Executive Education

Finance for Executives: Leveraging Finance to Drive Performance and Value

In this advanced finance program, you will deepen your skills and understanding of current trends in capital markets and corporate finance to increase value and improve performance in your organization.

Topics include how to evaluate and finance capital investment projects, M&A, the role of private equity and nontraditional financing, and investor activism.

As a leader in your organization, the decisions you make can have a significant impact on the financial health of your company. This program will help you assess the value of your strategic decisions by giving you a broader understanding of finance and the interaction between business strategy and financial strategy.

In this program, you will take your finance comprehension beyond the operational finance of budgeting and income statements to include capital structure, risk analysis, strategy, and valuation. You will gain techniques to assess the value of investment projects, corporate assets, and acquisitions, and have better discussions with your CFO and financial executives as a result.

Finance for Executives has been described by past participants as “a must for senior management to better understand their company’s future” and continues to be one of our most highly rated finance programs for its applicability and top faculty team.

By attending this program, you will:

  • Obtain a deeper understanding of how your organization’s economic outcomes are reflected in its financial statements, and how those statements are used inside and outside the organization.
  • Gain a sophisticated understanding of how to use financial statements to better understand the economics of other entities, including competitors.
  • Communicate more effectively with financial executives within the organization and with important external stakeholders such as analysts and investors.
  • Better understand how to use modern valuation techniques to evaluate investment opportunities, both projects and other businesses, including M&A and LBOs.
  • Learn why optimizing management of capital, including liquidity and leverage, can affect firm value and how to value other businesses.
  • Understand entrepreneurial finance, including private equity and venture capital.
  • Learn how to manage external communications and capital to avoid unwanted attention from activist investors, short-sellers, and other corporate predators.

The May 2019 session of this program features keynote speaker Ray Young, ’86, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM). In a fireside chat with Professor Randall Kroszner, Ray Young will share key challenges he has faced, "things he wished he had known" before becoming CFO, and how the CFO role has evolved over time. At ADM, he oversees the company's treasury, tax, accounting, investor relations, financial planning, as well as the ADM Investor Services organization. Young is also responsible for strategic oversight of ADM's business in Asia. Young also serves on the board of directors of Wilmar International, Asia’s largest agri and food business; International Paper Company and the US/China Business Council.

Chicago Booth, Gleacher Center, Chicago IL

Check back soon for 2020 dates.
Read Profile

Douglas J. Skinner

Deputy Dean for Faculty and Eric J. Gleacher Distinguished Service Professor of Accounting

Douglas Skinner is a leading expert in corporate disclosure practices, corporate financial reporting, and corporate finance, with a focus on payout policy.

Read Profile

Steven N. Kaplan

Neubauer Family Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and Kessenich E.P. Faculty Director at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Steven N. Kaplan teaches advanced MBA and executive courses in entrepreneurial finance and private equity, corporate finance, corporate governance, and wealth management. Business Week named him one of the top 12 business school teachers in the country. He co-founded the entrepreneurship program at Booth. Professor Kaplan has been a member of the faculty since 1988.

Read Profile

Amir Sufi

Chicago Board of Trade Professor of Finance

Sufi graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University with an honors bachelor's degree in economics in 1999. He earned a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2005, where he won the Solow Endowment Prize for Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching and Research. His dissertation was titled "The Role of Banks in Corporate Finance." He joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 2005.

Read Profile

Gregory D. Bunch

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship

Greg Bunch brings years of practical experience as a general manager and entrepreneur to his classes. He is the founder and president of Masterplan International Corporation. Bunch works with Fortune 50, family, and start-up businesses in the areas of innovation and strategy. He was also a partner at Brandtrust, a brand strategy consultancy. Some of the companies he has worked with include: American Express, Danaher, ETS, Harley-Davidson, Hewlett-Packard, Kimberly-Clark, McDonalds and YUM!

The subject matter is vast and both professors, Rock and Leftwich, did an excellent job taking more complex theory and analysis, and breaking it down to easily understood practical application. Moreover, their depth and insight into the subject matter drove valuable case discussion, addressing various alternatives and actual outcomes. The program challenged my thoughts and understanding, meeting my objectives of the program – thank you! It was fascinating and I will study this subject matter more.

- Richard Turek, VP of Operations, Bway Corporation

The program is excellent for anyone that wishes to gain a better insight into why companies make strategic decisions from a financial analysis point of view. I learned not only the how but also the why behind key financial decisions.

