WBLC Course Description & Session Info
To receive the Wharton Business and Law Certificate, participants must successfully complete a summer session plus a total of three courses within the fall and spring semesters. Courses are of specific interest to attorneys and provide a rigorous preparation in professional business disciplines. The final list of courses for selection will be confirmed by June.
Overview of the Global Economy in the 21st Century
This session discusses the demographic, geopolitical, financial, and economic trends that are reshaping the 21st century. The session is eminently interactive, inviting students to reflect on the implications of trends such as population ageing, urbanization, the proliferation of failed states, global financial imbalances, and the rise of emerging economies and emerging-market multinationals for their respective industries.
Essentials of Finance
This session will introduce students to the fundamentals and language of finance. Specifically, students will learn about the time value of money, risk, and no arbitrage. These concepts will be introduced via practical examples worked by the class.
There has been increasing interest in recent years as to how individuals make decisions when there is uncertainty regarding the value or likelihood of final outcomes. What type of information do they collect? How do they process the data? What factors influence the decisions? This session will address these issues. By understanding the decision processes we may be better able to prescribe ways of improving behavior. Building on recent work in cognitive psychology, students will gain an understanding of the simplified rules of thumb and apparent systematic biases that individuals utilize in making judgments and choices under uncertainty.
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This course provides participants with an understanding of current corporate finance theory and practice, with a focus on what determines a company's value and how managers can maximize value. Emphasis is on developing the analytical skills needed for financial decision making and for understanding financial transactions (e.g., acquisitions and mergers). Topics include discounted cash flow analysis, the relationship between risk and return, cost of capital, capital budgeting (valuing business assets), corporate valuation, and capital structure (the choice between equity and debt financing). An important goal of the course is to enhance attorneys' ability to provide value-added contributions in the corporate and other settings in which value is at play (e.g., assessing an investment proposal or the purchase/sale of a business). Participants will develop a solid understanding of how businesses work financially and what the drivers of value are for shareholders and other investors.
Global Strategic Management
The decisions and central issues that affect the international expansion and sustainability of a company are neither obvious nor determined by the technological or economic forces generally associated with globalization. This course will explain the unexpected way in which international competition unfolds over time and across countries. By examining detailed case studies, participants will gain a deeper understanding of the decisions that multinational companies face when conducting business across borders.
Specifically, Global Strategic Management will explore the:
- Emergence of new multinationals
- Models for organizing and managing a multinational network of subsidiaries, including how to coordinate and to transfer knowledge across borders
- Issues associated with managing human and social capital in the enterprise
- Persistence of cross-national differences and the effect of these differences on corporate strategies, structures, and performance
- Sequence and modes of international expansion
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Derivatives and International Finance
This course consists of two modules:
Derivatives: Their Role in Corporate Finance
Derivatives played a significant role in the collapse of Enron Corporation in 2001 and, more recently, the failure of Lehman Brothers and the financial crisis of 2007–2008. This part of the course examines the principal derivatives available in today’s markets — options, forward and futures contracts, swaps, mortgage-backed securities, CDOs and CLOs — and how they can be used to hedge or speculate on risk. Emphasis is placed on developing an intuitive understanding of how derivatives work. The course addresses how a corporation can assess the business and financial risks it faces and decide whether it should hedge those risks using derivatives. It also examines how embedded derivatives such as options affect the value of acquisitions, joint ventures and other transactions.
Doing Business Globally: International Finance
Corporations and individuals doing business across national borders confront a number of challenges not encountered in domestic markets. Large corporations like Royal Dutch Shell, Siemens, and IBM generate more than half of their revenues outside their home countries. Smaller companies rely on international markets for substantial portions of their business and virtually all companies confront competition from abroad. This part of the course examines major sources of risk and opportunity for businesses operating in international markets, focusing on how corporations can maximize value in a global context. Topics include managing foreign exchange risk, raising capital in international markets, valuing businesses and transactions when they cross borders and developing strategies to mitigate political risk.
The course’s overall objective is to provide attorneys with insights that will enhance their ability to make value-added contributions when they participate in business decisions and transactions in today’s markets.
Mergers and Acquisitions
This course explores how mergers and acquisitions (M&A) can catalyze firm growth and change. The objective of this course is to develop a comprehensive framework for executing M&A, from initiation to implementation. As such, we will delve deeply into acquisition screening and deal making, as well as post-merger integration. The emphasis is on the strategic, operational, and relational aspects of these transactions over the financial considerations, though we will certainly consider both. In terms of its pedagogical approach, this course is interactive, applied, and case based, with accompanying conceptual readings to help structure your thinking. This means that thorough preparation and in-class participation will be expected in each session.
Private Equity in Emerging Markets
Participants will learn how to identify and manage special issues when investing or partnering with companies located in rapidly growing economies. They will also become familiar with methods of due diligence and valuation, as well as liquidity and investment terms. Additionally, this course will address the structuring of funds, compensation, and the calculation of returns, and will provide a review of past performance.
This course also provides an overview of the private equity industry, a discussion of the main players, the structure of private equity funds, the performance of private equity funds, and an outlook for the future of the industry Discussion will also cover the specifics of venture capital, one of several private equity options besides buy-outs, mezzanine debt, and distress.
This course is designed for individuals with a serious interest in building a career in private investment activity in countries with transitional or developing economies, either as part of a corporate development effort, or through venture capital or buyout fund activity. The course will also be of interest to those who expect to engage in entrepreneurial activity and who seek to understand the fundamental dynamics of venture funding as a way to build a company or considerations for buying a company.
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