Program Experience

Highlights and Key Outcomes

In Wharton Finance for Executives, you will:

  • Master integral financial analysis and evaluation tools and apply them to your business
  • Determine which operating decisions will drive the greatest value
  • Anticipate how decisions affect financial performance and create value
  • Become a more effective and persuasive communicator when dealing with corporate finance decision makers within your organization

Experience & Impact

Putting corporate finance at the heart of decision making is mission critical today, and not just in the C-suite. Senior-level executives in every industry face pressure to show the financial return and value of their initiatives, including the upside opportunity in and downside risk of every decision. Having a strong foundation in finance and an ability to speak that language is a must in today’s globally competitive market, because errors quickly become magnified and have greater implications for a company’s future.

Wharton Finance for Executives leverages what Wharton is world-renowned for — finance that strikes the right balance between academic rigor and practical application. Wharton faculty — led by finance professor and corporate finance expert Michael Roberts — apply their field-based research and professional experience to teach the latest strategic insights for making more informed and better decisions, and to provide participants with an improved ability to communicate those decisions to financial executives.

Faculty put the course curriculum in a context that is real, immediately applicable, and understandable. You will gain a thorough understanding of financial principles and the ability to apply them in practice. From practical tools to case application, you will apply financial tools and frameworks to real-world cases. You will leave the program with new financial acumen that can inform every strategic decision you make and position you as champion within your organization.

Ultimately, the program removes the shroud of mystery that people often have about corporate finance and empowers participants to use this understanding to improve their business, show their value to the organization, and further their professional development.

Session topics include:

  • Sources of Value and Free Cash Flow
  • Cost-Benefit and Discounted Cash Flow Analysis
  • Decision Criteria: Net Present Value, Internal Rate of Return, and Payback Period
  • Risk, the Cost of Capital, and the Hurdle Rate
  • Risk Assessment and Sensitivity Analysis in Decision Making
  • Returns vs. Value
  • Staged Decision Making with Decision Trees

Through highly interactive lectures and up to six breakout sessions, participants will work in small groups to apply financial principles to a variety of business scenarios. Overall, you will gain:

  • A keen understanding of how business decisions affect value and are reflected in financial metrics and accounting statements
  • Increased confidence to engage with financial executives
  • Insight into applying business valuation techniques to assess the value of investment projects, corporate assets, and whole companies for potential acquisition
  • The ability to better use financial information in managerial decision making
  • Rich opportunities to network with peers and engage in debates on current financial problems with some of the nation’s top finance faculty

Convince Your Supervisor

Here’s a justification letter you can edit and send to your supervisor to help you make the case for attending this Wharton program.

Due to our application review period, applications submitted after 12:00 p.m. ET on Friday for programs beginning the following Monday may not be processed in time to grant admission. Applicants will be contacted by a member of our Client Relations Team to discuss options for future programs and dates.

Who Should Attend

Professor Michael R. Roberts describes who should attend this program

Wharton Finance for Executives is designed for a broad range of non-financial leaders whose primary job responsibilities do not include corporate finance, as well as functional finance leaders. It appeals to professionals in every area — general management, operations, marketing, law, and operations as well as management consulting. The ideal participants in this program will already have a basic knowledge and understanding of corporate finance, but are finding that more of their job responsibilities intersect with corporate financial decision makers. These are executives who are rising within an organization and are now finding that having a deeper understanding of the role corporate finance can play in the growth of the company will be invaluable.

Additionally, mid-level to senior executives with a finance background who have not worked in finance recently or those who want to deepen their understanding of corporate finance as it pertains to strategic decision making will also benefit from attending this program. Participants in Wharton Finance for Executives are expected to be already familiar with how to use and interpret financial statements.

Fluency in English, written and spoken, is required for participation in Wharton Executive Education programs unless otherwise indicated.

Participant Profile

Participants by Industry

Wharton Finance for Executives participants by Industry

Participants by Job Function

Wharton Finance for Executives participants by job function

Participants by Region

Wharton Finance for Executives participants by region

Plan your stay in Philadelphia

Plan Your Stay

This program is held at the Steinberg Conference Center located on the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia. Meals and accommodations are included in the program fees. Learn more about planning your stay at Wharton’s Philadelphia campus.

Group Enrollment

To further leverage the value and impact of this program, we encourage companies to send cross-functional teams of executives to Wharton. We offer group-enrollment benefits to companies sending four or more participants.


Michael Roberts

Michael Roberts, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Academic Director

William H. Lawrence Professor; Professor of Finance, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Applied econometrics, corporate investment, capital structure

Itay Goldstein

Itay Goldstein, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Joel S. Ehrenkranz Family Professor, Professor of Finance, Professor of Economics; Chairperson, Finance Department, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Corporate finance, financial fragility and crises, financial markets

Jules Van Binsbergen

Jules van Binsbergen, PhDSee Faculty Bio

The Nippon Life Professor in Finance; Professor of Finance, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Asset pricing, institutional investors, investments


As vice president of human resources for the Timken Company, I lead our global team of HR business partners. While my role is managing human capital, as part of the executive leadership team I participate in discussions and decisions that have a financial impact. I participated in Wharton Finance for Executives to better contribute to those decisions.

I learned about the effect that different decisions, whether related to an individual project, portfolio management or larger working capital decision, can have on a company’s overall financials. The information about corporate structure and its impact on the financial position and decision-making of the company was particularly valuable.

