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Frontiers of Finance

Frontiers of Finance

Frontiers of Finance


PLEASE NOTE: This program is currently being taught as a live online class.

This class will meet on Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays only.

9:00am - 12:30pm ET (all program dates except June 8)

10:00am - 1:30pm ET (June 8)

 See agenda below for schedule.

Today’s global financial environment has given rise to a host of transformations in financial technologies, instruments, markets and institutions and technologies, more than at any time since the global financial crisis – now almost a quarter century ago. Volatility and risk comes with the territory, as does financial innovation and opportunity. The global financial sector has once again been upended and is in the process of resettling, with new winners and losers and a premium on proactive and creative strategy. Creativity is key, as it has been in the past, and much of it is found among leading practitioners and academics, with a lively history of exchanges between them - and with regulators responsible for the efficiency, fairness, competitiveness and robustness of the financial system.

This workshop draws on the best fundamental and applied thinking about the financial architecture drawing on academic and practitioner research and networks. It tries to look over the horizon at what is likely to come next based on the best available thinking.

Our team will be happy to answer any questions you have about the course. Please complete a Request More Information form and we will be in touch. 


Certificates and Credits

Upon completion of this course, participants will receive a Certificate of Achievement. 

Program Takeaways

During this course, participants will:

  • Perspective

    Learn how key elements of financial markets evolved to where they are today, and what are the key signals for the future?
  • State of Play

    Identify the leading issues confronting institutional investors in important financial instruments and markets. As end-users of the markets, what resources are needed to compete and collaborate with the best sell-side participants in financial products and services?
  • Impact of Change

    Identify open issues in today’s financial markets and instruments that may point the way toward change going forward. The focus is on the likelihood of alternative scenarios and their possible impact on institutional investors.

Who Should Attend

Although there are no formal education or background requirements, this course is designed for executives who meet the criteria below. While we strongly encourage global participation, please note that all courses are taught in English. Proficiency in written and spoken English is required.

  • Knowledgeable senior staff of investment offices of insurance companies and pension funds interested in “what’s new” in today’s financial instruments and markets.
  • Asset management professionals in commercial and investment banks looking for unbiased external views and reality-checks of their approaches to key aspects of financial market dynamics.
  • Investment professionals in family offices and other investment entities, such as sovereign wealth funds, interested in benchmarking their approaches to modern financial instruments and markets for maximum advantage.
  • Finance professionals with significant past academic and practitioner backgrounds in finance interested in the current state of the art on pivotal elements of financial instruments and markets – “what are the academics currently thinking?”


The following agenda is a sample and subject to change.

This course has been designed for live online instruction. Daily sessions will run from 9:00am - 12:30pm ET with a 30-minute break starting around 10:30am ET. The June 8 session will run from 10:00am - 1:30pm ET with a 30-minute break starting around 11:30am ET.

May 18: The Future of Fintech, Kathleen DeRose

We are ten or more years into the technology transformation of finance. “FinTech” refers to financial sector innovations involving technology-enabled business models that facilitate disintermediation, revolutionize how existing firms create and deliver products and services, address privacy, regulatory and law-enforcement challenges, provide new gateways for entrepreneurship, and seed opportunities for inclusive growth. The FinTech label also refers to increasingly automated approaches to the main financial intermediation functions: payments, capital raising, remittances, managing uncertainty and risk, market price discovery, and mediating information asymmetry and incentives. In today’s FinTech businesses, consumers bank via mobile apps integrated into social media, institutions trade electronically, and robo-advisers make decisions about investment portfolios. This session considers the state of the FinTech discipline and its likely evolution going forward.

Kathleen DeRose is Director of the Fubon Center for Technology, Business and Innovation, and Director of the Fubon Center’s FinTech Initiative.

May 19: Predicting Financial Distress for Large, Medium and Small Firms, Edward Altman

Professor Altman reviews his more than 50 year journey in developing and implementing pioneering works in bankruptcy prediction utilizing traditional financial indicators combined with highly robust econometric, artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques and applied to small, medium and large firms throughout the globe. His models’ results are applied to financial and managerial strategies.

Edward Altman is Director of Research in Credit and Debt Markets at the Salomon Center for the Study of Financial Institutions, and creator of the Altman-Z-Score model for bankruptcy prediction.

