Curriculum

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Curriculum

The RSM MSc in Finance & Investments programme is one academic year’s duration. Core courses are compulsory and will be offered during the autumn semester (22 EC). Master electives (18 EC) are offered during the spring semester, of which one elective can be chosen from another MSc programme. During the year, students work on a master thesis project (20 EC).

 

Please note that certain electives may be very popular. Although we can place most students in the elective(s) of their choice, there are no guaranteed places.

 

    • Corporate Finance deals with two broad and interrelated themes: i) how to value businesses and corporate investment opportunities and ii) how to finance corporate investment and activities.

      In the course you will learn the basic principles and foundations of corporate finance. The focus will be on financing and financial policy covering the trade-off theory of capital structure, conflicts of interests between investors, signaling models, the pecking order theory as well as key features of the issuance process for certain kinds of debt and equity.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by prof. Daniel Metzger.

    • Understanding what drives the valuation of companies is essential not only from an investor’s perspective but also in one’s role as a manager, security analyst or merger advisor. The goal of this course is to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary for performing discounted cashflow valuation of firms from first principles. The course will also touch upon multiples-based valuation techniques. 

      The first sessions of the course will focus on the adjustments necessary for identifying value relevant cashflows from reported earnings and other available accounting information. In the following sessions we will discuss how to identify the drivers of growth (as well as the limits to growth) so as to make economically meaningful forecasts. This will be followed by an estimation of the cost of capital for firms which involves among other things, the estimation of firms’ business and financial risk. Finally, we will learn how to incorporate these inputs into valuation models appropriate to the firm-specific context (for example the cost of capital approach or the adjusted present value approach) to come up with an estimate of firm value.

      To provide hands on experience, in the workshops we will apply the theories discussed each week to estimate different valuation inputs to complete a real-world valuation exercise by the end of the course.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. A. Rajamani and dr. M. Paaso​​​​​​​. 

    • This course deals with financial decision-making from the perspective of an investor. We focus on the fundamental principles of risk and return, diversification, asset allocation, and efficient markets. Students will develop their knowledge on financial market structures, equity and fixed income securities, investment strategies, behavioral finance, anomalies, and the limits to arbitrage. The course furthers students’ understanding of Modern Portfolio Theory, the Capital Asset Pricing Model, the Arbitrage Pricing Theory, market efficiency, and stock return predictability by discussing recent insights from academic research. Furthermore, the course covers fixed income markets and the term structure of interest rates. Although the main goal of the course is to cover the academic foundations for the broad field of investments (and lay the groundwork for more applied courses in the remainder of the MScFI), the course will also discuss practical applications as well as the implications of the theories covered.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by prof. Mathijs van Dijk.

    • This course introduces a set of analytical tools to solve practical problems in finance using Microsoft Excel. The objective is to bridge the gap between theory and practice by understanding the foundations of financial models, implementing these models in Excel with real-world data, and using the outcomes to support financial decision making. The course helps students to gain the financial knowledge and modeling skills needed to succeed in the financial industry that is increasingly relying on quantitative models. Topics covered in the course include portfolio optimization techniques, performance evaluation methods, option pricing models, and risk management models.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. M.M.J.E. Cosemans

  • This introduction course starts with analysing and discussing the contribution of finance to society. The link with the RSM mission ‘a force for positive change’ is highlighted. How can finance be a force for positive change?

    The course provides an introduction newly emerging topics in the financial system. This year the focus is on FinTech and Sustainable Investing. The topics are approached from an academic and practical angle. Finance faculty link the topics to the core courses in block 1 and 2. Guest speakers introduce the topics from a practical perspective. The overall aim of the introduction course is to introduce the academic concepts in finance and to show the practical relevance of finance.

    Students apply the acquired insights in group assignments.

    Review the course guide​​​​​​​ for more details.

