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The MSc Corporate Finance & Investment Banking is focused on the perspectives of the owners and senior management of the corporate entity and their relationships with the investment and commercial banks, also known as the “sell side” ecosystem in i-banking.

This stream includes 8 core courses covering Corporate Finance and Investment Banking-related topics.

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Core Courses

Advanced Corporate Finance and Valuation

This course focuses on the key corporate finance-related questions faced by companies throughout the typical corporate lifecycle. Questions addressed include (but not limited to) the following: what are the typical financial decisions faced by the company’s owner or senior management; what is project management and how do managers assess the merits of new investment projects; what are the differences between long-term investment strategies of the company (i.e. uses of surplus cash produced by the company), and how does one decide between them; what is the capital structure of a company and what are the criteria around balancing the capital structure (equity / debt) of a company? Additional topics covered are: capital structure and corporate costs of equity and debt; how to frame, analyse and make financial decisions; financial distress and how to manage this; management information; managerial incentives and compensation; shareholders and dividend pay-out policy; and the interaction and management of commercial banks, investment banks, accounting firms / other advisors and the broader financial markets.

Equity and Debt Capital Markets

In this course, we introduce both debt and equity capital markets issuance to students. We start with the main debt products. Both short term (RCF, overdraft and commercial paper) and long-term financing options (medium-term notes and bonds) are explored. The key features of the bond issuance process, including rating, roadshow and book-building are discussed. The students will also explore basic fixed income fundamentals including yield to maturity and credit spread. We will then turn our attention to equity issuance. We will focus on the life-cycle of equities, starting with Initial Public Offering (IPO), including the pros and cons of going public. We will drill down on the characteristics of primary markets, including the prospectus, the equity story, roadshow, international book-building, Dutch auction and post-market stabilisation. We will also take a look at follow-on equity issuance, in particular right issues and accelerated book-building.

Mergers and Acquisitions

This course provides an overview of corporate development and the use and implication of Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestments on the lifecycle of the company. The measurement and use of value creation in a company is taught, including the use of discounted cash flow analysis and other valuation methods in order to provide a framework for assessing and undertaking investments in projects or target companies. An assessment and understanding of shareholder value is covered. Topics include understanding and development of business strategy; the process of deciding on and understanding the rationale for mergers, acquisitions and spinoffs; the use of option theory to allow the company to make the decision to initiate, maintain or abandon a project; background and historical trends of M&A and how to measure these trends; market reactions to a takeover; the Takeover Process (Valuation, The Offer, Merger “Arbitrage” (value of a merger to the acquiring and acquired entity), Tax and Accounting Issues, Board and Shareholder Approval; Takeover Defenses (Poison pills, Staggered Boards, White Knights, Golden Parachutes, Recapitalization, Other Defensive Strategies); and Regulatory Approval.

Risk Management, Strategy and Implementation

This module introduces one of the core hands on theoretical elements of risk management within financial service such as banking and non-banking industry. Risk management theory conceptualises relationships between compliances and regulated risk management outcomes and allows examining the role of risk management and its related policies and their impact on the aggregate performance. The module first gives a general overview of risk management and its principles and goes on to describe volatility analysis; RiskMetrics, Credit matrics, EVT, Black-Scholes option pricing model; Term structure theories; Derivatives; Fixed income markets and Managing interest rate risk.
The volatility analysis consists of analysing model and its implementation on trading financial instruments. Followed by Credit/risk matrics are methods of identifying risk on portfolio of investments and ratings methodology of credit rating agencies. Moreover, B-S model is widely used methodology of option pricing theory and so on.

Project and Infrastructure Finance

Project Finance is the financing of long-term infrastructure, industrial projects and public services. This is crucial for a country’s development and prosperity. In this course, we will explore the strategic objectives of all parties: construction companies, project sponsors, debt providers, and any off-take agreements. We will then discuss financing structures and basic non-recourse structuring issues. We will also focus on financial elements of transaction including credit analysis for the debt providers and financial returns for the equity sponsors.

