MAS Geneva Master of Advanced Studies in Finance
FormatOn-site – switch over to online-learning if required
- Gain the analytical rigor needed for leadership positions in finance
- Learn to apply advanced quantitative methods used in the financial industry
- Acquire technological competencies to manage portfolios in the fintech context
- Strengthen teamwork and project management skills
- Develop a professional network to share knowledge and expertise around the world
- Develop advanced technical and quantitative financial skills
- Apply and critically evaluate investment and corporate finance theories
- Identify, define and analyse complex financial problems and create process to solve them effectively
- Present, justify and defend, orally and in writing, financial decisions in complex collaborative contexts involving specialist and non-specialist audiences
- Apply financial solutions using ethical, social, regulatory, economic, sustainability and global perspectives
- Valuation and Private Equity
- Asset Management
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Financial Advisory Simulation
- Course Project
Elective Courses in Finance and Management:
- Innovations in FinTech
- Hedge Funds
- Real Estate Investment
- Portfolio Management
- Sustainable Finance
- Digital Finance
- Psychology in Finance
- Stochastic Processes in Finance
- Quantitative Risk Management
- Financial Economics
- Microeconomics of Banking
- Financial Econometrics
- Quantitative Risk Management
- SDG Finance: Impact Investing
- Digital Finance
- Advanced Investments
- Derivatives and Structured Products
- International Macroeconomics
- Models and Empirical Methods for Asset Pricing
- Financial Econometrics
- Wealth Management and Law in Practice
- Global Asset Management
- Learning to Teach Finance
- CFA Global Research Challenge
- CFA Advanced Global Research Challenge
Elective Courses in Law and Financial Regulation:
- International Capital Markets Law
- Introduction to the Law of Trusts
- Investment Management Law
- International Enforcement in Financial Markets
- International Tax Planning
- Chinese Financial Market Regulation
GEMFIN students also benefit from:
- Leadership retreat in the Swiss Alps
- Executive boardroom simulation game
- Fintech study trip to Israel
- Industry visits and meetings with financial executives from the leading Swiss financial institutions and companies
- A holistic and interdisciplinary professional development program
Prof. Harald HAU, Geneva Finance Research Institute (GFRI), University of Geneva
Dr Michal PASERMAN, Geneva Finance Research Institute (GFRI), University of Geneva
The course will be delivered from 18.9-27.11.2023
Day/time: Monday 18:15-20:00, Wednesday 12:15-14:00, Thursday 18:15-20:00
The course increases the conceptual and practical understanding of valuation issues in the corporate decision process. Based on a variety of case studies and examples, students are trained to improve the quality of their financial modelling by highlighting frequent valuation mistakes. The course reviews the interaction between capital structure choices, firm value, and capital costs. The course also introduces the private equity industry and its valuation challenges.
Day/time: Thursday 12:15-16:00
More than other industries, the financial services sector has encountered a variety of ‘strategic turbulence’ in recent years. This course introduces the key economic concepts (scale economies, agency conflicts, competition, externalities, cannel conflicts, synergies, etc. based on case studies) by which to judge the industrial organization of the asset management and its evolution. The strategic options open to financial firms in responding to and anticipating structural change are examined, together with the factors that seem to drive competitive performance with respect to market share and profitability. The course also highlights structural problems revealed by the financial crisis and integrates a discussion of the Fintech challenge to asset management. The course is organized as a blend of lectures and case studies.
Date/time: 1-2 December, 2023 from 9:00-16:30
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are increasingly the most important corporate restructuring activities in terms of number of deals and volume over the last 60 years. The amount of money and resources spent on M&A, the complexity of the process, the different waves occurred and consequently their impact on both local and global economy, made them subject to vast number of studies and research around of the world, upon different disciplinary perspectives (strategy, finance, organization, etc.). M&A activities are also viewed to be among the most important events in a company’s lifecycle taken in consideration their strategic, financial and operating impact.
The course aims at presenting the strategic and financial logic of these transactions as well as the main financial engineering techniques used in valuation of companies (target) and synergies. The course tackles M&A characteristics: legal forms and classification, reasons to acquire, market reaction, expected gains from mergers, exchange ratios.