  • The financial crisis of 2008 led to public discussion about a possible lack of moral conduct in the corporate world. Ethics and compliance became terms often used in the financial sector. The pressure for financial organizations to comply with laws and regulations and implement compliance measures to live up to ethical standards is since then ever-increasing. Compliance measures and ‘ethics & compliance’ departments are now commonplace within the financial sector. This course will provide students with academic knowledge on what business ethics means in practice for financial organizations. It will help students to better understand crucial ethics and compliance concepts and how their own ethical behavior is sometimes influenced by external factors. It is important for the future finance professional to be aware of this as working in the financial sector will mean that they will get in contact with these concepts.

    For this course it is needed that students actively participate during the lectures and make the two individual assignments.

    Workshop 1: Ethics and misconduct in the Financial Sector: Welcome to the Dark Side?

    We discuss what is meant with the terms “ethics” and “compliance” in the context of a business organization. In the lecture we take a behavioral (as opposed to a philosophical) approach in order to understand what factors influence human behavior concerning ethics & compliance. What influences people towards morally good or bad decisions? We discuss different examples of misconduct from the financial sector.

    Workshop 2: Pressure and Dilemmas

    We will further discuss several examples of ethical issues and compliance violations from the financial sector in an interactive way. We have studied academic articles on behavioural

    concepts, and we will use these to apply and deepen our knowledge gained in the first lecture.

    Workshop 3: Compliance Management: Rules to protect us from the Dark Side?

    We will discuss several examples on how to manage ethical behavior. We will discuss the following questions:

    1. How can we make employees comply with laws, regulations and guidelines?
    2. What are the pitfalls of all these rules and controls?
    3. How does an organization make the best use of compliance instruments like a Code of Conduct and a whistleblowing procedure?

    Review the course guide for more details.

    Taught by M.A. de Kiewit.

  • The aim of Your Future Career is to prepare students at an early stage in their MSc for their career.

    When you care about what you do, you will enjoy your work more, create greater impact, and be more successful in being a force for positive change. However, it can be difficult to identify what your passion is, where your competencies and skills will be useful, and which professional environment and culture are the best match for you. Therefore, RSM Career Centre has developed a course to put you in the driver's seat of your career, and to support you in identifying your first career step after graduation and preparing for it.

    The online modules of “Your Future Career” will help you make crucial steps towards the most suitable internship or job for you. To pass the course you need to gain a minimum of 50 points by 31 January 2022, 16:00. You can decide yourself if you want to reflect on your interests and motivations, develop knowledge of the job market, functions, companies and industries, receive peer feedback on your application materials, have contact with an alumni mentor or attend an interactive workshop.

    The course will be offered to MSc programmes who opted in for this. The Your Future Career course takes place in block 1 and 2 (30 August 2021– 31 January 2022) and is awarded 1 ECTS based on pass/fail.

    Contact: RSM Career Centre via yourfuturecareer@rsm.nl

    Review the course guide for more details.

    Taught by dr. M. Szymanowski & L. Keir.

    • This course covers the more challenging and complex issues that analysts, investors, and financial advisors encounter when they evaluate company performance and firm equity value. It adopts a very pragmatic approach towards valuation. Students will be taught how valuation works in practices while drawing from theory. We have selected three analytical challenges that will be discussed in more detail:
      »    Advanced Financial Analysis & Valuation Tools: Introducing Equity versus Enterprise value methods; identifying Enterprise Value Multiples; accounting issues in enterprise value; forecasting earnings for enterprise value; sum-of-the –parts valuation; Economic Value Added (EVA), real options in enterprise value; dealing with contingent claims character of equity and debt and valuation of private firms and start-ups.
      »    Understanding Risk in Analysis and Valuation: Sources of risk; motives for risk management; Miller & Modigliani and risk management; hedging with financial instruments; accounting for derivative instruments; reflecting risk management in financial statements; dealing with risk management in equity valuation and particularly understanding how firms manage risk in their supply chain. Cost of Capital complications, Capital Structure impact of risk management and how that affects equity value.
      »    Applied Analysis & Valuation for Banks: Banking Business Models; regulatory background; financial statements for banks; controversial issues in reporting for banks; analyzing bank performance; drivers of value creations; decomposing return on equity for banks; applying valuation methodologies such as Dividend Discount Models, Equity Multiples for banks.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. S.G. Zori.

