Modern Finance Topics for Senior Executives

Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Leonard N. Stern School of Business


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Who should attend

Although there are no formal education or background requirements, this course is designed for executives who meet the criteria below. While we strongly encourage global participation, please note that all courses are taught in English. Proficiency in written and spoken English is required.

  • Years of Experience – Designed for professionals with 10+ years of work experience
  • Job Functions – Ideal for professionals at the senior executive, C-suite or board member level who need to make investment or financing decisions, or who frequently communicate with financial decision makers
  • Prerequisites – Intended for individuals who want to improve their financial literacy and explore new and emerging topics in finance, but have existing foundational experience with or knowledge of corporate finance

About the course

It is an inescapable fact of today’s dynamic business world that all senior executives, top managers, and board members must have the knowledge to make high-level decisions based on a core understanding of financial issues. This need for practical financial expertise has only become more urgent over the last decade, given rapidly evolving regulatory, technological and market developments.

Modern Finance Topics for Senior Executives is an intensive five-day overview of the modern finance skills, techniques and issues that are most pertinent to top executives of business firms. Topics considered in this workshop include financial technology, modern capital structure and valuation techniques, risk management, current global markets and regulatory environments, and projections of how finance is likely to evolve in the future.

The goal of this short course is to combine seasoned managers and directors with some of the best researchers and teachers of modern finance in an intensive, interesting and constructive dialogue that adds substantial value in a time-efficient format. The agenda includes content by senior faculty, case studies, small group interaction and panel discussions with executives from key corporations, securities analysts, the media and institutional investors.

Program Takeaways

  • Modern Finance Topics & Techniques – Acquire and/or update skills in modern financial diagnostics and financial accounting, and understand their application in a global competitive environment
  • Global Perspectives – Understand current dynamics and issues within global financial markets and their impact on strategy
  • Regulatory Environments – Learn about the new regulatory environment, especially in the context of emerging financial technologies, and how regulation environments may evolve going forward
  • Capital Structure and Valuation - Gain insight into capital structure and its role in creating and destroying value, and learn to assess new insights in corporate valuation, failure prediction and cost of capital
  • Corporate Structure - Engage in new thinking and evidence on finance in corporate restructurings
  • Risk Management - Consider integrated approaches to risk control, including operational and reputational risk, and link the key aspects of finance and risk management to corporate governance


Day 1

Session 1: Dynamics of the Global Financial Architecture

  • Financial intermediation dynamics connecting end-users of the financial system, and an end-user perspective on the financial architecture
  • Reconfiguration of financial intermediation in retrospect and prospect, and their impact on efficiency growth, competitiveness, stability and robustness of the financial system, and their ongoing evolution
  • Why do systems fail, and what can be learned about systemic risk?

Session 2: Anticipating National and Global Financial Shocks

  • Framework for anticipating, assessing and monitoring vulnerabilities in institutions, markets and the financial system and shocks that can expose them
  • Policy and industry initiatives to add resilience and manage risk
  • Current vulnerabilities and sources of shocks, and how to mitigate them
  • Panel discussion featuring top executives at financial institutions around the world

Day 1 Conclusion and Evaluations

Day 2

Session 3: Value Creation through Leverage

  • Basic facts about leverage and analysis of firms’ use of leverage, including a discussion of what leverage ratio maximizes shareholder value
  • Trading off tax benefits against costs of financial distress
  • A primer on WACC and how leverage affects investment decisions
  • Case study, UST Inc.: How to find the optimal leverage ratio in practice

Session 4: The Firm and the Capital Markets

  • Navigating the shifting landscape of Wall Street
    • Changing regulations, evolving technology, new competitors and difficult market conditions that are transforming the capital markets business of banks
    • Impact of these changes on financing strategies of Wall Street’s clients
  • Adapting investor relations and communications strategies to accommodate the rapidly evolving global asset management industry, including changes in indexation, alternative investments, industry consolidation, equity research and MiFID II
  • Panel discussion: Fireside chat about the CFO as the face of the firm
    • Communicating the firm’s strategy with Wall Street, rating agencies, institutional investors and creditors
    • Effectively describing the concerns of external groups with the board of directors and C-suite colleagues

Day 2 Conclusion and Evaluations

Day 3

Session 5: FinTech 2.0

  • Overview of financial technologies, one decade in
    • FinTech promised better transparency, lower cost, lower risk and more accessibility, so what is the verdict on enabling technologies and business models?
    • The current state of blockchain financial market infrastructure and cryptocurrencies, and where these are likely to go moving forward
    • Incorporating machine learning into financial technologies: will we make loans based on data from social media, or pick stocks using Twitter and drone feeds?
  • FinTech startups
    • Trends in the big five financial functions: payments, money transfers, markets, capital allocation and insurance
    • Impact on retail consumers of financial products and institutional participants in financial intermediation
  • Regulatory reactions around the world, from sandboxes to shut downs

