MBA Course Descriptions

FNCE611 - CORPORATE FINANCE (Course Syllabus)

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.

FNCE613 - MACROECN & GLOBAL ECONOM (Course Syllabus)

This course is required for all students except those who, having prior training in macroeconomics, money and banking, and stabilization policy at an intermediate or advanced level, can obtain a waiver by passing an examination. The purpose of the course is to train students to think systematically about the current state of the economy and macroeconomic policy, and to be able to evaluate the economic environment within which business and financial decisions are made. The course emphasizes the use of economic theory to understand the workings of financial markets and the operation and impact of government policies. We will study the determinants of the level of national income, employment, investment, interest rates, the supply of money, inflation, exchange rates, and the formulation and operation of stabilization policies.

FNCE621 - CORPORATE FNCE (HALF CU) (Course Syllabus)

(Formerly FNCE 614) This half-semester course serves as an introduction to corporate investments for non-majors. The primary objective is to provide a framework, concepts, and tools for analyzing financial decisions based on fundamental principles of modern financial theory. Topics covered include discounted cash flow techniques, corporate capital budgeting and valuation, investment decisions under uncertainty, and capital asset pricing. The approach is rigorous and analytical but the course will not cover several topics included in the full semester Corporate Finance course, including: market efficiency, corporate financial policy (including capital structure, cost of capital, dividend policy, and related issues), and options.

FNCE623 - MACROECONOMICS (HALF CU) (Course Syllabus)

(Formerly FNCE 615) This half-semester course in Macroeconomics is intended fornon-finance majors. The goal of this course is to provide the foundation needed to recognize and understand broad economic and financial movements in the global economy. Key topics include national income accounting, production and economic growth, employment, business cycles, monetary and fiscal policy, and international finance. By the end of this course, students will be able to evaluate and discuss the global economic environment in which business and financial decisions are made.

FNCE703 - ADVANCED CORP FINANCE (Course Syllabus)

(Formerly FNCE 726) The objective of this course is to study the major decision-making areas of managerial finance and some selected topics in financial theory. The course reviews the theory and empirical evidence related to the investment and financing policies of the firm and attempts to develop decision-making ability in these areas. This course serves as an extension of FNCE 611. Some areas of financial management not covered in FNCE 611 are covered in FNCE 703. These may include leasing, mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations, financial planning, and working capital management, and some other selected topics. Other areas that are covered in FNCE 611 are covered more in depth and more rigorously in FNCE 703. These include investment decision making under uncertainty, cost of capital, capital structure, pricing of selected financial instruments and corporate liabilities, and dividend policy.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE705 - INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT (Course Syllabus)

(Formerly FNCE 720) This course studies the concepts and evidence relevant to the management of investment portfolios. Topics include diversification, asset allocation, portfolio optimization, factor models, the relation between risk and return, trading, passive (e.g., index-fund) and active (e.g., hedge-fund, long-short) strategies, mutual funds, performance evaluation, long-horizon investing and simulation. The course deals very little with individual security valuation and discretionary investing (i.e., "equity research" or "stock picking").

Prerequisites: FNCE 611 AND (STAT 613 OR STAT 621)

FNCE707 - VALUATION (Course Syllabus)

(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.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611 AND (ACCT 611 OR ACCT 613) AND (STAT 613 OR STAT 621)

FNCE717 - FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES (Course Syllabus)

This course covers one of the most exciting and fundamental areas in finance. Financial derivatives serve as building blocks to understand broad classes of financial problems, such as complex asset portfolios, strategic corporate decisions, and stages in venture capital investing. The main objective of this course is build intuition and skills on (1) pricing and hedging of derivative securities, and (2) using them for investment and risk management. In terms of methodologies, we apply the non-arbitrage principle and the law of one price to dynamic models through three different approaches: the binomial tree model, the Black-Scholes-Merton option pricing model, and the simulation-based risk neutral pricing approach. The course covers a wide range of applications, including the use of derivatives in asset management, the valuation of corporate securities such as stocks and corporate bonds with embedded options, interest rate and credit derivatives, as well as crude oil derivatives. We emphasize practical considerations of implementing strategies using derivatives as tools, especially when no-arbitrage conditions do not hold.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE719 - INTL FINANCIAL MARKETS (Course Syllabus)

