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The Course Catalog includes course descriptions of all courses offered by F. W. Olin Graduate School of Business. For descriptions of the courses offered in the current or upcoming semesters, please see our Course Listing




FIN6100 FINANCE This course includes a review of how to read and interpret financial statements, with a focus on how to interpret the relevant information in the context of finance. Students will learn how to forecast sustainable growth rates for a business. The course introduces time value of money concepts and provides an overview of how these concepts may be used to value securities. Students will learn techniques for allocating capital optimally across competing projects and will be introduced to the concepts of risk and return, with an emphasis on frameworks for evaluating these in an uncertain environment. The course also explores how to measure and manage the cost of capital, and the role of bankruptcy. The advantages and disadvantages of project finance and corporate finance are reviewed, as well as corporate governance and the role of different stakeholders.

3.00 credits



Finance for Entrepreneurs (1.5 credits) This course will translate established principles and tools from corporate finance into the entrepreneurial environment. Specific topics include milestones and staging, alternative forms of funding, forecasting for new ventures, financial strategy, and valuation. Through hands on workshops and case studies, students will learn how to negotiate funding terms and establish metrics that will maximize the value of their entrepreneurial investment.

1.50 credits



FIN6200 Financial Data Analysis and Practice 3 credits This course trains students how to use different data sets for research, how to develop appropriate financial memos and reports for various audiences, and provides some introduction to different aspects of the finance profession. At least four different datasets such as (but not limited to) CRSP, Compustat, Bloomberg, and Capital IQ will be introduced. Students will learn how to access and download data, analyze the data, create reports, and provide written and oral reports to different financial and non-financial audiences. In addition, students will be made aware of professional practices and standards in different financial professions to prepare students for rapid entry into the workplace.

3.00 credits



Financial Data Analysis and Practice This yearlong course trains students how to use data sets for research, how to develop appropriate financial memos and reports for various audiences, and provides some introduction to different aspects of the finance profession. At least four datasets such as (but not limited to) CRSP, Compustat, Bloomberg, and Capital IQ will be introduced. Students will learn how to access and download data, analyze the data, create reports, and provide written and oral reports to financial and nonfinancial audiences. In addition, students will be made aware of professional practices and standards in financial professions to prepare students for rapid entry into the workplace.

1.50 credits



FIN7200 Introduction to Financial Management Introduction to Financial Management (FIN) This course introduces the managerial finance skills required of effective business managers operating in all functional areas of an organization as they seek to create shareholder value. Covers basic corporate finance topics including financial analysis, construction of pro forma financial statements and forecasting cash flows, the relationship between risk and return, the cost of capital, discounting future cash flows, assessing the viability of projects and capital budgeting, financing and capital structure issues, and the valuation of stock, bonds, firms and other entities.

2.00 credits



FIN 7502 - CAPITAL MARKETS 3 elective credits This course provides a survey of modern capital markets and a framework for understanding their continuing transformation. The course is suitable either for a person looking to make a career in finance or a generalist looking to broaden their knowledge of financial markets. The course begins by studying the fixed income markets, concentrating on Treasury bonds and the determinants of the yield curve. The course also considers certain derivatives, such as options and interest rate swaps. Mortgage markets are studied by analyzing structured mortgage products as well as the role financial intermediaries play in mortgage finance. The course proceeds to consider the causes and the effects of the credit crisis on various markets and intermediaries, including investment and commercial banks, and the shadow banking system. The course then turns to the equity markets. In this section, we first consider corporate control contests, including a takeover of a U.S. firm by foreign bidder. We analyze the market for money management products, including mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and robo-advisers. The course concludes by considering traditional vs. new mechanisms for the trading of stocks, including electronic markets and high frequency trading. Prerequisite: FIN7200 or FIN7800 or MSF Program

3.00 credits



FIN 7503 EQUITIES 3 credit elective This course will address both theoretical and practical issues that arise in equity analysis and portfolio management. Students will develop a framework for equity investing that includes idea generation, security analysis, valuation techniques (e.g. Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) and relative value analysis (COMPCO)), equity portfolio construction, and performance measurement. Equity valuation and equity portfolio management are as much art as science so the course will focus on the challenges equity professionals face in the pursuit of alpha. Prerequisite: FIN7200 or FIN7800 or MSF program.