    • Over the last decades, companies and investors have been increasingly challenged by risks due to unpredictable movements in stock prices, commodity prices, exchange rates, and interest rates. Financial markets have responded to this increase in volatility by developing a wide range of financial instruments known as derivatives, as well as strategies combining these products with traditional financial securities like stocks and bonds. As a result, derivatives markets have rapidly increased in volume and size and have become one of the most exciting areas in finance. However, the global financial crisis in 2007-2008 has made clear that derivatives can also create new risks when their design and limitations are poorly understood by market participants.

       

      This goal of this course is to help students navigating the complex and esoteric world of derivatives. It covers the essentials of key derivatives instruments, such as forwards, futures, swaps, and options. You will learn how these products work, how they are used for hedging and speculation, how they are priced using fundamental no-arbitrage principles, and how to exploit any mispricing using arbitrage strategies. You will apply this theoretical knowledge to solve practical assignments and case studies. The course fosters a deep analytical and conceptual understanding of derivatives and enhances your problem-solving skills.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. M.M.J.E. Cosemans.

    • This course is intended to enhance the M&A preparedness of students in their future roles as employees, M&A advisors, or stakeholders by providing an overview of topics relating to M&A.  The course will combine theory with practical insights from invited guest speakers.  The theoretical content will be focused on the institutional settings that underlie M&A transactions and their implications for various deal-related choices.  We will use findings from extant academic literature to highlight stylized facts about M&A.

      The course will cover the following broad themes: (i) drivers of mergers and takeovers and sources of value creation from M&A, (ii) considerations underlying deal structuring, payment and financing choices, and (iii) accounting challenges, valuation and risk management in the context of M&A. 

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. A. Rajamani.

    • From very humble beginnings in the 1980s, Private Equity has become a very large Asset Class. Although fundraising has levelled off in 2019 and 2020 from an all-time record in 2018, still, at the end of 2020 over $2 trillion of “dry powder” globally is looking to be invested by PE funds.

      This course aims to give students a solid introduction to the world of Private Equity (including Venture Capital and Buyouts). It focuses on the following (along with practical insight from prior transactions) main areas of knowledge that underpin the PE environment:

      »        “Organizational” topics related to PE funds & investing;

      »        Cash flow analysis & modeling (we will be using a PE/LBO model for that);

      »        Review of corporate valuation methods;

      »        PE investment process (a complete cycle from a purchase idea to a completion of acquisition; and from putting the asset up for sale through to a complete exit) - we will

      follow a “live” (recently completed) transaction;

      »        PE transaction structuring;

      »        Negotiation of a Term Sheet/Letter of Intent and Share Purchase Agreement (SPA);

      »        Finalization of the transaction price (Locked Box and Completion Accounts mechanisms);

      »        Practical key lessons from prior transactions, i.e. practical experience;

      With the exception of item 1 (above), where some theory and “informational” delivery (deliberately kept to a modest minimum) is scheduled, this course focuses on practical aspects and transaction based learning.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by A. Grezsczak MBA.

    • It is the main task of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to ensure that the firm has a sufficient amount of access to finance and to ensure financial stability over time. In order to reach this, the CFO is assisted by the Treasury Department. During this course, students are getting familiar with the different activities of the Treasury Department. These activities include cash management, working capital management, debt management, equity management, investment management and risk management. Cash management includes everything that the treasurer does in order to ensure a stable cash position both now and in the future. Working capital management discusses the matching of the current assets and current liabilities to ensure a sufficient amount of liquidity. Debt and equity management discusses the several choices firms have to make when issuing debt or equity respectively. Investment management talks about the possibilities and choices  that firms have when they want to invest today’s excess cash to ensure future income. Risk management discusses the several types of risk that firms are exposed to in their daily activities, such as exchange rate risks and interest risk.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. Stefan van Kampen.