Major topics include foreign exchange rates, international money markets, currency and interest rate derivatives, international stock and bond portfolios, and cryptocurrencies. Students learn about the features of financial instruments and the motivations of market participants. The class focuses on risk management, investing, and arbitrage in these markets. In addition to course prerequisites, FNCE 613 is recommended but not required.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE721 - REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS (Course Syllabus)

This course provides an introduction to real estate with a focus on investment and financing issues. Project evaluation, financing strategies, investment decision making and capital markets are covered. No prior knowledge of the industry is required, but students are expected to rapidly acquire a working knowledge of real estate markets. Classes are conducted in a standard lecture format with discussion required. The course contains cases that help students evaluate the impact of more complex financing and capital markets tools used in real estate. Lecture with discussion required.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE725 - FIXED INCOME SECURITIES (Course Syllabus)

This course covers fixed income securities (including fixed income derivatives) and provides an introduction to the markets in which they are traded, as well as to the tools that are used to value these securities and to assess and manage their risk. Quantitative models play a key role in the valuation and risk management of these securities. In addition to course prerequisites, FNCE 613 is recommended but not required.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611 AND (STAT 613 OR STAT 621)

FNCE730 - URBAN FISCAL POLICY (Course Syllabus)

This course will examine the provision of public services for firms and people through cities. Why cities exist, when fiscal policy fails, investments in infrastructure, realities of local governments such as inequality, crime, corruption, high cost of living, congestion, and unfunded pensions and debt, will be covered. We will pay special attention to recent topics, such as partnerships with the private sector, enterprise zones, the role of technology, environmental challenges, and real estate policies that promote housing affordability, such as rent control and inclusionary zoning.

FNCE731 - GLOBAL VAL RISK ANALYSIS (Course Syllabus)

(Formerly named International Corporate Finance) This course analyzes the financial management problems that result from operating in global environments. Key topics include managing currency risk through hedging and financing, calculating the cost of capital for foreign operations, assessing sovereign risks, capital budgeting from a project and parent perspective, and international taxation.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE732 - INTERNATIONAL BANKING (Course Syllabus)

This course focuses on international financial institutions, especially the activities of global, systemically important banks. We will examine how current and historical events are reshaping the industry and highlight the basic analytics of managing a bank's exposure to liquidity, credit, market and reputational risk. Most classes will begin with discussion of a current event related to course topics. Three team projects will be assigned that will give you deeper exposure to analytic techniques related to the course. Throughout the semester, we will discuss public policy issues facing the international financial system. In addition to course prerequisites, FNCE 613 is recommended.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE737 - DATA SCIENCE FOR FINANCE (Course Syllabus)

This course will introduce students to data science for financial applications using the Python programming language and its ecosystem of packages (e.g., Dask, Matplotlib, Numpy, Numba, Pandas, SciPy, Scikit-Learn, StatsModels). To do so, students will investigate a variety of empirical questions from different areas within finance by way of data labs, or case studies that rely on data and analytics. Some of the areas that may be covered in the course, subject to time constraints, include: FinTech, investment management, corporate finance, corporate governance, venture capital, private equity. The course will highlight how big data and data analytics shape the way finance is practiced. Some programming and experience is helpful though knowledge of Python is not assumed.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE738 - CAPITAL MARKETS (Course Syllabus)

The objective of this course is to give you a broad understanding of the instruments traded in modern financial markets, the mechanisms that facilitate their trading and issuance, as well as, the motivations of issuers and investors across different asset classes. The course will balance functional and institutional perspectives by highlighting the problems capital markets participants are seeking to solve, as well as, the existing assets and markets which have arisen to accomplish these goals. We will consider design, issuance, and pricing of financial instruments, the arbitrage strategies which keep their prices in-line with one another, and the associated economic and financial stability issues. The course is taught in lecture format, and illustrates key concepts by drawing on a collection of case studies and visits from industry experts. FNCE 613 is recommended but not required.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE739 - BEHAVIORAL FINANCE (Course Syllabus)

There is an abundance of evidence suggesting that the standard economic paradigm - rational agents in an efficient market - does not adequately describe behavior in financial markets. In this course, we will survey the evidence and use psychology to guide alternative theories of financial markets. Along the way, we will address the standard argument that smart, profit-seeing agents can correct any distortions caused by irrational investors. Further, we will examine more closely the preferences and trading decisions of individual investors. We will argue that their systematic biases can aggregate into observed market inefficiencies, thus giving rise to apparently profitable trading strategies. The latter part of the course extends the analysis to corporate decision making. We then explore the evidence for both views in the context of capital structure, investment, dividend, and merger decisions. In addition to prerequisites, FNCE 705 is highly recommended but not required.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE740 - CENTRAL BANKS, MARKETS (Course Syllabus)

