Finance (FIN)

FIN 402. Capital Budgeting And Corporate Objectives. 3 credits

This course provides an introduction to financial analysis and capital budgeting with an emphasis on the valuation of real investment projects. Topics discussed include: analysis of the firm's choice among alternative investment projects, the term structure of interest rates, modern portfolio theory and the valuation of risky assets, the estimation of free cash flows, capital structure choices, and the cost of capital.

FIN 411. Investments. 3 credits

Investments includes discussion of the efficient-markets theory of the dynamic behavior of prices in speculative markets, along with empirical evidence for the validity of the theory; evaluation of the implications of the efficient-markets theory for the profitability of alternative investment strategies; exploration of the implications of portfolio theory for equilibrium asset prices and the measurement of risk; emphasis on the empirical evidence for various mean-variance and multifactor models of asset pricing and the use of these models for evaluating portfolio performance; and introduction to special topics in financial markets, such as arbitrage pricing theory, and options and futures contracts.

FIN 413. Corporate Finance. 3 credits

This course provides an intensive analysis of the effects of various corporate financial policy decisions on the value of the firm, including a discussion of the effects of taxes, bankruptcy costs and agency costs on these decisions. It then examines the interrelation of financing policy with executive compensation, leasing, hedging and payout policies. The course provides an understanding of the theoretical issues involved in the choice of these policies.

FIN 418. Quantitative Finance with Python. 3 credits

In today's information age, managers increasingly rely on quantitative models and big data to make financial decisions that have a profound impact on the performance of their organizations. Often business analysts produce the quantitative models that top management use to support their decision making, but top management must also understand the strengths and weaknesses of the models if they are to use them effectively to support their decisions. The objective of this course is to equip you with the frameworks, tools, and methodologies necessary to build and/or be an educated user of quantitative models for financial decision making. The course is suitable for students seeking a career in finance, but also for students with broader interests who wish to strengthen their general modelling skills, and it does not require any quantitative background other than what is covered in the MBA core courses. We will help you master modelling frameworks such as regression analysis, Monte-Carlo simulation, optimization, and binomial trees; and, we will show you how to apply these frameworks in financial contexts such as portfolio management, term-structure estimation, capital budgeting, risk measurement, risk analysis in discounted cash flow models, and pricing of European, American, exotic, and real options. The modelling tools will be illustrated by applying them to a variety of real-world cases. For instance, we will use real options to carry out the valuation of a 10-year lease on a gold mine (taking into account the uncertainty in gold prices and the flexibility to choose when and how much gold to extract); we will show you how to use Monte-Carlo simulation to understand the impact of the different assumptions underlying the discounted cash-flow analysis for a new venture in the airline industry; and, we will show you how to value abandonment, expansion, contraction, and pioneer options on real-world assets.

FIN 423. Corp Fin Pol & Control. 3 credits

This course examines the theory and empirical evidence for models of corporate financial policy; analysis of new issues of securities, recapitalizations, stock repurchases, and the market for corporate control (tender offers, mergers, proxy fights and corporate voting rights); and emphasizes critical evaluation of the evidence for different models of corporate financial policy.

FIN 424. Options And Futures Markets. 3 credits

This course provides intensive study of the fundamental ideas of option-pricing theory and their application to options, financial futures and other securities; analysis of hedging with forward and futures contracts; development of the Black-Scholes option-pricing formula, its uses and modifications, and generalizations of the model; and discussion of the structure and organization of options and futures markets, and the exploration of empirical evidence on the validity of option-pricing models. Analyses of the pricing of options on futures, foreign currency, portfolios and indexes, commodity prices, bond prices, and interest rates are included as time permits.

FIN 430. Risk Management. 3 credits

This course focuses on analysis of the mutual fund, investment banking, commercial banking, and insurance industries. Particular emphasis is placed on the effects of contracts and organizational structure on the incentives of the participants in these industries.

