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Biography

The Wharton School
Adjunct Professor of Finance

David Wessels is an Adjunct Professor of Finance, and a Director of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. David teaches courses on corporate valuation, venture capital, and performance management to undergraduates and MBA’s in Philadelphia and San Francisco, and executive audiences globally.

Professor Wessels has been recognized by his students with the school's MBA excellence in teaching award, and has been acknowledged nationally for his research on organizational structure and financial performance. His coauthored book, Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies, is accepted as the seminal text for students of corporate valuation and investment banking.

In addition to his teaching on campus, Professor Wessels has served on the executive development and training faculties at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, CocaCola, Ericsson, Estee Lauder, Home Depot, Lockheed Martin, McKinsey & Company, Microsoft, Philips, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Siemens, and UPS.

Before joining the Wharton School, David served on finance faculty of the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. Prior to Emory, he was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company and a technology analyst for Bostonbased Harbourvest Venture Partners. David holds a PhD in finance from UCLA Anderson School of Management, a BS in economics and a BAS in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania.

David Wessels, Valuation: Managing and Measuring the Value of Companies (2015)

Past Courses

FNCE100 CORPORATE FINANCE

This course provides an introduction to the theory, the methods, and the concerns of corporate finance. The concepts developed in FNCE 100 form the foundation for all elective finance courses. The main topics include: 1) the time value of money and capital budgeting techniques; 2) uncertainty and the tradeoff between risk and return; 3) security market efficiency; 4) optimal capital structure, and 5) dividend policy decisions. During the fall semester there are honors sections of FNCE 100 offered. The seats in the honors sections are awarded through an application process. Please go to https://fnce.wharton.upenn.edu/programs/courseapplications/ for additional information.

FNCE207 CORPORATE VALUATION

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 stepbystep basis. The course teaches how to develop the required information for valuing companies from financial statements and other information sources in a realworld 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.

FNCE250 VENT CAP & FNCE INNOVAT

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, contingentclaims analysis. The primary audience for this course is finance majors interested in careers in venture capital or in R&Dintensive companies in health care or information technology.

FNCE399 INDEPENDENT STUDY

Integrates the work of the various courses and familiarizes the student with the tools and techniques of research.

FNCE728 CORPORATE VALUATION

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 stepbystep basis. The course teaches how to develop the required information for valuing companies from financial statements and other information sources in a realworld 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.

FNCE750 VENT CAP & FNCE INNOVAT

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, contingentclaims analysis, and real options. The primary audience for this course is finance majors interested in careers in venture capital or in R&Dintensive companies in health care or information technology.

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. At a minimum, we need a description of the methodology you intend to employ, a bibliography and description of the data that you will use as well as a list of interim deliverables and dates to ensure that you complete the project within the semester. Applications for FNCE 899 ISP's will not be accepted after the THIRD WEEK OF THE SEMESTER. You must submit your Finance ISP request using the Finance Department's ISP form located at https://fnce.wharton.upenn.edu under the Course ISP section

MGMT721 CORP DEV: MERG & ACQUIS

This course explores the role of mergers and acquisitions and alternative methods of corporate development in advancing the strategies of operating business. Emphasis is on the way companies use acquisitions to alter business mixes; seize opportunities in new products, technologies and markets; enhance competitive positioning; adjust to changing economics, and promote valuecreating growth. Although the course will emphasize strategic acquisitions, it also will explore leveraged buyouts and hostile financial acquisitions as well as their influence on corporate buyers. Please note that you must fulfil the prerequisites in order to enroll in this class.

  • William G. Whitney Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Affiliated Faculty, 2016
  • William G. Whitney Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Affiliated Faculty, 2015
  • William G. Whitney Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Affiliated Faculty, 2013
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Fulltime MBA Program, 2013
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Fulltime MBA Program, 2012
  • William G. Whitney Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Affiliated Faculty, 2012
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, WEMBA San Francisco, 2011
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Fulltime MBA Program, 2010
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, WEMBA San Francisco, 2009
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Fulltime MBA Program, 2006
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, WEMBA San Francisco, 2004
  • Vision Quest: Expectations for CFOs to add strategic value have never been higher., CFO Magazine 06/10/2016
  • Saudi Aramco IPO: The Biggest Fee Event in Wall Street History, Wall Street Journal 06/09/2016
  • The enduring power of the biggest idea in business, The Economist 04/02/2016
  • How Foreign Should Investors Get?, Wall Street Journal 08/10/2015
  • Chemours launches with questions about its future, Wilmington News Journal 07/02/2015
  • WhatsApp price ups the ante in a bigspending industry, Los Angeles Times 02/21/2014
  • Social media startups’ value is enormous — if you trust investors, Los Angeles Times 11/16/2013
  • Beware, investors: Facebook was just a warning, CNN 05/24/2012

Knowledge @ Wharton

  • The CFO Imperative: Leveraging the Cloud for Business Innovation and Growth, Knowledge @ Wharton 10/03/2016
  • What’s Behind Google’s Alphabet Restructuring?, Knowledge @ Wharton 08/14/2015
  • Of Unicorns and ‘Decacorns’: Is a Tech Startup Bubble Forming?, Knowledge @ Wharton 06/22/2015

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