(Formerly FNCE 893) Understanding and predicting central banking decision making and behavior is crucial for all market participants from asset managers and traders to private consumers. This course aims to provide the methods and knowledge on how central banks and governments think and implement policies to reach the goals of price and financial stability as well as support of growth and employment. The core of the course connects between the legal and actual goals that central banks follow and the related economic analysis on which these goals and policies are set. We explain the economic rationale for the policy prescriptions to reach the goals and how these policies are actually implemented by the Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) in the US, the European Central Bank (ECB), Bank of Israel (BOI) and some remarks on other countries. We use data, current events of the 2007-2018 period as the basis for discussion and assignments. The second half of the class discusses the implications of these policies for equity and bond valuations. Students will be asked to forecast live policy decisions and implied market valuations.

Prerequisites: FNCE 613 AND STAT 613

FNCE750 - VENT CAP & FNCE INNOVAT (Course Syllabus)

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.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE751 - FNCE OF BUYOUTS & ACQS (Course Syllabus)

The course focuses on financial tools, techniques, and best practices used in buyouts (financial buyers) and acquisitions (strategic buyers). While it will touch upon various strategic, organizational, and general management issues, the main lens for studying these transactions will be a financial one. It will explore how different buyers approach the process of finding, evaluating, and analyzing opportunities in the corporate-control market; how they structure deals and how deal structure affects both value creation and value division; how they add value after transaction completion; and how they realize their ultimate objectives (such as enhanced market position or a profitable exit). The course is divided into two broad modules. The first module covers mergers and acquisitions, and the second one studies buyouts by private equity partnerships. FNCE 703 or FNCE 707 are recommended.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE753 - DISTRESSED INVESTING (Course Syllabus)

(Formerly FNCE 841) This course familiarizes students with financial, strategicand legal issues associated with the restructuring of financially distressed firms and investment in distressed securities. The objective is to give students the concepts and tools necessary to assess the often-complex situation facing a firm in financial distress. The course covers the various options available for distressed firms, such as out-of-court workouts, exchange offers, prepackaged and pre-negotiated, bankruptcies, distressed asset sales, 363 auctions, and Chapter 11 reorganization. We consider distressed debt as an asset class, develop techniques for investing in distressed securities and assess investment opportunities using the concepts of value investing. Students will sharpen their conceptual knowledge of finance and valuation in order to properly estimate the value of a distressed firm, and its securities. We will also address the importance of value creation and how to manage for value creation to either resolve distress or avoid it in the first place. FNCE 703 or FNCE 707 are recommended.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE754 - IMPACT INVESTING (Course Syllabus)

This course explores Impact Investing, a discipline that seeks to generate social benefits as well as financial returns. From tiny beginnings, the Impact Investment space has expanded and now commands significant attention from policymakers, wealthy and public-spirited individuals, academia and, not least, the world's largest asset managers and philanthropic foundations. Evangelists believe it may be the key to freeing the world from poverty. Skeptics think it will remain confined to the boutique. Regardless, Impact Investing is becoming a distinct career specialization for finance professionals despite the diverse skillset each must have and the uncertainty of the new field's growth. In addition to prerequisites, FNCE 705 is recommended but not required.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE756 - ENERGY FINANCE (Course Syllabus)

The objective of this course is to provide students with detailed knowledge of corporate structures, valuation methods, project finance, risk management practices, corporate governance issues, and geo-political risks in the energy industry. In general, this course seeks to provide students with an overall context for understanding energy issues and risks, and how these might affect financing and investment decisions for both providers of energy and end-users of energy. FNCE 703 and FNCE 707 are recommended but not required.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE757 - FOUNDATION ASSET PRICING (Course Syllabus)

This course will cover methods and topics that form the foundations of modern asset pricing. These include: investment decisions under uncertainty, mean-variance theory, capital market equilibrium, arbitrage pricing theory, state prices, dynamic programming, and risk-neutral valuation as applied to option prices and fixed-income securities. Upon completion of this course, students should acquire a clear understanding of the major principles concerning individuals' portfolio decisions under uncertainty and the valuations of financial securities. FNCE 705 is recommended but not required.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE780 - FINTECH (Course Syllabus)