    • Understanding and analyzing business value is a key competitive advantage in M&A, private equity as well as fundamental for any corporate investment decision. A sound business valuation requires, amongst others:

      • Understanding of the valuation context
      • Analysis of the company and its strategy
      • Financial and value creation analysis
      • Forecast of future financial performance
      • A valuation method/approach that is aligned to the valuation context

      In this course we discuss various (advanced) approaches to measure and analyze business value and value creation both from an academic and practitioners perspective. We will expand on the students basic knowledge on business valuation and value creation analysis and take this to the next level. This course is highly relevant for students that pursue a career in M&A, private equity and/or valuation advisory.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by Hans Haanappel. 

    • FinTech covers digital innovation and technology-enabled business model innovation in the financial services. FinTech is rapidly evolving across the globe and represents an existential challenge for major parts of the industry.

      This course provides an introductory overview of innovations that are central to FinTech in the areas of payment, capital raising, investment, and credit. Specifically, the main focus is on blockchain technology and its specific issues and applications. However, other important innovations covered include crowdfunding, robo-advising, social trading, peer-to-peer lending, mobile money, and central bank digital currency. The course also explores threats and opportunities that these technologies pose to incumbent firms and discuss the way that FinTech interacts with law enforcement and regulation issues. Furthermore, the course features a number of guest speakers from industry.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. T. Lambert.

    • In this course the focus is on financial topics related to real estate investment and financing (corporate real estate, commercial real estate and residential). The course provides a theoretical framework to study these topics; ample empirical facts and actual practices of agents in Real estate and finance markets will show business relevancy.

      This course prepares students to understand the risks and rewards associated with investing in and financing Real estate. There are three main topics:

      »        Market analysis.

      »        Real estate valuation, and most importantly,

      »        Real estate finance.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. P. Neuteboom.

    • This course provides insight in the sustainability challenges and the link to finance. The main task of the financial system is to allocate funding to its most productive use. Traditional finance focuses on financial return and regards the financial sector as separate from the society of which it is part and the environment in which it is embedded. By contrast, sustainable finance considers financial, social, and environmental returns in combination and shows how finance can accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, inclusive economy.

      The course reviews evidence that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors matter and explains in detail how to incorporate these in company business models and strategies, equity investing, bond investing, and bank lending. The course examines the financial instruments and techniques that can be applied in the context of evolving climate policies (and other sustainability policies). The tools will be applied in a group assignment on the valuation of a company based on ESG factors.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by prof. D. Schoenmaker.

    • Economic theory treats people as if they were making rational choices. Yet, in practice, investors and managers do not always make rational decisions. In fact, a lot of CEOs admit that major business decisions come “straight from the gut”. And such judgement about money and investment plans are often clouded by biases and emotions. In the course of Behavioral Finance, we investigate how these behavioral biases impact our financial decisions, and how we can avoid the most common pitfalls. 

      Behavioral finance is the application of psychology to financial behavior of practitioners. It has gained prominence in academia. Daniel Kahneman and Richard Thaler were awarded the 2002 and 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics respectively for their contributions in the field. It is also appreciated by practitioners. Financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, ABN Amro, and Robeco all run funds employing behavioral strategies. 

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. L. He.

    • The objective of this course is to expose students to both fundamental concepts and cutting edge theories and tools in portfolio management. We will cover optimal portfolio construction techniques and models such (such as Black-Litterman, Treynor-Black) and transaction costs. We will learn about the law of active management with a comparison the active vs. passive portfolio management (i.e. how active (mutual funds) managers perform). The course will also include paper presentations on anomalies, investor sentiment, and factor investing. Case studies will be used to illustrate the various methodologies introduced in this course. Moreover, exercises with real financial data will be the part of the course.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by Prof. Marno Verbeek.

