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Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Strategies for Optimizing Capital Structure and Maximizing Shareholder Value

Jun 10—11, 2020
2 days
New York, New York, United States
USD 3800
USD 1900 per day

How it works


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Does financial leverage actually matter? What are the benefits, costs and risks associated with it? Is there an optimal amount of leverage? And if firms are highly levered, how should stock market investors adjust for risk? This program is designed to answer these and related questions. In this course, participants will learn about the Nobel prize-winning Modigliani-Miller (MM) Theorem of capital structure, and examine the effects of leverage on firm value and equity risk. They will understand how leverage creates valuable interest tax shields while increasing the risk of financial distress. Through a combination of discussion, case studies and numerical examples, participants will gain hands-on practice with rigorous methods (WACC and APV) to account for leverage in equity or firm valuation or when making investment decisions.


Advanced Corporate Finance builds upon the concepts and skills taught in Understanding the Basics of Corporate Finance. It is highly recommended that participants either take this primer course first, or have existing familiarity with the course material in the primer course. Save 15% by taking both courses in our Mastering Corporate Finance bundle.


Upon completion of this course, participants will receive a Certificate of Achievement. This program is also eligible for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits through NASBA.

Program Takeaways

During this course, participants will:


Learn the benefits, costs and risks associated with leverage and appreciate popular fallacies, such as “debt is cheap and equity is expensive”

Capital Structure

Analyze how firms determine their optimal capital structure and use debt tax shields increase the value of their business


Utilize rigorous methods to account for leverage in equity or firm valuation, as well as investment decisions


Day 1

8:30 am - 9:00 am: Breakfast

Session 1: Capital Structure I

  • Review: Capital Asset Pricing Model
  • Modigliani-Miller I: Leverage and Firm Value
  • Modigliani-Miller II: Leverage and Equity Risk
  • Cost of Capital Fallacy

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm: Lunch

Session 2: Capital Structure II

  • Leverage, Information, and Incentives
  • Interest Tax Shields
  • The “Low Leverage Puzzle”
  • Costs of Financial Distress
  • Optimal Capital Structure

Day 2

8:30 am - 9:00 am: Breakfast

Session 3: Case Study: UST, Inc.

  • Costs and Benefits of Leverage
  • UST’s Leveraged Recapitalization
  • Computing UST’s Optimal Capital Structure

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm: Lunch

Session 4: Leverage, Valuation and Investment Decisions

  • Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) Method
  • Adjusted Present Value (APV) Method
  • Examples: ABC Inc., Candy Company, Singer Corp.

4:30 pm - 5:00 pm: Program Conclusion and Evaluations

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 5+ years of work experience

Job Functions

Ideal for professionals who need to make investment or financing decisions, or who frequently communicate with financial decision makers


Intended for individuals who want to improve their financial literacy but have an existing experience with or knowledge of corporate finance


Biography 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 Corpo...


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Next dates

Jun 10—11, 2020
2 days
New York, New York, United States
USD 3800
USD 1900 per day

How it works

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