(Formerly FNCE 885) The course exposes students to this fast-growing and exciting intersection between finance (Fin) and technology (Tech) while emphasizing the role data and analytics play. The course is structured around three main FinTech areas: (i) Lending/Banking services, (ii) Clearing (iii) Trading. It provides specific coverage and examples of developments from(1) market-place lending, (2) blockchain and distributed ledgers, (3) quantitative trading and its use of non-standard inputs. In each of these areas, we start by analyzing the marketplace, the incumbents, and then proceed to analyze the impact of the most relevant technologies have on the business. The course is built around data/code examples, cases, guest lectures, and group projects. Student are thus expected to work in teams and demonstrate a high level of independent learning and initiative.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE783 - STRATEGIC EQUITY FINANCE (Course Syllabus)

This course discusses actual situations where companies need to make strategic decisions on raising equity capital. We will address different phases of a company's life cycle. Through these cases, from the decision-makers perspective, we will explore the different paths that can be taken and consider issues. This half-semester course combines lectures and cases, and will go through actual situation where companies need to make strategic decisions on raising equity capital. We will address different phases of a company's life cycle. Through these cases, from the decision-makers perspective, we will explore the different paths that can be taken and consider issues such as investor activism, governance and regulatory and valuation impact. FNCE 738 is recommended but not required.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE785 - BUSINESS STRATEGY & CORP (Course Syllabus)

This course explores strategic, business and legal decision making in a fluid real world corporate context. Classes will cover a series of timely financial and legal subjects as well as case studies that deal with topical problems in corporate governance, investment strategy, finance, private equity, executive compensation, and potential corporate and criminal behavior. Press, public market reaction, and governmental/political considerations will be integrated into the discussion. All students will be required to participate in one major and two minor team projects. An equal number of graduate law and business students will be enrolled in this class.

FNCE791 - CORPORATE RESTRUCTURING (Course Syllabus)

This course explores the highly active and sophisticated deal making environment that is the hallmark of modern corporate restructuring. The course is primarily comprised of two key components. The first is groundwork-laying lectures that focus on fundamental rights and obligations of debtors, creditors, and other parties in interest in the various types of major chapter 11 cases, providing critical insight into understanding the motivations, strategies, and available tools for chapter 11 participants (which also serve as the foundation for out-of-court deals). The second element of the course is a series of case study panels based on market trends from the previous year that bring together key participants from recent deals, including the CEO or chairman of the company, the judge, the lead banker and lead lawyer, and the lead investors to give their insight and perspectives to the class.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE797 - TAXES AND BUS STRATEGY

The objective of this course is to develop a framework for understanding how taxes affect business decisions. Traditional finance and strategy courses do not consider the role of taxes. Similarly, traditional tax courses often ignore the richness of the decision context in which tax factors operate. The key themes of the framework - all parties, all taxes and all costs - are applied to decision contexts such as investments, compensation, organizational form, regulated industries, financial instruments, tax-sheltered investments, mergers and acquisitions, multinational, and multistate. The ultimate goal is to provide a new approach to thinking about taxes (and all forms of government intervention) that will be valuable even as laws and governments change.

Prerequisites: (ACCT 611 OR ACCT 613) AND FNCE 611

FNCE801 - ADVANCED TOPICS IN PE (Course Syllabus)

(Formerly FNCE 884) The goal of this course is to educate students about the substance, process and mechanics of PE investing, through the lens of the investment professionals, counterparties and advisors that drive transactions to completion. It focuses on growth and later-stage buyout transactions (excluding venture capital) taking a primarily U.S.-centric view that should be largely applicable in other markets. The course concentrates on the transaction stage of PE investing, mostly leaving aside deal sourcing, portfolio management and investor relations. Course topics will include: commercial diligence (incl. financial modeling), debt financing, accounting diligence, sales & purchase agreements, comps analysis and other advisory work. Students will apply each element of the deal process to a real-time mock deal by preparing materials that mirror a real private equity transaction.

