Few events in recent history have created more uncertainty more than the COVID-19 pandemic. Capital markets worldwide are changing in real-time as a response to the economic crisis, and companies that must interact in those markets have to adapt. Executives in finance-related roles, and those who have strategic financial oversight, must be prepared to tackle these challenging responsibilities now, more than ever.
Serving as the deputy dean for faculty and professor of accounting at Chicago Booth, and faculty director for a new program, TheExecutive Finance Program (EFP), Doug Skinner helps senior executives understand how the tools of modern finance are used to evaluate investment opportunities and make capital structure and capital management decisions to drive organizational value.
As a world-leading accounting and finance scholar, Skinner has an accomplished academic background, practical experience, and research interests that bring programs, such as EFP, to life. Skinner’s research focuses on how capital markets affect corporate disclosure choices such as earnings guidance, how stock prices affect earnings announcements and related disclosures, especially as they pertain to the efficiency of securities markets, accounting irregularities, and accounting fraud. His interests include corporate payout, valuation, shareholder activism, and the economics of audit markets. He holds a PhD in applied economics from the University of Rochester and was named one of the world’s top business school professors in the Financial Times Global MBA Rankings in 2010.
Skinner was particularly interested in creating the new EFP program because he saw a need for senior executives to make decisions that drive better value and growth—an essential aspect of his research. And with the pandemic changing the economic marketplace, Skinner views the program even more crucial for leaders. “Just like crises of the past have been pivotal in impacting the economic landscape, no doubt this pandemic arguably will too. There will be structural changes to the way business is done, and the way economies work. People will need to understand these dynamics for businesses to flourish and survive,” says Skinner.
EFP provides executives in finance-related roles, or those who have strategic financial oversight, the tools and frameworks to gain an understanding of current trends in capital markets. Participants will explore how firms can make value-enhancing investing, financing, and mergers and acquisitions decisions, and the role of private equity in generating value at scale. Plus, EFP explores topics such as entrepreneurial finance, and the role top management serves in setting strategy and defining real challenges.
Booth faculty are poised to help organizations lead for success as executives learn to navigate this new business landscape. “It’s remarkable that so many of our faculty are actively engaged in trying to solve COVID-19 and its related problems—not just the medical portion but also the social and economic aspects. Our faculty are involved with research and outreach to understand the consequences and effects of the government programs, and the attendees of EFP will benefit from such research,” says Skinner. “Many of our faculty are researching COVID in real-time. They are working tirelessly to discover how this pandemic will change things more permanently in the future. For businesses to be successful, they will need a full understanding of those challenges and the tools to make the necessary adjustments.”
EFP boasts an impressive faculty line-up, including Steven Kaplan, Amir Sufi, and Greg Bunch. They also share their world-class expertise to help executives increase value and improve performance in their organization.