David Wessels

David Wessels
  • Adjunct Full Professor of Finance
  • Director, Wharton Executive Education

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    2438 Steinberg-Dietrich Hall
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Overview

David Wessels is an Adjunct Professor of Finance, a Director of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He serves as the Academic Director for Wharton’s CFO Program on Strategic Leadership.  David teaches courses on corporate valuation, venture capital, and performance management to undergraduates and MBA’s in Philadelphia and San Francisco, and executive audiences globally.

Professor Wessels has been recognized by his students with the school’s MBA excellence in teaching award, and has been acknowledged nationally for his research on organizational structure and financial performance. His co-authored book, Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies, is accepted as the seminal text for students of corporate valuation and investment banking.

In addition to his teaching on campus, Professor Wessels has served on the executive development and training faculties at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deloitte, Ericsson, Estee Lauder, Goldman Sachs, Google, Home Depot, Lockheed Martin, McKinsey & Company, PepsiCo, Philips, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Siemens, and UPS.

Before joining the Wharton School, David served on finance faculty of the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. Prior to Emory, he was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company and a technology analyst for Boston-based Harbourvest Venture Partners. David holds a PhD in finance from UCLA Anderson School of Management, a BS in economics and a BAS in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Research

Teaching

Current Courses (Fall 2022)

  • FNCE2070 - Valuation

    The focus of this course is on the valuation of companies. The course covers current conceptual and theoretical valuation frameworks and translates those frameworks into practical approaches for valuing companies. The relevant accounting topics and the appropriate finance theory are integrated to show how to implement the valuation frameworks discussed on a step-by-step basis. The course teaches how to develop the required information for valuing companies from financial statements and other information sources in a real-world setting. Topics covered in depth include discounted cash flow techniques and price multiples. In addition, the course covers other valuation techniques such as leveraged buyout analysis.

    FNCE2070002 ( Syllabus )

    FNCE2070001 ( Syllabus )

  • FNCE7070 - Valuation

    (Formerly FNCE 728) The focus of this course is on the valuation of companies. The course covers current conceptual and theoretical valuation frameworks and translates those frameworks into practical approaches for valuing companies. The relevant accounting topics and the appropriate finance theory are integrated to show how to implement the valuation frameworks discussed on a step-by-step basis. The course teaches how to develop the required information for valuing companies from financial statements and other information sources in a real-world setting. Topics covered in depth include discounted cash flow techniques and price multiples. In addition, the course covers other valuation techniques such as leveraged buyout analysis.

    FNCE7070001 ( Syllabus )

    FNCE7070002 ( Syllabus )

All Courses

  • ECON4999 - Independent Study

    Individual study and research under the direction of a member of the Economics Department faculty. At a minimum, the student must write a major paper summarizing, unifying, and interpreting the results of the study. This is a one semester, one c.u. course.

  • FNCE1000 - Corporate Finance

    This course provides an introduction to the theory, the methods, and the concerns of corporate finance. The concepts developed in FNCE 1000 form the foundation for all elective finance courses. The main topics include: 1) the time value of money and capital budgeting techniques; 2) uncertainty and the trade-off between risk and return; 3) security market efficiency; 4) optimal capital structure, and 5) dividend policy decisions. ACCT 1010 + STAT 1010 may be taken concurrently.

  • FNCE2070 - Valuation

    The focus of this course is on the valuation of companies. The course covers current conceptual and theoretical valuation frameworks and translates those frameworks into practical approaches for valuing companies. The relevant accounting topics and the appropriate finance theory are integrated to show how to implement the valuation frameworks discussed on a step-by-step basis. The course teaches how to develop the required information for valuing companies from financial statements and other information sources in a real-world setting. Topics covered in depth include discounted cash flow techniques and price multiples. In addition, the course covers other valuation techniques such as leveraged buyout analysis.

  • FNCE2500 - Vent Cap & Fnce of Innovation

    This course covers the finance of technological innovation, with a focus on the valuation tools useful in the venture capital industry. These tools include the "venture capital method," comparables analysis, discounted cash flow analysis, contingent-claims analysis. The primary audience for this course is finance majors interested in careers in venture capital or in R&D-intensive companies in health care or information technology.

  • FNCE6110 - Corporate Finance

    This course serves as an introduction to business finance (corporate financial management and investments) for both non-majors and majors preparing for upper-level course work. The primary objective is to provide the framework, concepts, and tools for analyzing financial decisions based on fundamental principles of modern financial theory. The approach is rigorous and analytical. Topics covered include discounted cash flow techniques; corporate capital budgeting and valuation; investment decisions under uncertainty; capital asset pricing; options; and market efficiency. The course will also analyze corporate financial policy, including capital structure, cost of capital, dividend policy, and related issues. Additional topics will differ according to individual instructors.

  • FNCE7070 - Valuation

    (Formerly FNCE 728) The focus of this course is on the valuation of companies. The course covers current conceptual and theoretical valuation frameworks and translates those frameworks into practical approaches for valuing companies. The relevant accounting topics and the appropriate finance theory are integrated to show how to implement the valuation frameworks discussed on a step-by-step basis. The course teaches how to develop the required information for valuing companies from financial statements and other information sources in a real-world setting. Topics covered in depth include discounted cash flow techniques and price multiples. In addition, the course covers other valuation techniques such as leveraged buyout analysis.

  • FNCE7500 - Vent Cap & Fnce Innovat

    This course covers the finance of technological innovation, with a focus on the valuation tools useful in the venture capital industry. These tools include the "venture capital method," comparables analysis, discounted cash flow analysis, contingent-claims analysis. The primary audience for this course is finance majors interested in careers in venture capital or in R&D-intensive companies in health care or information technology.

  • FNCE8990 - Independent Study

    Independent Study Projects require extensive independent work and a considerable amount of writing. ISP in Finance are intended to give students the opportunity to study a particular topic in Finance in greater depth than is covered in the curriculum. The application for ISP's should outline a plan of study that requires at least as much work as a typical course in the Finance Department that meets twice a week. Applications for FNCE 8990 ISP's will not be accepted after the THIRD WEEK OF THE SEMESTER. ISP's must be supervised by a Standing Faculty member of the Finance Department.

Awards and Honors

  • Wharton Teaching Excellence Award, The Wharton School, 2018-2021
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, WEMBA San Francisco, 2017
  • William G. Whitney Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Affiliated Faculty, 2016
  • William G. Whitney Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Affiliated Faculty, 2015
  • William G. Whitney Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Affiliated Faculty, 2013
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Full-time MBA Program, 2013
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Full-time MBA Program, 2012
  • William G. Whitney Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Affiliated Faculty, 2012
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, WEMBA San Francisco, 2011
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Full-time MBA Program, 2010
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, WEMBA San Francisco, 2009
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Full-time MBA Program, 2006
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, WEMBA San Francisco, 2004
  • Trefftzs Award, Western Finance Association, 2000

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