactions that significantly affect a corporation?s assets, liabilities, and/or equity claims. Transactions will be examined from the perspectives of both the corporation (e.g. CFO and CEO) and the capital markets (e.g. investors). Common "arbitrage" trading strategies involving corporate transactions will also be discussed. Prerequisite: FIN 555 and FIN 551 or FIN 553. A basic understanding of financial options and pricing is recommended.
Prerequisites:
FIN 555 and (FIN 551 or FIN 553) are a prerequisite for this class.

FIN 523

INVESTMENT ANALYSIS

This course provides an introduction to capital markets and financial instruments and emphasizes on security valuation. It is not a course on personal investing. The course builds on Fin 555 and covers relevant aspects of fixed-income markets, asset pricing, portfolio management, equity markets, and derivatives markets. The course provides background material for both Fin 662 (Derivatives Valuation) and Fin 675 (Cases in Investments and Financial Engineering). Prerequisite: FIN 555
Prerequisites:
FIN 555 and GSB 420 are prerequisites for this class.

FIN 524

FINANCIAL STATEMENT ANALYSIS

This course provides an introduction to financial statement analysis from a global perspective by focusing on the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The emphasis is on the use of company financial reports to evaluate the historical, present, and prospective performance and financial soundness of a company for the purpose of financial decision-making. Prerequisite: FIN 555
Prerequisites:
FIN 555 and GSB 420 are prerequisites for this class.

FIN 525

PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT

This course covers topics and techniques appropriate for institutional portfolio management. The course does not examine personal investment or personal portfolio management. The topics, the readings, and the level of coverage are designed to be at the level of the portfolio management coverage in all the three levels of the CFA program. Prerequisite: FIN 523
Prerequisites:
FIN 523 is a prerequisite for this class.

FIN 526

ADVANCED TOPICS IN INVESTMENTS

This course provides an understanding of several topics that are important to successful completion of the CFA examination. The course will focus on equity valuation including valuation of closely held companies, real estate valuation, venture capital, behavioral finance, hedge funds, distressed debt, commodity futures, and benchmarks. The course will proceed from simple valuation models to those used to value assets wherein daily mark-to-market accounting is not available (e.g., real estate, venture capital, etc.). Prerequisite: FIN 523
Prerequisites:
FIN 523 is a prerequisite for this class.

FIN 662

DERIVATIVES VALUATION

This course focuses on the theory and practice of the valuation of derivative securities such as forward contracts, futures contracts, swaps, and options. The course also examines the underlying properties of each of these instruments and their use in managing the various risks faced by market participants. Prerequisite: FIN 523
Prerequisites:
FIN 555 is a prerequisite for this class

FIN 617

QUANTITATIVE METHODS

This course provides the student with a comprehensive introduction to the mathematics of finance. The course will focus on applying mathematical concepts, quantitative tools, and modeling techniques to practical problems encountered in finance. Prerequisite: GSB 420, ACC 500, ECO 555, FIN 555
Prerequisites:
FIN 555 is a prerequisite for this class

FIN 675

CASES IN INVESTMENTS AND FINANCIAL ENGINEERING

This course primarily uses case studies to illustrate the application of concepts learned in Fin 523 (Investment Analysis) and in Fin 662 (Derivatives Valuation). The topics covered in the course include the term structure of interest rates; portfolio management, asset pricing, and market efficiency; portfolio performance evaluation; option pricing; management of interest-rate risk, credit risk, foreign-exchange risk, and liquidity and basis risk with options, forwards, futures, and swaps; and enterprise risk management. The course will hone the student?s analytical and writing skills through group analyses of case studies and preparation of (case) write-ups. Prerequisite: FIN 523, FIN 617, and FIN 662

FIN 555

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

This course provides an introduction to concepts and techniques required to analyze and implement optimal financial decisions by firms and serves as the core course in the corporate finance sequence. The course focuses on the effect of time and uncertainty on investment and financing decisions. It develops a framework for corporate financial decision-making. Topics covered include basic discounting techniques, stock and bond valuation, capital budgeting, portfolio theory, asset pricing, and capital structure. The course uses several case studies to illustrate the application of finance theory to practical problems. Prerequisite: GSB 420, ACC 500, ECO 555
Prerequisites:
ACC 500 and (ECO 555 or equivalents) and GSB 420 are a prerequisite for this class.