Session 6: Use and Misuse of Derivatives

  • Overview of derivatives, including types of derivatives (forwards, swaps and options), underlying assets (foreign exchange, interest rate, equity and commodity), and derivative markets
  • Hedging foreign exchange (FX) risk: alternative strategies and cost-benefit analysis of alternatives
  • Employee compensation tools: key features of employee stock options, the pros and cons of option-based compensation, and current trends in equity-linked compensation
  • Credit derivatives and credit default swaps, including the financial impact on corporations and benefits and drawbacks for the CFO

Day 3 Conclusion and Evaluations

Day 4

Session 7: Corporate Bankruptcy Prediction and Reorganization

  • Overview of where we are in the evolving credit cycle, whether the cycle is still benign, and what the major risks are moving forward
  • Credit risk management over the years
    • Evolution of credit risk management and application of credit scoring models, z-scores and bankruptcy prediction
    • Lessons learned from the financial crisis
  • How bankruptcy prediction can assist in corporate distress restructuring, and overview of default rates, recoveries, yield spreads and liquidity issues

Session 8: Perspectives On Enterprise Risk Analytics

  • A coherent approach to enterprise risk management that ties together the main risk domains that help drive the going-concern value of business firms
  • Assessing the state of play in market risk, counterparty and credit risk, liquidity risk and operational risk control given the state of the art in risk diagnostics
  • Application of stylized facts and alternative diagnostics to cross-border risk exposures
  • Approaches to assessing conduct and reputational risk, including the growing focus on ESG risk and the creation of metrics that make sense
  • Key issues in risk governance

Day 4 Conclusion and Evaluations

Day 5

Session 9: Big Data and Artificial Intelligence

  • Concepts, principles, and techniques of decision making under risk
  • Modeling complex business problems that involve risk and uncertainty and interpreting results
  • AI applications to financial securities, construction projects, R&D projects, supply chain and more
  • Exercises in risk
    • Risk quantification and prediction of investment opportunities: Monte Carlo simulation and machine learning
    • Risk diversification and portfolio management: Optimization models
    • Risk mitigation and value of strategic flexibility: Multi-stage decision tree analysis

Session 10: How Modern Corporate Valuation Has Evolved

  • Modern trends and technologies that have changed valuation
    • Easy access to vast quantities of data, which requires identifying useful vs. inapplicable data points
    • Availability of powerful models means analysts can build complex and complete models but risk being “run” by them
    • Value shift away from physical assets like equipment and toward intangible assets like users, subscribers and customers
  • Developing more accurate valuations based on these trends and technologies
    • Basics of valuation and how data feeds in
    • How much complexity to build into models and how to use tools to confront uncertainty
    • Building user-based and customer-based valuations

Program Conclusion and Evaluations


Edward Altman

Edward I. Altman is the Max L. Heine Professor of Finance, Emeritus at the Stern School of Business, New York University. He is the Director of Research in Credit and Debt Markets at the NYU Salomon Center for the Study of Financial Institutions. Prior to serving in his present position, Professo...

Holger M. Mueller

Holger M. Mueller is the Nomura Professor of Finance at New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He is also a research associate at NBER, a research fellow at CEPR, and a research associate at ECGi. Professor Mueller has been with NYU Stern since 2001. He teaches Corporate Financ...

Anjolein Schmeits

Anjolein Schmeits joined New York University Stern School of Business as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Finance in September 2005 and became a Clinical Associate Professor of Finance in September 2008. She is now a Clinical Professor of Finance. She teaches "Corporate Finance" in Stern's full-...

Marti Subrahmanyam

Marti G. Subrahmanyam is the Charles E. Merrill Professor of Finance, Economics and International Business in the Stern School of Business at New York University, and Global Network Professor of Finance at NYU Shanghai. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Tech...

Ingo Walter

Ingo Walter holds the Seymour Milstein Chair in Finance, Corporate Governance and Ethics Emeritus at the Stern School of Business, New York University. He has been on the faculty at New York University since 1970. From 1971 to 1979 he was Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and subsequently served a ...

Jiawei Zhang

Jiawei Zhang is a Professor of Information, Operations and Management Sciences and Robert Stansky Research Faculty Fellow at New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He joined NYU Stern's Operations Management Group in September 2004. Professor Zhang's primary research interest...

Richard Berner

Richard Berner is Executive-in-Residence at the Center for Global Economy and Business at the NYU Stern School of Business, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Economics. He conducts research, gives talks, and helps to advance Stern’s financial stability initiatives. He teaches a graduate ...

Kathleen DeRose

Kathleen DeRose joined New York University Stern School of Business as a Clinical Associate Professor of Finance in September 2017, after having been an Executive-in-Residence and adjunct professor at the School since 2016. Kathleen is the Director of the FinTech Initiative at the NYU Stern Fubon...

Brad Hintz

Brad Hintz is an Adjunct Professor of Finance at the Stern School of New York University. He currently teaches "Managing Financial Businesses" to second year MBA students in NYC in the fall semester of each year. In October 2014, Mr. Hintz retired from Sanford Bernstein & Co., where he serve...

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Modern Finance Topics for Senior Executives at Leonard N. Stern 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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