The program balanced classroom knowledge with case studies to help solidify the information. Our class came from different industries, company sizes and structures, and roles within their organization, from project managers to C-suite executives. The professors delivered the content in a way that was meaningful to all of the attendees. The class content provided a solid foundation and the diversity of the participants contributed further to the value of the program.

The faculty brought a diverse set of experience and expertise. The lead professor, Michael Roberts, was phenomenal. He had great knowledge and real-life experience, but most importantly a passion for the learning process that made class educational, fun, and impactful.”

Amanda Montgomery VP, Human Resources, The Timken Company

I work at NextEra Energy Resources, an industry leader in wind and solar in the United States. As an asset manager, I deal with wind portfolio — roughly 25 wind farms. I work closely with origination and development teams that help with our growth trajectory, and I’m responsible for the financial performance of the wind farms once they are operational. I interface with customers and the markets who buy the power and most of my assets are financed, so I am dealing with various lenders and creditors, which was one reason the Wharton Finance for Executives program was such a strong fit for me.

I chose Wharton after looking at the curriculum and talking to peers who had attended Wharton programs in the past. The curriculum fit my needs better than programs offered by other business schools. Wharton covered real options and how to value different business decisions, which has helped me enhance my competency and confidence as I face challenges, whether they are operational or technical. Wharton gave me the tools to better maneuver through the decision-making process. I am also able to bring more strategic perspectives on how to weigh the benefits of certain decisions for my portfolio.

Professor Michael Roberts did such a fantastic job translating the material into real-world examples. He provided the kind of synthesis to help turn the program learnings into tangible, real-life tools that I could use when I returned to my job.

I was also impressed by the diversity of program participants. They brought such broad and global perspectives that far surpassed my initial expectations. Participants came from a broad range of industries both domestic and international and it was hugely beneficial to me to learn about their experiences and the challenges my classmates have faced.

Wharton also did a great job with the overall logistics. The ease of how this program was set up made it seamless for me and others as far as the meals, housing, and the class’s location. Wharton staff took a lot of the stress out of the logistical concerns so I could really focus on absorbing the course content.

I had such a positive experience at Wharton that it has evolved my expectations of myself. I can certainly envision coming back to Wharton, if I do any further executive education.”

Megan Kiernan Business Management, NextEra Energy Resources

I was first drawn to Wharton by virtue of its excellent reputation. My experience exceeded expectations. As the leader of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare’s Global Health organization, I am responsible for its global marketing strategy, innovation pipeline and R&D. The role also includes P&L responsibility for the innovation initiatives under development in the portfolio.

My background, however, is in science, not business. I have a PhD in pharmaceutical science. While I have had a number of business-facing roles, my professional leadership experience has largely been within the R&D space. Our organization is both consumer-centric and science-based. However, financial analysis and metrics play a critical role in many decisions — including whether we pursue both internal and external business opportunities.

Wharton Finance for Executives has directly enabled me to make more robust decisions. I now have a greater understanding of the language of finance and how to determine:

- What’s a good investment?
- Are we creating value with our investments?
- What levers can we pull to improve the overall proposition and financial metrics?

Not being a ‘business guy,’ I thought I might be at a disadvantage given the depth of business experience of the course participants. That wasn’t an issue. The course brought together people from many different backgrounds and experiences. The Wharton faculty and staff created a dynamic learning experience. Everything about the experience was highly relevant to real world challenges and decisions — from the content, to the instructional approach and class discussion.”

Peter John Ramsey, PhD Senior VP, Global Health, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare

In my work in the corporate strategy department at Monsanto, I do quite a lot with mergers and acquisitions and divestitures but also longer term strategy decisions that require thinking about the future. Wharton’s Finance for Executives program was the only course I found that covers a combination of these topics.

I can honestly say that I have applied almost everything I learned at Wharton to my current projects at work. This has varied from a valuation viewpoint to comparing different deals to each other, comparing resources to validate which project to move forward on and applying the fundamentals of corporate decision making. I have even been able to apply measurements and analysis like NPV, IRR, and cost of capital measures to countries outside of the U.S.

It is always hard to consider an M&A deal without having detailed information — this course helped me better understand and use assumptions in my analysis. Wharton emphasized the fact that there are only four or five key factors that make a significant difference in a deal and you have to get those as close to right as possible. This concept really resonated with me. Now if my colleagues and I ever get distracted from those factors, I can easily guide the discussion back to what matters.

My daily job is figuring out deals that are aimed at enabling farmers to be more successful to feed a growing population — and Wharton has sharpened my strategic deal-making skills.”

Elzandi Oosthuizen VP, Global Strategy, Monsanto Company

As a C-level executive without a finance or economics degree, this course filled in a few gaps for me, validated some of my experience and overall increased my confidence using these financial frameworks to make strategic decisions. Whether you are trying to gain support for a strategy, sell a new project or evaluate a proposal that’s been presented to you, these frameworks can help you more effectively understand opportunities and risks.

Both the Finance for Executives and the Private Equity programs at Wharton have helped validate what I’ve learned through on-the-job experience as well as identified areas to reinforce either in the class or through further instruction. That’s precisely what I was looking for — do I have any blind spots? Is there anything I’m missing in terms of what I’ve learned on the job? Going back to the classroom for a focused period of learning has really allowed me to meet both of those objectives.”

Jonathan W. Roberts Banking Executive

Date, Location, & Fees

If you are unable to access the application form, please email Client Relations at

September 23 – 27, 2024Philadelphia, PA$12,750

March 3 – 7, 2025Philadelphia, PA$12,750

Download the program schedule, including session details and format.

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Hotel Information

Fees for the on-campus program include accommodations and meals. Prices are subject to change.

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