Prerequisites: FNCE 703

FNCE802 - SHAREHOLDER ACTIVISM (Course Syllabus)

(Formerly FNCE 887) The aim of the course is to provide an introduction to shareholder activism. The course makes use of lectures and case studies. The lectures expose the students to the institutional and empirical facts as well as approaches followed by leading shareholder activists. The case studies are designed to provide students an experience on identifying potential opportunity for value creation through active engagement. Assignments require students to develop/practice skills on fundamental analysis.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE811 - ASP INFRASTRUCTURE INVST

Infrastructure covers roads and bridges (the original infrastructure), to railroads, airports (the more recent infrastructure), to telecommunications and solar and wind power installations (modern infrastructure). There is a vast amount of public (taxpayer) and private (typically private equity or banks) money directed into infrastructure investments. This course covers infrastructure financing and investing from various angles. We will provide descriptions of types of infrastructure, examine the financing needs of different infrastructure projects, consider the historic role of public and private funding, assess the changing needs of consumers, role of technology and the increasing demands posed by a globalizing economy. We will also examine infrastructure investing as a alternative asset class from the investors' perspective. FNCE 703 or FNCE 707 are recommended.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE812 - FNCE ECON LAW FISCAL CR (Course Syllabus)

The focus will be on the causes of fiscal crises, a careful detailing of who wins and who loses, and then on how such crises might be resolved and, perhaps most importantly, how they might be prevented in the future. The course will draw upon the fiscal experiences of US local governments (New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Orange County, Puerto Rico), utilities (WPPSS) and states (Illinois), and the international experience from such countries as Greece, Brazil, and Argentina. The cost of such crises for citizens, pensioners, and bond holders can be significant. We seek to understand the underlying economic, political, and legal/regulatory causes of such events so that they may be prevented in the future. The importance of private information and public regulation for disciplining the fiscal performance of democratically elected governments will be a central concern. We believe strongly that diagnosing and treating the "disease" of fiscal mismanagement is an interdisciplinary endeavor drawing on finance, economics, political science, and the law. Students with backgrounds in any of these disciplines are welcome.

FNCE886 - ASP - HEDGE FUNDS

This course will cover critical aspects and characteristics of hedge funds and the hedge fund industry. It will look at the legal foundations and structures of hedge funds including the primary regulations in the U.S. and abroad that are most relevant for hedge funds. It will also present the major hedge fund strategies, describe operation, control, administration, due diligence and valuation issues. Performance evaluation and investing in hedge funds from the investor's perspective will be discussed as will be issues of potential changes in regulation, risk management, and the use of leverage. The format of the course will mix lectures with presentations from industry participants, hedge fund managers, those who invest in hedge funds, those who advise them and provide services to them, and those who regulate them. Those who want to launch a hedge fund, join an existing one, invest in one, or provide services to one will want to register for this course.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611

FNCE888 - PE EQUITY: FUNDRAISING (Course Syllabus)

This course is for second year MBA students. Please note: Students cannot receive credit for both FNCE 884 and FNCE 888. This course will address a variety of topics in private equity (PE) leveraging a highly practical and real-world approach. It will focus on growth and later-stage buyout transactions (venture capital is not explicitly addressed in this course), and a primarily U.S.-centric view that should be largely applicable in other markets. The course will focus on several key areas outside the private equity transaction: fundraising, sourcing investment opportunities, and creating value under PE ownership. The goal of this course is to educate students about these aspects of PE investing through the lens of the investment professionals, consultants, counterparties and advisors that live them each day. Students will be expected to actively engage in classroom discussions, challenging one another and the lecturers about how to think through these issues in an ever-evolving investment world. In addition, throughout the course, students will be expected participate actively with their teams as they proceed with at home assignments.

Prerequisites: FNCE 751

FNCE892 - FINANCIAL ENGINEERING (Course Syllabus)

This class covers advanced pricing models for equity, fixed income and credit derivatives. It aims at: 1) Introducing the main models used in practical applications to price and hedge derivatives; 2) Understanding their comparative advantages and limitations, as well as how they are calibrated and applied. As part of team assignments, students will be asked to calibrate and implement the models introduced in the class using software of their choice.

Prerequisites: FNCE 717 OR FNCE 725

FNCE896 - FINANCE IN EUROPE (GMC) (Course Syllabus)

Open to MBA, Executive MBA and Undergraduate students, these modular courses are intended to provide unique educational experiences to students in a regional context that has particular resonance with the topic. Taught around the globe, the modular courses help us enrich the curriculum and research on our own campuses in Philadelphia and San Francisco.

FNCE897 - FINANCE EMERGING MARKETS

This is a Wharton Global Modular Course on finance in the Middle East and North Africa. Its objective is to bring students, academics and industry experts together to study financial markets, practice, and institutions in this region.

FNCE899 - 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 899 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.

Prerequisites: FNCE 611 AND FNCE 613