On completion of this course, the students should be able to:
- understand the economic importance of the process of mergers and acquisitions,
- evaluate a company (target) using different techniques,
- estimate the value of synergies
identify tactics and defense techniques that can be used in case of hostile takeovers
Date/time: 29 February-2 March, 2024, 9:00-18:15
This course of the GEMFIN executive program, aim to provide students with a practical understanding of an Investment Banking environment, through a financial simulation.
Through this module, students will explore Investment Banking environment by playing the role of interns in charge providing financial services and financial advisory (Debt Underwriting, Sell Side, Buy Side, Fairness Opinion, Acquisition, Divestiture, Derivatives, Debt Restructuring and Corporate Negotiations). Students are spread over different teams, and compete against each other. The financial simulation is run over various round, where each round covers a set of transactions/decisions to be undertaken by each team. At the end of each round, each team is invited to submit a summary of the decisions undertaken, highlight and justify the assumptions retained in a memo, and provide an excel spreadsheet for financial modelling (excel and memo template provided).
This module will use the “Finsimco” simulation interface. Students will receive guidance and financial documents through the platform. They are as well expected to submit their decisions, memos and excel spreadsheets using the palteform.
On completion of this module the student should:
- Understand the role of investment banking Industry and distinguish between its different divisions
- Practice in a real life simulation major financial transactions
- Practice financial modeling and run different valuation process
- Practice negotiation and deal structuring
- Build a dynamic spreadsheet (Excel), compute the compensation and measure of management the financial performance of funds.
Date/time: March 8 and May 17 2024, from 9:00-16:30. A study trip from April 8-12, 2024
This course aims to explore the major areas of fintech, the ways in which they are disrupting the financial services industry, and the challenges and opportunities they create.
We will start with a review of the structure of the financial sector as we have known it over the last century. We will then cover the main areas of fintech innovations and understand the three levels in which fintech is reshaping it: closing gaps, evolution, and revolution. We will see how these affect individuals, firms, financial markets, and economies.
Finally, we will discuss regulators’ efforts to integrate all this progress into a modern free market, enable fair conduct, and contribute to a stable and sustainable growth of the global economy.
This course includes a one week fintech study trip.
The aim of this course is to examine a number of important topics pertaining to real estate and housing in a wealth management context. Those topics include: the construction of price indexes, real estate liquidity, the behavior of securitized real estate investments with respect to the underlying asset, tenure choice, mass appraisal and housing submarkets, land leverage and house price bubbles. The course is research focused and the discussion of each topic will combine introductory presentations and article presentations by the students.
This course presents the main strategies used by hedge funds, analyze their risk-return trade-offs and assess their ability to generate positive performance (alpha). We also review the institutional, organizational and competitive characteristics of the hedge fund industry. The course draws on the most recent academic research on hedge funds and its relation to industry practice. Additional topics include the role of hedge funds as liquidity providers, hedge fund replication and the impact of hedge funds on financial market stability. Finally, one (or more) industry professionals share their insights into real world hedge fund investing.
This course aims at exploring the development of SRI in different asset classes (equities, fixed income and real estate). It will address the different motives of sustainable investors, the implementation of sustainable investment strategies and the impact that sustainable investors are having through their investment decisions. The course aims to foster the student's understanding of how sustainability concerns can be integrated into traditional investment management. A main theme of the course will be the important issue of how to quantify an asset's environmental or societal impact. In order to tackle this crucial issue, students will be familiarized with commonly employed sustainability metrics. Grading will be based on a final exam and a project.
This course introduces the learner to the field of Neurofinance, an interdisciplinary approach to studying decision making which integrates insights from many different disciplines such as neuroscience, economics, finance, psychology, affective sciences, and computational neuroscience. Topics include the impact of behavioral biases on individual investment and market behavior as well as topics defined by the learners themselves. This course uses an interactive and creative classroom design. It brings together students from multiple backgrounds and practitioners to facilitate the transfer of knowledge.
The first section of the course starts by reviewing the standard modern portfolio theory with a particular focus on estimation and implementation issues. We then discuss the main performance measures used in the portfolio management industry and assess their relative benefits. Particular attention is given to statistical pitfalls and implementation issues associated to these measures. We then move on to dynamic asset allocation looking first at the Merton problem and the dynamic programing approach. Then, we consider the martingale approach and the equivalent static problem.
Equipped with these methodologies we look at a number of topics particularly relevant in today's fund management industry including the core-satellite approach, risk parity, risk budgeting and the use of derivatives in asset allocation.