3.00 credits



FIN7504 Risk Management (formerly Managing Financial and Corporate Risk) 3 credit elective Risk management of modern corporations has risen to a new pre-eminence in industrial and financial firms. The reasons for this rise, and the techniques and instruments used by risk managers, are the subjects of this course. The course first considers the mechanics and the economic intuition behind the basic tools of financial risk management: forwards, futures, swaps, and options. Students will then use their knowledge to build synthetic securities, to exploit arbitrage opportunities, and to alter the risk/return characteristics of corporations. We then apply these tools to risk management problems of firms in industries such as energy (oil and natural gas), chemicals, financial services (banks and securities firms), and commodities (gold), and pharmaceuticals (intellectual capital.) Prerequisite: FIN7200 or FIN7800 This course is typically offered in the Spring

3.00 credits



FIN 7508 Financial Services and Institutions (Formerly "Management of Financial Institutions") 3 credit elective This course covers the operation and management of a variety of financial firms and regulatory agencies, including depository institutions, the Federal Reserve, investment banks, hedge funds, broker-dealers, asset managers, insurance companies, venture capital funds, and private equity firms. It examines the role these institutions play individually and collectively in the capital markets and how they impact the broader economy. Examples of possible topics include: managing risk and return in regulated depository institutions; venture capital markets and start-up financing; securitization and structured products; private equity and leveraged transactions; and the emergence of quantitative-high frequency trading firms. This course aims to provide a general and practical understanding of the unique, and interrelated functions and operations of financial institutions as well as the products and services offered by such firms. As such, it will be useful for any student interested in pursuing: (a) sell side positions in investment banking and private equity; (b) buy side positions in asset management; (c) a range of finance related positions within insurance and commercial banking; (d) finance related roles at medium to large corporations. It will also be useful for any student who has an interest in founding/owing a business that requires or will require substantial outside capital at start-up or to fund expansion. Prerequisite: Evening: FIN7200 Blended Learning MBA: (ECN7201 and MIS7200) One Year: FIN7200 Two Year: FIN7200

3.00 credits



FIN 7511 Corporate Finance: Raising Capital (Formerly "Financing the Firm") 3 credit elective This course is designed to help students develop analytical tools and skills to build financing strategies and manage the right hand side of the balance sheet. It explores the theoretical and practical issues of capital structure design, considers firm financing alternatives, including equity, long-term debt, hybrid securities, leasing, securitization, project finance, and examines the process through which securities are issued. The course also explores share repurchase, dividend policy, and risk management. Prerequisite: FIN7200 or FIN7800 This course is typically offered in Fall and Spring.

3.00 credits



FIN 7513 Fixed Income (Formerly "Fixed Income Portfolio Management") 3 credit elective This advanced quantitative course is designed for students interested in fixed income portfolio management, as well as students interested in the sales and trading of fixed income securities and their related structured products. Topics covered include: (i) bond pricing and day count conventions; (ii) relative value and yield curve construction; (iii) duration, basis point value, and convexity; (iv) pricing and hedging of interest rate currency swaps; (v) Treasury bond futures, conversion factors, and the concepts of cheapest-to-deliver and implied repo; (vi) the repo (GC and special) market; (vii) credit risk and the pricing of high yield bonds and credit default swaps; and (viii) securitization, mortgage-backed securities, and collateralized mortgage obligations. Prerequisite: FIN7200 This course is typically offered in the Fall.