Early Stage Financing / Angels / VC

This course covers the basics of finance from the Entrepreneurs perspective, and thus involves understanding value and allocation of resources as applied to early stage ventures and mid-stage growth companies. The course includes the tools and mechanisms required to assist the entrepreneur make investment and financing decisions from seed stage through development of the product / technology, beta testing, customer acquisition, and revenue growth. The interaction with venture capital, private equity and venture debt markets are covered, types of financing instruments used and investment returns and exit. Additional topics include the development and use of financial projections, valuation methodologies and cash flow analysis of the early and mid-stage/growing business.

Corporate Restructuring

This course focuses on corporate restructuring at all levels of the life of a corporate. First, we cover corporate restructuring on a going concern including private sale, IPO, spin-off, split-off and equity carve-out. We then analyse stressed corporate from a credit analysis perspective. Finally, we look at gone-concern scenarios and review distressed companies. We explore the steps facing distressed corporates, including debt restructuring packages, in-court and out-of-court settlements and liquidation. We look at the perspective of distressed corporates, debt holders and creditors and review specialist distressed investors. Throughout the course, we will look at past examples and model on Excel different scenarios and strategic alternatives.

Bank Management: Commercial Banking

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the activities of wholesale and investment banks and serves as an introduction to several other courses in the curriculum. It focuses on their provision of services and products offered to meet the needs of a broad client base: raising finance, the need for investment products and market liquidity, risk management solutions, and corporate finance advice. Clients considered include: governments, corporates, other banks, non-banking financial institutions, institutional investors and hedge funds and private equity firms. The course also gives an overview of the risks faced by banks. The final week considers bank performance and looks at structural drivers and trends in the banking industry.

Interdisciplinary Courses

Financial Markets: Theories, Trends and History

This course includes more detail of the key macroeconomic factors driving the financial markets globally as well as how the various interested parties interact with each other across commercial and investment banks, hedge funds, private equity, insurance and institutional asset management. A component of the course also involves the students tracking various macroeconomic indicators over the time period of the course and learning a framework for understanding, analysing and predicting the underlying trends.

Business Intelligence, Digital Media and Fintech

Description of the theories, methods, processes and use of technology that support Business Intelligence (BI), where it is commonly used and the implications of BI in the corporate world. The course also includes an overview of the functions of BI and the inter-relationship with competitive intelligence. The use of BI to analyse internal data and business processes will be taught, with practical examples of the technology suppliers of BI to corporate customers, and of the use and implications of BI within corporates. The course also includes an overview of Digital Media, the historical development and the possible future uses of Digital Media from a B2B perspective. The use of BI within Digital Media will also be covered as well as the suppliers of data sources and newsfeeds as used in the financial services industry (e.g. Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg).

Regulation, Compliance and Ethics

The Regulation, Compliance and Ethics course focuses on the specific moral issues that typically arise amongst financial managers and professionals in the financial services sector. Using ethical systems, such as utilitarianism and rights-based theory, students are trained to analyse and evaluate issues such as, agency theory, fiduciary duty, fairness in financial markets, the purpose of regulation, and the consequences of financial activity in the larger, economic, political and social setting. Through the use of case studies, students are taught how to recognize and respond to moral issues as they arise and to anticipate possible difficulties in advance. The course also highlights effective communication methods with a variety of relevant stakeholders, such as regulators, policy-makers, legislators and the media in order for a firm to maintain compliance with the relevant regulators and to operate at the highest level of ethical standards.

VBA / Excel

This course provides a deeper understanding, application and practice of VBA, with practical examples relevant to the financial markets ecosystem. The course also includes teaching Excel at a more sophisticated level including use and practice of the additional and perhaps less well known functions within Excel. The objective is to enable students operate at more sophisticated levels using both VBA and Excel so that students are ahead of the peer group in terms of comprehension and efficiency with future employers.

Finance: Management Theory

This is largely a case-study driven course that highlights the qualities for success of senior managers, typical character traits, and – utilizing the case studies – pitfalls to avoid. Definitions of leadership are discussed, with examples from the corporate world. Examples of management styles are taught including how different styles have changed over time. In addition, the management of suppliers, strategic partners and customers is discussed highlighting methodologies that work well and not well and why.