    • In the last phase of your study, it is important to apply the knowledge and skills you have developed by doing an internship. There is an option to do an internship as part of your MSc in Finance & Investments by choosing the Internship Elective in Block 5. During the Internship Elective, the students will be working independently at a well-established company (or other organization) where they will be involved in the financial activities, projects, and decisions that the firm is engaging in. More importantly, students will actively have to work on a project within the company that is of a solid academic level where the students can demonstrate and apply their knowledge in the field of finance in a real project. While working at this company, the students have to write a report in which they explain the contents of their work and translate the knowledge and skills obtained in the MScFI program into the working field. The students are responsible for finding their own internship company.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

    • This elective examines the main activities of financial intermediaries, the related risks, and how these risks can be managed. Moreover, we will deal with specialized topics that have recently gained in importance, such credit risk transfer, off-balance sheet banking and fintech. Finally, we will consider the objectives and requirements of banking regulation, and discuss the challenges raised by the Global Financial Crisis and the recent Covid-19 crisis.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by prof. Wolf Wagner.

    • The objective of this course is to provide students with a state-of-the-art understanding of the valuation of small and mid-cap public and private firms, and the economics of contracts as it applies to entrepreneurship and new venture finance. Entrepreneurship concerns the undertaking of new business ventures. We will analyse the unique financial issues relating to entrepreneurial firms and to develop a set of skills that has wide applications for such situations. Specific topics will include: start- up ventures; financial management of rapidly growing firms; deal structuring; valuation; initial public offerings; the decision to harvest; and leveraged / management buyouts. We will discuss the various sources of capital for entrepreneurial firms. These sources include venture capital, commercial banks and crowd funding. The decisions of firms at various phases of their life cycle will be examined and the advantages and disadvantages of various sources of financing will be compared. Analytical tools will be introduced and utilized. Financial analysis, various valuation methods, negotiations,

      and deal structuring are examined in the context of entrepreneurial firms. This course is aimed at students who plan to start, acquire, finance or work for entrepreneurial, fast-growing businesses. It will also be useful for students who plan to join venture capital / private equity firms and investment banks. The course aims at instructing the student in how “real world” professional investors and corporate managers operate to create wealth from entrepreneurial activity.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by prof. dr. P.G.J. Roosenboom

    • Financial distress risks have received a wide media attention with the corona pandemic, several large accounting frauds, the Brexit, and monetary policy decisions of the European Central Bank. Next to this media coverage, financial distress risks are a central factor in empirical and theoretical research across all fields of finance, including asset pricing and corporate finance. Students with a deeper understanding of financial distress risks can apply this knowledge at numerous employment opportunities, including finance departments of corporations, banks, public and private investment firms, accounting firms, and government agencies.

      The course Financial Distress and Corporate Restructuring provides participants with a theoretical and practical skill set to understand financial distress risks from the perspective of a corporation. The course covers the legal framework for bankruptcies, bargaining theory, the impact of financial distress on security pricing, prediction models for default, and empirical evidence regarding the negative consequences of financial distress. The course is highly interactive and features lectures that cover theoretical concepts besides many applications, including in-class examples using real-life data, a bargaining simulation game, two case studies, and a guest lecture. The video Welcome to Financial Distress and Corporate Restructuring provides an overview of the course.

      Review the course guide​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for more details.

      Taught by dr. C.H.O. Schmitt.

    • It is a data-driven world with an extreme competition for analytical talent, according to research by McKinsey Global Institute and McKinsey Analytics in 2017. In this course, I will discuss two main techniques to deal with structured data and unstructured data at entry level: 1) textual analysis and 2) machine learning. It aims to introduce a set of analytical tools for understanding and examining real-time data examples in R. Students need to complete empirical assignments in R to enhance the knowledge and skills learned in the course.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. M. Luo.

