Financial Management

tangram lighthouse

You will learn the skills essential for evaluating major strategic corporate and investment decisions to understand capital markets and institutions from a financial perspective. This Specialization covers financial accounting, investments, and corporate finance. It provides an integrated framework for value-based financial management and individual financial decision making.

Learning outcomes

  • You will have a solid foundation in developing an integrated framework for strategic financial decision making
  • You will have a thorough understanding of financial statements and the financial information they provide and develop the ability to critically evaluate and analyze cash flows statement
  • You will learn about the management and evaluation of portfolios and firm valuation techniques
  • Finally, you will learn how to incorporate risk and uncertainty into investment decisions and understand how companies make financing and investment decisions


In this course you will gain a basic understanding of the financial accounting information production process. The course mainly focuses on how financial reports are prepared to provide students with the ability to analyze complex financial accounting information. This ability is important for elective courses that require analysis of financial accounting information in many different contexts. More importantly, the ability to process and understand financial accounting information is essential for all types of investors to make better-informed financial decisions.
These two courses provide a thorough introduction to investments and the technical language of finance with an emphasis on understanding the management and evaluation of portfolios and firm valuation techniques. Key principles of understanding risk and return and the CAPM model (the most common model in corporate and investment finance today) as well as multi-factor models are reviewed. An overview of market efficiency and behavioral finance are provided as well as an introduction to derivative securities, bonds, and professional money management.
Corporate Finance develops a framework for evaluating financial decisions made by corporate managers with an emphasis on the analysis of capital investment projects and mergers and acquisitions using net present value and real options, working capital management, dividend and debt policies, hedging, or offsetting financial risks through derivatives and liquidity management. Applications to real-world problems are emphasized.

The capstone for the specialization will provide a learning experience that integrates across all the courses within that specialization. It will involve analysis of a situation concerning an actual business with a view to work toward a financial management plan. Students will analyze a situation taking the vantage point of a company and develop a financial management plan (for instance, a global company working in a specific geography chosen by students’ region or country of residence, or other consideration).

The financial management plans will be peer reviewed in a crowd-sourcing format as part of a poster session, with participation by one or more focal companies. The deliverable will be designed to create value from the perspective of potential employers while achieving pedagogical and experiential goals for learners. Learner assessment for the capstone will include quizzes as well as peer reviews of capstone projects.


He is an associate professor accountancy in the College of Business. His research interests lie in the area of archival financial accounting and focuses on the impact of accounting information in macroeconomy and in debt markets. His work appeared in prestigious journals including The Accounting Review, Management Science, Review of Accounting Studies, and Contemporary Accounting Research. He teaches courses in financial accounting at the undergraduate, MBA, Executive MBA and PhD levels around the world. He earned his PhD in accounting from The University of Texas at Dallas and a BA in business administration from Bogazici University
He is a professor of finance and the Stanley C. and Joan J. Golder Chair in Corporate Finance. He is also a research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research. He teaches courses in mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance and maintains research interests in liquidity management, capital structure, corporate ownership structure, and corporate governance. His research has been cited by the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Financial Times, and by prominent policy authorities such as the President of the European Central Bank. His research has received numerous awards such as the Journal of Finance’s Brattle Prize and the Jensen Prize for the Journal of Financial Economics, and has received more than 4,000 citations by other researchers. He earned his PhD in economics from the University of Chicago, an MS in economics from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, a BA in economics from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, and a BA in business administration from the College of Business and Administration, UNA-MG.
He is a professor of finance and James F. Towey Faculty Fellow. Before coming to Illinois, he worked as an economist for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in the capital markets section. His research studies household portfolio decisions and the financial and operational decisions made by corporate executives and other institutional managers. He has published articles in several leading finance and economics journals, including The American Economic Review, The Journal of Finance, The Journal of Financial Economics, and several others. His papers have won multiple “Best Paper” awards at various conferences around the world and his research has been heavily cited in academic finance and economics literatures. He is also an award- winning teacher at Illinois, where he has been consistently elected to the List of Teachers Rated as Excellent at the University of Illinois every year since 2002 and elected “Best Professor” in finance several years in a row. He also won the College of Business Alumni Association’s Excellence-in-Teaching Award for Graduate and Professional Teaching in 2011 and was selected the Best Professor in the Full-Time MBA Program in 2014. He holds a PhD in economics from MIT and BAs in economics and mathematics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.