The second part of the course deals with the theoretical foundations of international investments, empirical evidence, and applications in a real world setting. Globalization is a major trend affecting the asset management industry. We will then discuss international diversification of portfolios and the problem of global asset allocation, international asset pricing, hedging currency risk, factors that generate returns, and global performance evaluation.
This graduate level course familiarizes students with key concepts in international macroeconomics from a policy maker perspective. The focus is on key macroeconomic concepts being used by macroeconomists and investment managers for their investment decisions, as well as on understanding central banks’ policy decisions and reaction functions. Among the key concepts, students will get a deep dive into the balance of payments, exchange rates and their determinants, money supply & demand, monetary policy rules and central bank watching, country risk assessment, identifying excess debt, public debt analysis & sustainability. A particular attention will be given to the recent pandemic crisis impact & assessment, ongoing geopolitical crisis in Europe as well as on the European sovereign debt crisis.
In addition to the two-hours academic course scheduled on Wednesday evening, students will be asked to work in groups on specific projects illustrating key macroeconomic concepts and their implementation for the asset management industry. Students are highly recommended to master an introductory textbook in macroeconomics as well as to have basic knowledge in statistics and in data treatment and analysis.
The first part of the course develops the modern framework of option pricing with an emphasis on martingale methods. After discussing the general approach, we study several specific models related to stochastic and local volatility. We also discuss the use of numerical methods for complex valuation problems. In particular we study in details the Monte Carlo simulation approach.
The second part of the course focuses on structured equity derivatives and analyses how these financial instruments are designed to solve financial economics problem. This section of the course is more focused on financial architecture than on financial engineering. We study in details special features of option contracts (knock-in knock-out) and index-linked cash flows inherent in many structured products.
In 2015 world leaders agreed on a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to address global challenges by 2030, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. It has been estimated that $2.5 trillion in annual investments would be needed in order to reach the 2030 agenda. There is a substantial demand for quality training for investment professionals in this area. In 2019, the Swiss Government (SECO and FOEN) called up universities to address precisely this need. This course will provide students with an overview of investment themes aimed at catalyzing private capital to fill the SDG financing gap. In particular, it will focus on impact investing initiatives that mobilize private capital to address development issues in emerging markets in a commercially viable way. The course will capitalize on the unique role of Geneva and Switzerland as a hub for sustainable finance by inviting practitioners to speak, share their experience with students, and work with them in their final projects. The course is sponsored by the Geneva Finance Research Institute (GFRI), as an expression of GFRI's mandate and commitment to teaching and research on Finance and Society.
The course invites students from different fields to find out what Neurofinance is. It teaches them about different topics within the field using different approaches, from diving into the academic literature to communicating their knowledge to a general audience in the form of a short science film. The basic structure of this semester long course is as follows:
Part 1. After an introduction to the field of Neurofinance and its methods, students pick a question/topic within Neuroeconomics / Neurofinance and under the teachers' guidance study this topic and present the result in the form of a short paper and presentation.
Assignment part 1: Write a scientific summary and present the topic in class.
Part 2. Students are now asked to extract a few key messages from one of the papers from Part 1 that they would like to communicate to a general public. They are tasked with translating what they learned into a more general language without losing the scientific integrity of what they are communicating. External science communicators and storytellers will guide them through the process of turning scientific content into an engaging scientific account for the general public.
Assignment part 2. Write a popular science report on the chosen messages (of a topic presented by another student) that are understandable by the general public, scientifically accurate and engaging.
Part 3. With the help of film makers, groups of students create a short film about some of the topics (one film per group). Ideally, this film is not a documentary but tells the scientific story using a metaphor that will be visualised in the film.
The course introduces basic concepts of financial economics and financial asset pricing theory such as state preference theory, portfolio selection, no-arbitrage pricing, Arrow-Debreu Pricing, martingale measure. It specifically deals with distinction between the equilibrium and the arbitrage perspectives on valuation and pricing. It first deal with decisions making in risky situations and how to measure risk and risk aversion. It then introduces basic concepts of financial asset pricing theory. It covers the Capital Asset Pricing Model, Arrow-Debreu Pricing, the Consumption Capital Asset Pricing Model (CCAPM), the Martingale measure, the Arbitrage pricing theory (APT).