    • In this course we will learn some general principles about financial modeling in Excel. We will read through a selection of classical finance studies and will try to replicate these studies in Excel. The topics we will cover range from asset pricing and performance evaluation to bond markets and private equities.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. J. Huij.

    • The objective of this course is to help students bridge the gap between fundamental investment theories and modern investment practice.  We will consider empirical evidence for the efficient market hypothesis as well as market imperfections and their implications for portfolio management.  This will involve mastering the tools of optimal portfolio construction and performance evaluation along with careful discussions of market anomalies and the behavioral biases from which they may arise.  We will also learn about two key players in the investment management industry, mutual funds and hedge funds, and each topic will be put in the context of its use by both professional money managers and individual investors.  The course will include presentations of classic papers, analysis of real financial data using statistical software, and a group project to apply investment management concepts 

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. L. Emery

    • Financial risk management is of the utmost importance for institutional investors, both from the regulatory and fiduciary perspective. In this course, the main sources of financial risk are discussed, such as: market risk, liquidity risk, credit risk and operational risk. Approaches to quantify each of these risks (e.g. duration, VaR, ES, etc.)  as well as the various approaches to manage these risks are discussed during this course. Several cases are discussed in which effective risk management fail in practice. 

      Having understood the main risk factors for institutional investors, we also explore the market for fixed income securities which are instruments with a direct exposure towards market risk (interest rate risk) and credit risk. The market for fixed income securities is one of the most important segments of financial markets. Several topics in relationship to this market are discussed: Fixed-rate bonds, convertible/callable bonds, term structure models, fixed income trading strategies and asset backed securities. Furthermore, particular attention is paid to hedge risks associated with fixed income using credit default swaps or interest rate swaps. 

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. J. Koëter.

  • The Honours Class includes an interactive course by academics and practitioners on the Role of Finance in Society and a living management case. The course provides insights in the societal role of finance: what can finance contribute to a good society. It is aligned with the mission statement of the RSM: A force for positive change. Topics and cases are each year refreshed reflecting the newest trends in societal thinking and their application to finance.

    »        Block 3 & 4: Eight lectures (a mix of academic lectures, and guest lectures by industry) on the Role of Finance in Society. The topics for academic year 2021/2022 are Sustainable Investment and Banking, FinTech and Blockchain, and Responsible Finance and Financial Inclusion. The form of assessment is an essay for the interactive course.

    »        Block 5: Living Management case with corporate partners. The form of assessment is a group assignment for the case.

    Review the course guide for more details.

    • The Research Skills course gives students the opportunity to acquire the statistical and econometric skills needed to work with data, conduct an empirical analysis, interpret and report the results in the context of an academic paper or thesis. These skills are essential for the

      successful completion of the Master Thesis. Students will attend lectures and workshop sessions, will work with Stata (and Excel) and have to complete an empirical assignment.

      For the assignment, students can choose between two tracks: Corporate Finance or Investments. Otherwise, the two tracks are identical. The skills students train are the same (e.g., processing data, implementing empirical methods using statistical software, and interpreting results), and so is the exam.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by prof. Marno Verbeek and dr. Stefan van Kampen

    • The master thesis trajectory comprises four compulsory stages that are followed sequentially by the students:

      Stage 1: Orientation and topic selection

      Stage 2: Research Skills course

      Stage 3: Master thesis proposal

      Stage 4: Master thesis.

      After the successful completion of the Master thesis proposal, Master thesis, and defence students obtain 16 EC. The Research Skills course yields 4 EC and is part of the core courses.

Note regarding taking courses if you are not an RSM master student: RSM does not offer the possibility for non-RSM students (master or otherwise) to take RSM courses outside of official exchange partnerships or other inter-faculty agreements.