- Dr. Douglas Hutchens, VP, Global Development and Chief Veterinary Officer, Bayer Animal Health, Bayer HealthCare

Great course. World-class faculty and am now considerably more prepared to understand finance discussions at work than before.

- David Anderson, Director, Strategic Business Development, Omnova Solutions Inc.

I can see why Booth is rated so high among other Executive Programs. The content was delivered in an understandable fashion by teaching faculty who can balance theory with practicality. Booth is a great investment!

- Chris Stanton, President, Pratt Industries

As a scientist transitioning to financing of companies via venture capital, the concepts and more important business thought process and analysis taught during the course will be invaluable.

- Juan Harrison, Vice President, Takeda Ventures Inc.

Excellent program. It puts you in the driver's seat to assess opportunities and identify problems with your company, business, or project.

- Isaac Moussan, Kemira, Director of Market Development

Great program…, hit the ground running…, efficiently theory up…, approach the numbers with ease…, untangle risk and get to the heart of the matter. Well beyond a finance curriculum. A+, guys!

- Stanley Stone, Plant Manager, De-Sta-Co - Wheeling (a Dover Co.)

I personally learned a great deal from this course. The case studies were nothing short of fascinating. The real advantage is the ability to learn from brilliant professors. The educational experience is nothing short of phenomenal. Return on investment by taking this course is extremely high for any executive who wants to broaden their understanding of financial terms, strategies and applications. Simply can’t find a better educational experience than what I've enjoyed this week!

- Kenneth Johnson, Chief Engineer – Northern Region, Union Pacific Railroad

In my job I am responsible for financial decisions and now I have new knowledge and skills that will facilitate them and my working relationship with my CFO.

- Juan Carlos Gil, Executive VP Venezuela Business Unit, Inelectra

Outstanding course content with excellent instructors. Very logical and understandable explanations in assessing value equity and debt in companies. Would recommend this course to all senior managers in operations of business.

- Todd Harrold, Vice President Operations, BAE Systems

The program is targeted toward senior management who have at least a basic understanding of accounting and finance and want to deepen their knowledge of how to optimize their organization’s capital management practices to create value and drive corporate performance. The program will explore recent trends in capital markets and emphasize why it is critical for today’s managers to understand how to optimize the use of capital in their organizations and avoid making costly mistakes. Titles include C-suite, president, general manager, managing director, VP, director, financial advisor, controller, treasury, and general counsel.

This program builds upon our Financial Analysis for Nonfinancial Managers program. Individuals should have a working knowledge of accounting and finance, including budgeting, income statements, and balance sheets, in order to benefit from this program. If you have questions about which program would provide the most value to you, please contact us prior to registering.

Program Outline

Pre-Work to Lay the Foundation (Online)

Participants get access to a web-based, learner-driven program to help them build their financial acumen. Each module features self-tests, allowing them to tailor their learning and focus their time on the modules least familiar to them. This multi-media tool is used as a way to establish a baseline of knowledge to make the time in the classroom as productive as possible.

Financial Statement Analysis and Cash Flow Forecasting

  • Learn terminology, review of financial statements, cash flows, DuPont formula
  • Use DuPont analysis to understand drivers of profitability
  • Evaluate quality of earnings analysis
  • Understand free cash flow versus earnings

Investment Decisions and Valuation 

  • Evaluate projects using net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR)
  • Calculate cost of capital: weighted average cost of capital (WACC)
  • Study valuation methods: discounted cash flow (DCF), multiples, adjusted present value (APV)
  • Apply valuation to M&A deals

Financing Decisions

  • Understand financing sources
  • Understand the basics of capital structure decisions and how these decisions affect value
  • Learn the differences among financial instruments to implement desired capital structure
  • Examine distressed debt

Entrepreneurial Finance and Strategy 

  • Gain overview of entrepreneurial finance, PE, VC, and LBOs
  • New venture strategy

Creating Shareholder Value

  • Explore practical perspectives: corporate governance and the role of boards; CFO viewpoint
  • Examine course summary through the lens of shareholder activism


Social Activities

On Thursday, May 23, 2019, participants will join participants from the Executive Program for Prospective CFOs program for a lunch with Professor Randall Krozner. In the evening, participants will join Professor Doug Skinner for a closing dinner at the popular Osteria via Stato restaurant to enjoy good food and great conversation.