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The MSc Investment Management & Private Equity is focused on the perspectives of the shareholders, investors and institutional asset managers, also known as the “buy side” ecosystem in investment banking / asset management.

This stream includes 8 core courses covering Investment Management and Private Equity.

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Core Courses

Equity Analysis and Valuation

This course covers the theory behind and the use of various analytical models for analysing publicly (Stock Market) quoted equities in addition to analysing private (unlisted) companies. An overview of the different mathematical methodologies is taught, giving a deeper understanding of the tools and methods available for use by the Investment Analyst in addition to the private equity analyst assessing the merits of investing in earlier stage private companies. Topics include precedent trading multiples, precedent transactions analysis, cash flow, fundamental and asset-based analysis, contracts (forwards); futures and options, and hedging strategies. The typical role of the Equity / Investment Analyst in an Investment Bank, Asset Management Firm or Hedge Fund is described so that the student gains an understanding of what this type of job entails.

Investment and Risk Methods

This course includes a background to and importance of risk management in addition to a description of the various categories of systematic and unsystematic risk, and an overview of the risk management standards and implementation thereof. The methods for minimizing and mitigating risk will be covered within the financial markets ecosystem in addition to the different types of risks faced in the front, middle and back office of banks, insurance companies and other financial services firms. Methods of quantifying, transferring and selling risk by insurance companies and other finance companies will be covered as well as the background to and practical examples of quantitative risk analysis in financial services firms. The insurance market ecosystem, including an overview of Lloyds of London will be covered.

Futures, Forwards and Options Markets

This course provides an overview of the various derivatives markets, how and where they are traded, the relationship with the underlying asset, and the methods and drivers of value. The differences between Exchange-Traded and OTC derivatives are covered, and the development and uses of additional types of OTC products that are traded. In addition, the ecosystem involving traders, hedge funds, investment banks, corporates and investors is described and the interaction between the various counterparties. There will also be an element of quantitative theory and practice within the course so that students gain an insight into how mathematicians and scientists are involved in quantitative modelling and pricing derivatives, as well as the job of the derivatives trader.

Derivatives and Trading Risk Management

This course focuses on interest rate swaps, cross-currency swaps and credit default swaps. It examines the basic structure of these instruments, how they relate to other financial instruments such as fixed income bonds, forwards, futures and caps and floors and deepens understanding of how derivatives are priced. It also covers common applications in trading, investment and risk management with practical examples.

Hedge Funds

The course provides an overview of the history, background and development of hedge funds and how they fit into the financial markets ecosystem. Also includes case studies of successful and failed funds and factors for success. Topics include the different types of hedge funds, how they operate, the interaction with investors including the regulatory environment, and the incentives for management. In addition, the interaction with investment banks and how prime brokerage operates. The course will include some case studies of well-known hedge funds and some of their investment strategies.

Investment Management: Risk and Return

This course covers techniques used by professional asset managers, investing in traditional and alternative assets. Various categories of institutional investors are described in terms of their risk / return characteristics investment objectives. Topics include portfolio theory, the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), asset allocation, performance evaluation and performance measurement.

Private Equity, Venture Capital and LBOs

This course provides an overview of both the Venture Capital and Private Equity markets. Various Private Equity investment methodologies are covered including LBOs (Leveraged Buyouts), MBOs (Management Buyouts) and variations of these. The typical financial structures behind these transactions are explained. An overview of the private equity industry globally is covered including the various categories of private equity investor and their typical investment criteria. In addition, the private equity investment process is explained starting from fund raising of the main private equity fund, the mechanics of the Limited Partner / General Partner structure, through to exiting each portfolio company. Various valuation techniques are explained as well as the types of deal structures used in venture capital, growth capital investments and buyouts.

Portfolio and Asset Management

This module introduces one of the core hands on theoretical elements of portfolio management within financial services such as hedge fund, mutual fund and non-banking industry. Portfolio theory conceptualises relationships between various investment instruments, assets and their regulated return outcomes and allows examining the role of portfolio theories and its related application and their impact on the aggregate performance. The module first gives a general overview of portfolio management and its principles and goes on to describe investment vehicle including markets and instruments, determinations of portfolio policies, pension funds, mutual funds etc. Additionally, investment calculation, portfolio derivatives; CAL and SML; derivatives; fixed income markets and managing interest rate risk; overall portfolio performance management.

Interdisciplinary Courses

Financial Markets: Theories, Trends and History

The course is the International Financial Markets module for Third Year Students which is a follow on to the Financial Markets course taught in Second Year. This 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.