David Matsa is a Professor of Finance at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he teaches corporate finance in the MBA program, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economics Research. Professor Matsa’s research focuses on connections between business and financial strategy and emphasizes the importance of labor market frictions in the corporate environment. His recent research examines optimal corporate capital structure determination, concentrating on various strategic motivations vis-à-vis the firm’s workforce, and on the role of managerial preferences in firms’ labor market and other strategies, including workforce hiring and downsizing decisions.
Professor Matsa received his Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to graduate study, he worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company.
Corporate Finance, Business & Society
This seminar will use a roundtable discussion format to facilitate an in-depth exploration of current issues in corporate governance and finance, and how they affect and are influenced by society. Our sessions will focus on a combination of predetermined topics and ones chosen by students from the current events of the week. We will begin by debating a central question in corporate governance: should creating value for shareholders be the firm's first priority? The seminar will also discuss major issues such as corporate decisions to lay off employees, public policies aimed at achieving gender parity in corporate boardrooms, the growth of executive compensation, and the rise in the top one percent (all topics are subject to change). Source materials will include a combination of business cases, recent academic research, and news articles from the popular press.
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