FIN 433. Cases In Finance. 3 credits

This course provides intensive exercise in valuation methods and the economic analysis of problems of corporate financial policy. A variety of other topics, including insider trading, portfolio performance and asset allocation, are also explored. Specific case topics include: corporate valuations; M&A transactions (tender offers, mergers, proxy fights); recapitalizations; stock repurchases; and novel securities. Case reports are done in teams and judged on clarity and usefulness to practitioners in understanding and resolving strategic problems.

FIN 434. Investment Management And Trading Strategies. 3 credits

This course explores selected topics in the management of equity portfolios. Course content may vary from year to year. Topics include: active portfolio management with particular emphasis on risk analysis, multifactor risk / return models and performance evaluation and style analysis. The course also considers issues and evidence on different forms of market structure and trading systems, including the role of specialists/dealers, optimal trading behavior for institutions, price impact of trades, and related information technology. Extensive use is made of investment software.

FIN 441. Special Topics in Finance. 3 credits

Special topics are generally those which are not well covered in other courses. The specific content varies, depending on faculty interest.

FIN 441A. Special Topics in Finance: Real Estate. 3 credits

This course provides an introduction to, and an overview of, real estate as a capital asset and as a major component of our financial markets. The course will focus on the basic economics of real estate markets, market analysis, and real estate finance. Concepts used in the real estate industry will be covered throughout the course. The course will specifically consider market analysis, valuation, capital structure, and risk analyses for income-producing (commercial) properties. The securitization of both commercial and residential properties has been a critical factor in our current economy, and the structure of real estate securities and investment vehicles such as real estate investment trusts will be studied. The course also introduces real estate development and current trends in the market.

FIN 441B. Special Topics in Finance: Private Equity. 3 credits

The Private Equity and Venture Capital [PE/VC] industry is more in the popular press than ever before; funds are larger and more diverse than in any past generation, deals are bigger, scope is worldwide, and wealth-generation seems to be at levels heretofore unseen. Many argue that PE/VC drives major segments of national economies more than ever before, and that it is essential that the industry is better understood and weighed more heavily in the thinking and plans of policy-makers in government and commerce. This course provides exposure to what PE/VC is and how it works. We cover, among other things; the make-up of funds, the composition and operation of PE/VC firms, dealing sourcing, due diligence and investment process, and the roles of partnerships, GPs, LPs, 'activists' and Boards. At a higher level, we cover industry performance and competition, fund creation, some international aspects of the business, and differing approaches to financing in different alternative asset categories.

FIN 441C. Special Topics in Finance: Hedge Funds. 3 credits

This course focuses on applications of investment management to alternative investments. Topics include organization, investment strategies, performance analysis, risk management, and regulatory issues as they apply to hedge funds and CTAs. Readings and cases emphasize financial innovation in the investment fund industry.

FIN 441D. Special Topics in Finance: Financial Distress. 3 credits

This course focuses on corporate finance and investment perspectives on bankruptcy, credit risk, and securities of distressed firms. Topics include financial distress, bankruptcy and corporate reorganization, credit risk analysis, credit risk management and credit derivatives, and distressed investing. Readings and cases highlight issues related to financial distress, bankruptcy proceedings, functioning of distressed companies, and corporate turnaround strategies; credit risk analysis and management challenges for lenders, bond investors and portfolio managers associated with credit risk; credit derivatives; as well as investment opportunities and due diligence in the distressed securities segment.

FIN 442. International Economics And Finance. 3 credits

Topics include: exchange-rate regimes; the determination of exchange rates in a world of flexible exchange rates; speculation in foreign exchange markets; the Eurocurrency and measurement of foreign exchange exposure; analysis of currency forward, future, option, bond, and swap contracts; hedging of foreign exchange exposure.

FIN 444. Entrepreneurial Finance. 3 credits

This course provides an introduction to financial theories and tools an entrepreneur needs to start, build and harvest a successful venture. Cases and lectures will cover business evaluation and valuation, including the venture capital and the real option approach, financing, venture capital funds, compensation structures, and exit strategies.

