Managing Firms for Shareholders and Society: Thought Leadership Seminar (FINC-484-5)
This course will use a roundtable discussion format to facilitate an in-depth exploration of shareholder capitalism and its effects on society. Drawing on business and legal cases, academic research, and news articles from the popular press, we will begin by debating a central question in corporate governance: should creating value for shareholders be the firm's only objective? The class will explore major business and societal issues such as corporate decisions to lay off employees, gender diversity in corporate leadership, and growing inequality. Students will also lead discussions about topics they choose from the current events of the week. Class sessions consist almost entirely of class discussion with no lectures from the professor. Assignments include homework due before each class session, group work, and a final paper.Finance II (FINC-431-0)
Finance II: Corporate Finance covers the financial knowledge you need to run a firm, whether the firm is a multi-billion international conglomerate or a three-person start up. You will learn how to answer the three fundamental question of corporate finance: (1) Capital structure or the funding decision: which source(s) of capital should you use to fund the firm's project? (2) Capital budgeting or the investment decision: which projects should you invest in? (3) Dividend decision: how should you deploy the capital that the project returns?
We will cover the three fundamental methods for valuing projects and firms: discounted cash flow (or net present value), real options, and multiples analysis. The class begins with a theoretical framework. The world of finance is very complex. Without a logical structure that you can use to frame and answer questions, you will rapidly become lost and will be unable to defend your position. The theoretical framework is valuable, however, only if you can use it to examine real world decisions. Thus the majority of class time will be devoted to applying the logical framework.
This course is important for anyone who plans to run a firm or a division, who hopes to be involved in the investment or funding decisions of the firm, who plans to work for a service provider who will assist the firm in analyzing these decisions (e.g., banking and consulting), or who plans to invest in firms or advise clients who will invest in firms. Even if you initially specialize in a different functional area, you want to understand how the finance function works. The most brilliant idea isn't useful if you cannot get it funded.
Recommended Prerequisites: ACCT-430 and MECN-430