The lectures cover quantitative tools aimed at measuring risk dependencies in finance and insurance. We cover the notions of stochastic dominance and positive quadrant dependence together with their associated statistical inference. We study inference in Copula Models and Goodness-of-Fit tests for Copula. Building survival models through survival Copula is introduced. We illustrate all concepts via financial and actuarial applications.
The lectures start with complementing basic statistical knowledge and are divided into two parts depending on the presence of temporal dependencies or not in the data. The studied statistical methods are illustrated via applications in economics and finance: Value at Risk, Expected Shortfall, portfolio selection, CAPM, APT, dynamic modelling of financial asset prices via ARMA, ARCH models and cointegration, etc. The analysed methods will cover parametric and nonparametric tools. We aim at developing concepts necessary to applications of econometrics in finance and insurance.
This Master’s Course focuses primarily on theoretical and empirical developments in continuous- time asset pricing and Portfolio Management. The first part of the course focuses on continuous-time optimal consumption and portfolio choice models as well as on continuous- time asset pricing models. The second part of the course is dedicated to selected research topics in investments that shall also be of interest to students searching for a master’s thesis research topic.
Students participating in this course will:
- Understand how wealth management techniques are applied by banks and asset management companies to both private and institutional clients
- Grasp the relevance and impact of regulation on wealth management
- Learn how robotization and Fintech impact the financial sector
- Illustrate how both central banks and supervision authorities foster financial stability
- Understand how taxation impacts wealth management
- Get a practical perspective on the legal department and on the risk and compliance functions in a financial firm
- Appraise the need to regulate crypto-assets
Date/time/place: March 22-23 2024 from 9:00-16:30. PS03 on Friday and M3220 on Saturday
This course explores the implications and applications of new disruptive digital technologies in the financial services sector. We review the main digital technologies, including Artificial Intelligence, distributed ledger technologies and Internet of Things, that are accelerating innovation in financial services. By applying the six core functions of financial services (capital raising, deposits and lending, insurance, investment management, payments, and market provisioning) as a framework, we analyze new products, applications, processes, and business models that have been modifying the traditional banking and financial services and have created a new generation of businesses developing and applying financial technological (FinTech) innovations. The course combines theoretical knowledge with case studies, practical examples, and class exercises. It aims at enhancing the students' understanding of FinTech.
This course presents the modern approach to the pricing of financial assets based on the stochastic discount factor (SDF) methodology. This methodology gives the representation of the price of any financial asset as the expectation of its stochastically discounted payoff. It allows to treat in a unified way the pricing problem of financial assets under general market conditions, including settings with, for instance, stochastic interest rates and volatilities. We first introduce the SDF approach to the representation and the computation of asset prices in a discrete-time setting. Applications to the pricing problem under stochastic volatilities or stochastic interest rates will be also highlighted. We then address the empirical analysis of SDF models, by showing how it can be naturally developed within the Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) setting. Real data applications to asset pricing problems, relevant both for academic research and in the practice, will be discussed.
A new course. TBA
The CFA Research Challenge is composed of university teams of 3-5 students.
The goal of the CFA Research Challenge is to gather together university students, investment industry professionals, and representatives from a publicly traded company for local, regional, and global competition. This annual educational initiative promotes best practices in equity research through hands-on mentoring and intensive training in company analysis and presentation skills. Students interested in becoming an equity analyst are highly encouraged to participate.
Teams are mentored by industry professionals.
Teams write an equity research report on a publicly traded company.
Teams present their findings to a panel of experts that include directors of research, chief strategists, and CIOs from Credit Suisse, Bank Safra Sarasin, among others.
This course will focus on regulatory and criminal enforcement against financial firms and their managers and staff in the US, the UK and Switzerland. It will include Swiss and US guest speakers from authorities, law firms or legal corporate.
This course provides deep insights into the laws and regulations governing investment in financial instruments and the provision of related services (financial advice, wealth/asset management, trade execution). It does so in a comparative perspective, with a focus on Swiss law, extensive consideration of EU law, international standards, and frequent use of cases from leading jurisdictions in the area of 'private banking' services.
Topics will include the notion of financial instrument, the regulatory framework applying to financial instruments and services, contracts for the provision of such services, conflicts of interest, standard of care, liability and damages. We will also consider topical issues such as sustainable (ESG) investment and robo-advisors.
