This course covers the foundations of finance with an emphasis on applications that are vital for corporate managers and investors. We will discuss many of the major financial decisions made by managers both within the firm and in their interactions with investors. Essential in most of these decisions is the process of valuation, which will be an important emphasis of the course. Topics include criteria for making investment decisions, valuation of financial assets and liabilities, relationships between risk and return, market efficiency, capital structure choice and the valuation of derivative securities. Unless you understand finance, you cannot have a thorough understanding of a company’s decision-making process. What you learn in this course will help you understand the operations of your future employer (and enable you to be more successful at your job), and help you understand other companies you encounter in your role as competitor, consultant, or investor.
Alternative Investments: Hedge Funds and Private Equity
This course provides a broad overview of the alternative investment industry and the forces that are continuing to change it worldwide. This includes studying the activities, structure, and role of the alternative asset management industry. We will learn about hedge fund investment and hedging strategies and the changing investment activities of the private equity industry. We will discuss the legal and structural arrangement of these investment vehicles. Finally the class will cover the influence hedge funds and private equity firms have on corporate decision-making and measures taken to counter threats and exploit opportunities represented by these investors.