3.00 credits



FIN 7516 Corporate Finance: Evaluating Opportunities (Formerly "Strategic Corporate Investment") 3 credit elective Students registering for this course may not have already taken FIN7506 Financial Tools for Business Managers. Credit will not be granted for both courses. This course is designed for those interested in evaluating complex long-term strategic investment proposals and valuing firms and subsidiaries for merger and acquisition purposes. Building on the foundation of the finance core, it explores finance theory to identify pitfalls, common mistakes, and best practices in corporate valuation. It expands valuation skills by introducing the equity approach and the adjusted present value (APV) valuation method, the preferred approach when capital structure is changing over time(e.g. in private equity transactions). It also covers the identification and valuation of real options embedded in strategic initiatives. Prerequisite: FIN7200 or FIN7800 This course is typically offered in Fall and Spring.

3.00 credits



FIN 7517 Finance in a World of Changing Values (Previously titled: Financing and Valuing Sustainability) 3 elective credits Entrepreneurial Leaders have different expectations from their employers, their neighborhood, their investments, and as consumers, than their parents and ancestors. In August 2019, The Business Roundtable (a group of more than 100 of the words largest organizations and led by Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase) changed its statement of the purpose of a corporation. No longer should decisions be based solely on whether they will yield higher profits for shareholders, the group said. Rather, corporate leaders should take into account all stakeholdersthat is, employees, customers and society writ large. This course addresses the practicality of finance in this new world. Using quantitative metrics and financial tools students will examine the measurable value of making, avoiding, or innovating in a world where the shareholder is no longer the only master. Students will analyze a range of technologies, strategies, and business models from the perspective of managers, entrepreneurs, and investors, and will be required to understand and communicate the justification for or against them, including the considering the policy issues which encourage or are obstacle to these values. Financial tools such as discounted cash flow, capital budgeting, capital structure, and risk/return analysis will be combined with impact metrics to evaluate the feasibility and financial implications of 'sustainable' products and practices in a variety of industries and applications. Students will learn how to evaluate the cost of externalities and develop an increased familiarity with existing financial tools. Two life long practitioners steeped in this tradition in public markets, project finance, energy, sustainability, and private equity will take students on a quantitatively challenging and intellectually stimulating course full of lively debate, and tips from the trenches. Prerequisites: FIN7200 or FIN7800

3.00 credits



FIN7518 Managing Portfolios 3 credit elective Managing Portfolios is designed for students interested in investment management, portfolio management, and/or risk management. The course will augment and extend students' basic finance skills, tools and concepts learned in core finance courses and in other courses in the Investments concentration curriculum. In the context of a variety of individual and institutional investor types, from high net worth individuals to endowments, students will explore the simultaneous management of positions in multiple securities using heuristic, statistical and other mathematical tools. Topics covered include client assessment, investment objective setting, investment strategy formulation, security selection, allocation of risky assets, optimal portfolio selection, and the use of derivatives to meet investment objectives. Through projects and readings, students will explore these topics in portfolio theory and practice. Tools and theories used widely by portfolio management professionals are fundamental to this course. In addition to the traditional course work, the students will study and prepare investment proposals, periodic client communications and conduct portfolio performance evaluations. This course is typically offered in the Spring Prerequisites: FIN7200 or FIN7800

3.00 credits



FIN7519 Personal Financial Management 3 Credit Elective This course teaches students to negotiate the retail financial landscape, emphasizing issues that have a large impact on their future financial well-being. It assumes no finance knowledge other than first-year finance. The course covers topics such as selecting a financial adviser, financing the purchase of a house, college saving, retirement saving, behavioral finance, trusts, and investment frauds and scams. Specific investment products studied include mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, municipal bonds, emerging markets, alternative investments (including hedge funds, private equity funds, and commodities), annuities, and insurance products. Consideration will be given to the problem of an entrepreneur or start-up employee who has a substantial fraction of personal wealth invested in a single business venture, including evaluating stock- and option-based compensation plans. Over the duration of the course, students may work to develop a personal financial plan for themselves, or if they prefer, for a fictional person with a defined set of financial traits. Prerequisite: None but it is recommenced that students take FIN7200 or FIN7800 first This course is typically offered in the Fall.

3.00 credits