FIN 446. Financial Information Systems. 3 credits

This course examines the role that information systems and telecommunications play in various aspects of financial markets, financial service organizations, and corporate finance. Technology's transformation of financial markets is studied from the perspectives of electronic trading systems competing with exchanges; Internet brokerage firms attracting trading and IPO's and making markets; firms supplying company and market information, managing risk, and providing custodial and management services. The course covers financial services issues such as electronic banking, automated personal financial management, electronic payment systems, and digital cash. Case studies are used in many classes.

FIN 448. Fixed-Income Securities. 3 credits

The objective of this course is to undertake a rigorous study of fixed-income securities and markets. A variety of fixed-income securities will be discussed including coupon bonds, callable and putable bonds, sinking fund provisions, and floating rate notes. Interest rate derivatives such as forwards and futures on fixed-income securities, bond options, options on bond futures, caps, floors, and collars will also be discussed. In addition, we will study some tools that are useful in bond portfolio management including horizon analysis, duration, optimization techniques for constructing bond portfolios and modes for pricing fixed-income securities. While the perspective of this course is from the viewpoint of a bond investor, a person in corporate finance needs to understand similar material. Evaluating an investment in a fixed-income security is the mirror image of the problem faced by a corporation in deciding whether or not to issue a bond.

FIN 462. Foundations in Financial Economics. 3 credits

This course serves as an introduction to the theory and practice of corporate finance. It provides a market-oriented framework for analyzing the investment and financing decisions made by corporations. The two major questions, which this course aims to answer,

FIN 465. Applied Finance Project. 3 credits

The experience of working on actual projects provides the opportunity for the student to incorporate subjects, skills and tools, introduced through the classroom, into the problem identification, assessment, and solution process used with and for clients. The project work also provides visibility and use of measurement schemes, statistical analysis, and engages the student in activity that supports the development and use of business judgment; skills and perspective driven by practice, with consequences associated with results - as they hear frequently in the courses they take. The projects offer visibility to varied management processes, internal and external political processes, and continually provides emphasis on measurable results - not simply activity. This course integrates and expands classroom education with 'real-world' experience - providing opportunities for, among other things; project management; process management; task planning; testing and use of class concepts/tools in an actual work environment; focus on results, not simply activity, business planning; performance planning and management; inter/intra group collaborative efforts on goal-oriented work activity; business assessment; development/practice/testing of business judgment; organizational and functional assessments, management and personnel assessment; time management; measurements of 'value-added' and 'effectiveness' in consultative roles in widely-varied organizations; goal, task, and process negotiations; expectation development and communication; feedback development; and planning and coaching through change processes.

FIN 465A. Applied Finance Project I. 0 credits

The experience of working on actual projects provides the opportunity for the student to incorporate subjects, skills and tools, introduced through the classroom, into the problem identification, assessment, and solution process used with and for clients. The project work also provides visibility and use of measurement schemes, statistical analysis, and engages the student in activity that supports the development and use of business judgment; skills and perspective driven by practice, with consequences associated with results - as they hear frequently in the courses they take. The projects offer visibility to varied management processes, internal and external political processes, and continually provides emphasis on measureable results - not simply activity. This course integrates and expands classroom education with 'real-world' experience - providing opportunities for, among other things; project management; process management; task planning; testing and use of class concepts/tools in an actual work environment; focus on results, not simply activity, business planning; performance planning and management; inter/intra group collaborative efforts on goal-oriented work activity; business assessment; development/practice/testing of business judgment; organizational and functional assessments, management and personnel assessment; time management; measurements of 'value added' and 'effectiveness' in consultative roles in widely-varied organizations; goal, task, and process negotiations; expectation development and communication; feedback development; and planning and coaching through change processes.