China’s fast economic growth has attracted much attention from the world. A poor, economically weak country thirty years ago, China took on market reform and built from scratch a modern financial system, which many believe is key for China’s growth. Today, China’s fin-tech industry demonstrated unprecedented innovation and potential. This course will introduce China's banking and financial regulations and the on-going financial regulatory reform. By analyzing a series of issues that have emerged in China’s modern financial industry, such as shadow banking and the growth of the fin-tech industry, this course will tackle some difficult questions on finance and society and explore how fin-tech in the future should be regulated.
Trusts are like elephants: they are difficult to define, but easy to spot. Trusts were born in England around the 13th century and later flourished in common law jurisdictions. They are now extensively used worldwide, although many civil law systems do not have trusts as a legal institution.
Studying trusts offers a good insight into comparative law. It also provides a useful toolkit for estate planning or for structuring complex business transactions. This course will introduce students to the fundamental principles and many uses of trusts. We will use a textbook and study a number of cases. We will also examine the Hague Convention on Trusts and understand how Swiss courts recognize trusts governed by some other relevant law.
This course surveys international tax planning strategies and challenges.
It begins with an introduction to the concept of income, from an economic and tax perspective. Participants will delve into the tax treatment of gains and losses, tackling in particular financing and income realization issues. Once at ease with the economics of the underlying structures, the participants will look into several tax events: death (inheritance tax), gratuitous transfers (gift tax), and the fiscal year’s end (wealth tax). They will also study treaty allocation and transfer pricing rules with the aim of being able to identify planning opportunities and tax risks. Finally, the Participants will examine exchanges of information mechanisms (on request, spontaneous and automatic). Hence, they will be familiar with the key concept of beneficial owner. Throughout the course, participants will engage with policy issues underlying the tax law (efficiency, fairness, and practicability).
- Experienced senior teachers with a high faculty to student ratio
- Innovative project oriented teaching methods focused on business cases
- Integration of advanced data platforms into the learning experience
- Individualized and tailored curriculum with close faculty guidance
- Undergraduate degree or higher or CFA Level III charterholders
- Strong analytical abilities
- Working knowledge of English
- One year of work experience recommended
The best way to discover whether the GEMFIN program and the city of Geneva are right for you is to come and visit. We would be happy to meet with you for a personal consultation to talk about your personal goals, the program, course options, living and studying in Geneva and more.
- Prof. Harald HAU, Program Co-director, Geneva Finance Research Institute, University of Geneva
- Dr. Michal PASERMAN, Program Co-director, Geneva Finance Research Institute, University of Geneva
- Prof. Luc THÉVENOZ, Director of the Centre for Banking and Financial Law, University of Geneva
- Prof. Ines CHAIEB, Professor of Finance, Geneva Finance Research Institute, University of Geneva
- Ms. Wenbin LI FUELLEMANN, Head of Investor Relations and ESG Committee member, Youran Group, China
Number of participants
Scholarships are available
A blend of weekday courses and weekend blocks on Friday-Saturday
- Harald Hau, Program Co-director, Professor of Finance
- Michal Paserman, Program Co-director, Lecturer of Finance
- Rajna Gibson Brandon, Deputy Director of GFRI, Professor of Finance
- Olivier Scaillet, Director of GFRI, Professor of Probability & Statistics, SFI Senior Chair
- Tony Berrada, Professor of Finance
- Ines Chaieb, Professor of Finance
- Martin Hoesli, Professor of Real Estate and Finance
- Jean-Charles Rochet, Professor of Banking
- Fabio Trojani, Professor of Finance
- Kerstin Preuschoff, Professor of Neurofinance
- Philipp Krueger, Professor of Finance
- Nikolay Markov, Lecturer of Finance
- Safwan Mchawrab, Professor of Finance
- Judit Kozenkow, Lecturer of Digital Finance
- Catalina Martinez Gutierrez, Lecturer of Impact Investing
- Michel Girardin, Lecturer of Macro-Finance
- Aline Darbellay, Professor of Law
- Luc Thévenoz, Director of the Centre for Banking and Financial Law, Professor of Law
- Urs Zulauf, Professor of Law
- Fabien Liégeois, Tax Lawyer at CMS von Erlach Poncet SA, Professor of Law
- Norman Schürhoff, Professor of Finance