Foundations of Finance

Understand the principles of corporate finance. Become more financially confident in five days.

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Next available date: 19 June

A compact and intensive blended learning program, Foundations of Finance delivers a solid foundation of financial insight and understanding for every professional whose work is (or will be) related to finance but lacks the necessary finance knowledge. In a short amount of time, you will have acquired the tools to make financial decisions in various situations and be able to help create value for your company.

The program will be particularly valuable for managers involved with high-growth firms, either on the buy side (as potential investors) or in the sell side (as corporate managers). Attention will be given to firms operating in the service and in the technology sectors, and on the impact of sustainability and social responsibility on corporate value drivers.

By attending this program you will learn the main principles underlying corporate finance, and gain practical experience with real-world applications through case studies and spreadsheet exercises.

Topics covered in the program

  • Performance assessment and value drivers
  • Sustainability and social responsibility
  • Project and company valuation
  • Financial structure design
  • Equity financing and transactions
  • Risk management

How you will benefit

  • Learn  to identify and forecast the key drivers of a company’s (or project’s) future cash flows and risks, with the ultimate goal of making value-enhancing financial decisions
  • Gain a broad set of skills to succeed in equity valuation, investments, and in acquisitions
  • Deepen your knowledge of risk management and learn how to manage financial and non-financial risks
  • Understand how valuation and value creation can be affected by corporate sustainability and social responsibility.

Foundations of Finance is taught using a blended learning approach –combining traditional face-to-face classroom teaching with web-based learning and reducing time spent away from the office and home: 80% of the program will be taught in a classic classroom  setting, with an additional 20% being incorporated in web-based learning materials. The majority of the web-based learning will be completed as preparation for the in-residence classroom time, ensuring all participants come together with the same pre-requisite knowledge about financial concepts.

Program length
5 days + 10 hours online self-study

Day 1 09:00 – 17:30
Day 2 09:00 – 17:30
Day 3 09:00 – 17:30
Day 4 09:00 – 17:30
Day 5 09:00 – 17:30


Online Learning – preparation for the in-residence program

Participants will be given prior access to online learning materials covering prerequisite knowledge about finance concepts. The materials are designed for participants with little prior financial knowledge. The videos cover the following topics:

  • Discounting and the concept of present value
  • Financial calculus (e.g. standard deviation and correlation)
  • Basic spreadsheet functions for financial calculus
  • Basics of financial statements
  • Understanding and interpreting of accounting information from financial statements

Face-to-Face Program

The program will be a blend of lectures, case studies and practical, hands-on exercises. We will focus on the following topics:

Introduction to Value Creation and Value Drivers

  • Performance analysis and understanding key value drivers
  • Determining and forecasting future free cash flow
  • Capital budgeting: net present value and other criteria
  • Sustainability and social responsibility

Case study: A small firm specializing in the design and manufacture of electronic components faces financial pressure because of an aggressive product development strategy. The case examines the process of forecasting financial cash flows, as well as project valuation.

Risk and the Cost of Capital

  • Assessing equity risk factors
  • Assessing credit risk and the cost of debt
  • Leverage and firm value
  • The cost of capital and WACC

Case study: Properly assessing risk factors and the cost of capital for a large energy company. The case discusses the challenges faced in the estimation of the cost of capital in large multidivisional firm in the energy sector.

Valuing Companies using Key Value-Drivers

  • Multiples-based valuation
  • Projecting Free Cash Flow (FCF)
  • Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) approaches to valuation
  • Sensitivity and scenario analyses: what do we learn about key value drivers?

Case study: DCF in practice: valuing an internet company.

Corporate Finance and Financial Management

  • Dividends a firm value
  • Taxes and leverage
  • Managing financial distress
  • Raising capital and equity dilution
  • Market timing

Case study: Financing growth. The case illustrates the problems faced by a technology company entering a new sector and challenging a large incumbent firm and how this firm creatively financed its substantial capital expenditures.

Risk Management

  • Risk management essentials
  • The benefits of risk management
  • Types of risk: currency risk, credit risk, etc.
  • Introduction to risk management tools: Futures, Forwards, Swaps, Options

Case study: Implementing risk management. This case examines the challenges faced by an industrial corporation to implement a company-wide integrated risk management program and its contribution to corporate profitability.

Typical Foundations of Finance participants  are ambitious professionals in banking, investment or corporate finance environments who require a solid foundation on which to build, or continue building, a successful career in finance. Professionals in other fields, with an interest or need to understand the principles of finance, will also greatly benefit from this program. Foundations of Finance can be used as a stepping stone to more advanced AIF courses.

Previous participants have come from banks, consultancies, law firms, public sector organizations and private sector companies. Their job titles included: Advisors, Analysts, Business Managers, Compliance Officers, Consultants, Directors, General Counsel, Lawyers and Managers.

Recent Foundations of Finance participants have come from companies such as:

ABN AMRO Bank Achmea Allen & Overy Blue Sky Group
Capital Market Authority De Nederlandsche Bank Delta Lloyd Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev & Partners
Essent Gulf One Investment Bank HAL Investments Het Financieele Dagblad
ING Bank Kempen & Co. Maritime Bank McKinsey & Company
Nestlé Oranje-Nassau Energie Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund Philips
Rabobank Santander Securities SNS Bank US Agency for International Development (USAID)

The countries they came from include:

Bahrain, Brazil, Brazil, India, Netherlands Antilles, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland, The Netherlands, U.S.A. and Zambia

An academic background or sufficient professional experience is necessary to participate in the program. Participants are required to have experience in Excel as this will be used during the program in casework and in the application of financial principles (advanced techniques, where necessary, will be explained during the program).


Professor Paolo Fulghieri

Paolo Fulghieri

Paolo Fulghieri is a Professor of Finance at the Kenan-Flagler Business School of the University of North Carolina, USA. Paolo Fulghieri is actively conducting research in corporate finance and in its interactions with investment and commercial banking. As a result of his research activity, he has published several papers in leading finance journals, such as:…

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  • 5 days
  • € 5550
  • Essentials of Finance
  • English
  • 4.6 / 5

Available dates

Need help?

Find your program here or contact us directly for personal advice:
Call us at +31 20 246 7140 or email us at [email protected].

Program flyer

For a more detailed program description and information regarding faculty please download the program document.


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