FIN 465B. Applied Finance Project II. 3 credits

The experience of working on actual projects provides the opportunity for the student to incorporate subjects, skills and tools, introduced through the classroom, into the problem identification, assessment, and solution process used with and for clients. The project work also provides visibility and use of measurement schemes, statistical analysis, and engages the student in activity that supports the development and use of business judgment; skills and perspective driven by practice, with consequences associated with results - as they hear frequently in the courses they take. The projects offer visibility to varied management processes, internal and external political processes, and continually provides emphasis on measureable results - not simply activity. This course integrates and expands classroom education with 'real-world' experience - providing opportunities for, among other things; project management; process management; task planning; testing and use of class concepts/tools in an actual work environment; focus on results, not simply activity, business planning; performance planning and management; inter/intra group collaborative efforts on goal-oriented work activity; business assessment; development/practice/testing of business judgment; organizational and functional assessments, management and personnel assessment; time management; measurements of 'value added' and 'effectiveness' in consultative roles in widely-varied organizations; goal, task, and process negotiations; expectation development and communication; feedback development; and planning and coaching through change processes.

FIN 501. Workshop In Finance. 0 credits

Seminars discussing current research in finance by faculty, students, and guest speakers. PhD students are expected to actively participate.

FIN 505. Theory Of Finance. 3 credits

The goal of this course is to present the theory of asset pricing and portfolio selection in multi-period settings under uncertainty. The asset pricing results are based on three increasingly restrictive assumptions: single-agent optimality, absence of arbitrage and equilibrium. These results are unified with two key concepts: pricing kernels and martingales. The course draws connections between these concepts and makes plain the similarities between discrete and continuous time models. Applications include term structure models, portfolio choices, and the pricing of corporate securities. This course will follow the semester schedule.

FIN 511. Continuous Time Theory In Finance. 3 credits

The course builds on the basic theory presented in FIN 505 Theory of Finance. FIN 511 will emphasize some relatively advanced mathematical methods that are used in the research literature of financial economics. The objective of the course is to provide the student with enough knowledge of these methods that he or she can begin to use them in nontrivial ways in his or her research. Particular emphasis is given to topics that are costly or difficult to learn on an individual basis. The methods surveyed in the course are primarily techniques for constructing and analyzing continuous-time models of trading and of stochastic asset price behavior. Virtually all of the derivative security pricing models and many of the multifactor models of asset prices and the term structure of interest rates are of this type.

FIN 512. Empirical Asset Pricing. 3 credits

This course covers classic contributions and recent developments in capital markets research, both applied theoretical and empirical, in relation to corporate policies, business cycle and economic growth. Specific topics include time-series predictability of stock market returns, empirical methods and evidence on the cross-section of returns, evidence on mutual fund performance and the closed-end fund puzzle, event studies and the empirical relations between stock returns and corporate policies, consumption-based asset pricing, applied equilibrium modeling of asset pricing anomalies and behavioral finance.

FIN 523. Advanced Agency Theory. 3 credits

The course studies dynamic aspects of the theory of the firm. The strong emphasis is placed on the role of time and repeated decisions in firm management. The topics include real options, dynamic lemons markets, dynamic contracts, and investment under constraints. The course is research intensive, requiring completion of several referee reports and a term project.

FIN 532. Advanced Topics in Capital Markets. 3 credits

This course covers classic contributions and recent developments in capital markets research, both applied theoretical and empirical, in relation to corporate policies, business cycle and economic growth. Specific topics include time-series predictability of stock market returns, empirical methods and evidence on the cross-section of returns, evidence on mutual fund performance and the closed-end fund puzzle, event studies and the empirical relations between stock returns and corporate policies, consumption-based asset pricing, applied equilibrium modeling of asset pricing anomalies and behavioral finance.

FIN 534. Advanced Topics in Corporate Finance. 3 credits

This course examines the determinants and consequences of corporate financial policy choices. Topics include: capital structure, bankruptcy and financial distress, payout policy, corporate control, leasing, hedging and insurance, raising capital, concentrated ownership, board structure, and executive compensation. Specific topics will vary from year to year. The course will investigate both the theoretical and empirical literature on these topics.