Finance for Non-Finance Executives

Aalto University School of Business

Aalto University School of Business


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Who should attend

The program is for e.g. non-financial executives, lawyers, business unit heads, bank relationship managers, board members, advisors and consultants.

Finance for Non-Finance Executives program provides participants with a rare opportunity to deepen their understanding of the main elements of corporate finance.

About the course

Master the fundamentals of corporate finance

The Finance for Non-Finance Executives program introduces all the key aspects of financial analysis and value based management. You will learn the fundamentals of finance: how to read financial statements, how to analyze them, the concepts of discounting and net present value and other techniques that companies use when evaluating investment opportunities.

The 2019 program received excellent customer feedback. Instructor Matti Suominen's knowledge and expertise, suitability of content and teaching skills and methods all received a full 6.0/6.0.

The 2019 participants considered that their level of expertise in the different topics covered during the program had increased significantly (average 5.5/6.0).

Up to 4.5 European Credits (EC) can be transferred from this program to the Aalto Executive MBA or Aalto MBA program. You will learn how companies are valued in financial markets, what affects their value and how you can make decisions that increase company value. We will also discuss companies’ financing options and learn about tools to analyze mergers and acquisitions. After the program, you will be better positioned to participate in a company’s financial decision making and contribute to its management in a value creating manner.


The end goal is to enable participants to connect the different economic, finance and accounting dots to create a single holistic view. Participants learn how to read and analyze companies’ financial statements and assess the shareholder value of investments and other corporate actions, i.e., learn the skills for value-based management.

Learn to speak the language of finance and to communicate better the financial aspects of business

Gain a more holistic view of company value creation and learn to measure the value impact of corporate decisions

Gain the ability to understand the financial consequences of corporate actions, bring new insights and participate in related discussions and decision making

Contents and Schedule

Learning is based on pre-readings, lectures, in-class discussions, case work and a take-home assignment. Sharing knowledge and experience is greatly supported and encouraged.

Introduction to Financial Analysis

During the first day, we analyze a company’s financial performance from the perspective of its liquidity, operational efficiency, profitability and ability to generate cash flow and create value. The topics covered will include:

  • Introduction to financial statements
  • Cash flow analysis  
  • Evaluating company liquidity
  • Analyzing operational efficiency
  • Profitability and economic value added (EVA concept)

Investments and Capital Budgeting

In this session, we discuss how companies can budget capital in a professional and value creating manner. We learn to apply correctly the net present value (NPV) rule and other capital budgeting tools such as internal rate of return (IRR).

  • Net present value rule
  • Internal rate of return  
  • Identifying proper cash flows when analyzing investments

Introduction to Company Valuation

To manage for value, one must first learn how companies are valued in the financial market. During the third day, we discuss how to obtain reasonable estimates of firm’s future cash flow and how to measure the continuing value and cost of capital. The themes covered will include:

  • Valuing companies using multiples and discounted cash flow methods
  • Obtaining reasonable estimates of a company’s cash flows
  • Estimating continuing value
  • Cost of capital

Company Value Drivers and Mergers & Acquisitions

A large part of a firm’s value creation or destruction occurs through their M&A activity. Most value creating transactions are leveraged buyout transactions. During the fourth day, we learn how companies can successfully engage in M&A and start to discuss how LBO companies succeed to create value.

  • Learn to understand the M&A process
  • Governance and value
  • Steps in successful M&A
  • Estimating synergies

Financing and Value

During the last day of the program, we discuss how companies should finance themselves. When should they use debt (e.g. engage in an LBO) and when should they use equity financing. We will also discuss the role of risk management and executive compensation in a firm’s value creation.

  • Financing with debt vs equity
  • The logic in leverage buyouts
  • A company’s optimal financial strategy
  • Valuation and financing of startups


Matti Suominen

Matti Suominen is Professor of Finance at Aalto University School of Business. He specializes in information economics in financial markets, market microstructure and corporate finance. Suominen has previously worked as a consultant at the European Corporate Finance Practice of McKinsey & Co...

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Finance for Non-Finance Executives at Aalto University School of Business

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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