Asset management forms a critical link in how individuals and organizations prepare for the future—from the mutual funds that support millions of retirement accounts to endowments that sustain major cultural and educational institutions, to sovereign wealth funds that benefit nation and states. With new technologies, ever-expanding global markets, shifting regulatory requirements, and increasing competition, the demands and opportunities in the industry have grown exponentially. To be a leader, you also need an in-depth understanding of the underlying logic of risk and return, a grasp of how markets and organizations function across economies, and the vision to see how global trends are going to affect your business.
Yale’s first-rate business curriculum and depth of knowledge in finance provide a foundation for your aspirations. You’ll also draw on the full power of Yale University and our network of graduates in the field, as you gain the elevated perspective to see the big picture that enables you to be a leader.
"The business of asset management demands a whole set of MBA skills. For instance, any asset management company is fundamentally dependent upon selecting people of high integrity to handle investors’ money, and so their futures. How do you find and retain the right people? How do you identify and meet client’s needs? How should services be priced? You’re constantly dealing with innovations from your competitors, as well as the drumbeat of information technology and shifting regulatory requirements.”
—William N. Goetzmann, Faculty Director, Asset Management, & Edwin J. Beinecke Professor of Finance and Management Studies
A World-Class Finance Faculty
The Asset Management area of focus draws on the diverse expertise of our faculty at the cutting edge of finance research in topics such as behavioral finance, global markets, and financial stability. Heather Tookes, Professor of Finance, talked more about the work that they do:
Alongside the integrated core curriculum, in your first year, you will increase your grasp of big ideas and trends in investments by participating in the Colloquium on Asset Management, a series of candid talks with leaders of major investment funds, heads of hedge funds, policymakers, and other people shaping the field. In addition, you will build your network and benefit from the perspectives and experiences of classmates from all facets of the industry.
In the second year, you deepen your expertise. You take a slate of advanced business and management courses, and a series of deep explorations of topics in asset management. These courses are taught by experts from the School of Management, drawing on the leading academic expertise of the International Center for Finance, and other parts of the university.
Asset Management Courses
The traditional framework for thinking about financial markets assumes that all market participants are fully rational. The past two decades have seen the emergence of an important new paradigm, behavioral finance, which argues that many financial phenomena are the result of less than fully rational thinking. This course provides an introduction to the field. We revisit basic topics in finance from a behavioral finance perspective: topics related to markets (e.g. stock market fluctuations, popular investment strategies, bubbles); topics related to investor behavior (e.g. poor investment decisions by households); and topics related to corporate finance and managerial behavior (e.g. security issuance, mergers and acquisitions). We discuss the lessons of behavioral finance for how investors and managers should behave. A running theme in the course is that knowledge of behavioral finance is essential for anyone who seeks a full understanding of financial markets.
This course is designed to introduce students to challenges and pitfalls of financing new enterprises. Broadly speaking, we can think of entrepreneurial financing decisions in terms of a life cycle. The cycle begins with identifying opportunities and refining the business plan, moves to marshaling resources to take advantage of these opportunities and executing the business plan, and ends with harvesting the venture's success. Accordingly, the course is divided into three distinct sections:Identifying and Valuing Opportunities; Financing Alternatives; Harvesting Opportunities
The Future of Global Finance
Finance can be likened to the circulatory system of the global economy, and we will focus on the past, present and future of that system. The course is designed to deal with questions such as these: What is the global financial system and how does it work? What are the pressures on that system including market, regulatory, political and social dynamics? What are the key challenges to that system? How can the system be strengthened? In this course we are defining the global financial system (GFS) as encompassing central banks, commercial banks, and other financial institutions such as asset managers and private equity firms, financial regulators and international organizations. Thus we will cover subjects such as the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, Goldman Sachs and the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank, the Carlyle Group and the BlackRock Investment Management Co., the Financial Stability Oversight Council and the Financial Stability Board, the Bank for International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund.
The course provides a broad overview of quantitative investment management, focusing on the application of finance theory to the issues faced by portfolio managers and investors in general. Topics include asset allocation, asset pricing models such as the capital asset pricing model and arbitrage pricing theory, performance evaluation, and an introduction to the use of derivatives for risk hedging. These tools provide a disciplined way of thinking about investment decisions, while simultaneously framing how we think about the historical performance of markets.
Investing in Alternative Asset Classes
An in-depth course on the use of alternative investments in the institutional portfolio. A succession of asset classes will be studied using current academic and practitioner research. Students will study portfolios in the spirit of the Yale Model and address the range of institutional issues raised by the use of illiquid, new or sophisticated investments. Each week we will discuss current research on the asset class, possibilities and challenges that it represents.
Financial Market Regulation
This course will consider various legal theories and doctrines that affect capital markets. We will discuss the nature of the corporate form and the economic structure of corporate law, with particular emphasis on doctrines such as Piercing the Corporate Veil, The Fraud on the Market Theory, the Jurisdictional Competition for Corporate Charters, the Statutory Right of Appraisal, Insider Trading, and Corporate Governance and the role that Corporate Reputation plays in regulating pathological and antisocial behavior by capital market intermediaries. The goal of the course is to illuminate the various ways that law and regulation can promote or impede the operation of capital markets, and to show the ways that law sometimes is used to further the public interest and to promote the narrow objectives of narrow special interest groups.
This list represents current and planned program content. Exact course lineup and/or titles may change.