May 20: Why Banks are Still Special, Anthony Saunders

In a world of financial disintermediation through bond markets, nonbank financial institutions, and fintech banks are still “special” and play a unique role in the financial architecture. They continue to be a key element in striking a balance between financial efficiency, competitiveness, contribution to growth and fairness – elements that are key to sustainability of the system in the public interest. How has this balance developed and what are the likely directions for the future?

Anthony Saunders is a member of the Board of Academic Consultants of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors as well as the Council of Research Advisors for the Federal National Mortgage Association.

This course has been designed for live online instruction. Daily sessions will run from 9:00am - 12:30pm ET with a 30-minute break starting around 10:30am ET. The June 8 session will run from 10:00am - 1:30pm ET with a 30-minute break starting around 11:30am ET.

May 25: What’s Ahead for Cryptocurrencies and Virtual Asset Markets?, David Yermack

This session provides a survey of the growth of blockchain-based digital assets, including Bitcoin, Ether, various stablecoins, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). We will consider how investors typically hold these assets and whether they belong in a diversified portfolio. We will consider the rapid growth of decentralized finance (DeFi) and how it may impact the structure of traditional lending and trading markets.

David Yermack is Chair of the Finance Department, Director of the NYU Pollack Center for Law and Business, and Faculty Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

May 26: Strategic Impact of AI, New Technologies, and Enterprise Value, Robert Seamans

Corporate investment in artificial intelligence has increased dramatically over the past five years. But, in order to derive value from investments in AI, firms also need to invest in additional physical, digital and human capital. This module will provide a framework for understanding how to identify these important complements.

Robert Seamans is Director of the Center for the Future of Management, former Senior Economist for technology and innovation on President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers.

May 27: Winners Take All? Competitive Concentration, Dominance, and Financial Performance, Thomas Philippon

Large firms have played an important role in the economy. Today, firms like Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Meta, and Microsoft seem to become increasingly dominant and there is renewed debate about whether they have become “too” dominant. This module will present recent work on dominant firms, discussing where and why they have become dominant, and the various policy options ranging from antitrust to regulations and privacy protection.

Thomas Philippon was named one of the “top 25 economists under 45” by the IMF in 2014, author of The Great Reversal on the increasing market power of large firms.

This course has been designed for live online instruction. Daily sessions will run from 9:00am - 12:30pm ET with a 30-minute break starting around 10:30am ET. The June 8 session will run from 10:00am - 1:30pm ET with a 30-minute break starting around 11:30am ET.

June 1: New Observations on Systemic Risk and Volatility, Richard Berner and Robert Engle

The Great Financial Crisis, and more recently, the pandemic shock, exposed vulnerabilities in the financial system and launched new policies to promote financial stability. New sources of systemic shocks. – such as from climate and cyber events, are spurring additional analytical insights and policies. This module will explore those issues and outline how new tools can help manage and hedge those risks.

Richard Berner is Co-Director of The Volatility and Risk Institute, first director of the Office of Financial Research (2013-2017) and former counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury (2011-2013).

Robert Engle is Co-Director of The Volatility and Risk Institute, recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Economics.

June 2: Trading Securities (and Things that Resemble Them), Joel Hasbrouck

What’s new in the “plumbing” of our financial markets? We’ll do a walk-through of the floorplan for our system of exchanges, dealers, alternative trading systems, and end-users. En route we’ll discuss SPACs, direct listings, meme stocks, payment for order flow, dark markets, algorithmic trading, and the search for liquidity.

Joel Hasbrouck is Director of the Derivatives Research Project at the Salomon Center for the Study of Financial Institutions, author of Empirical Market Microstructure, Associate Editor at the Journal of Financial Econometrics and an Advisory Editor at the Journal of Financial Markets.

June 3: How to Think About ESG-Driven Investing, Ingo Walter

This session lays out a straightforward approach to thinking about environmental, social and governance (ESG) dimensions within which business firms, financial institutions and governmental agencies must operate. This requires a broad consensus on “desirable” outcomes, the political and administrative paths that define them, and the impact on winners and losers in the process. It also requires credible ESG metrics, weighting, and aggregation – all designed to “score” ESG performance in a way that is transparent and useful for investors, financial counterparties and regulators. The burgeoning ESG ratings industry is discussed as a work in progress, including its development going forward.

Ingo Walter, previously Dean of Faculty, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, Department Chair (International Business and Finance), Director of the Salomon Center for the Study of Financial Institutions, Director of the Stern Global Business Institute, and most recently Director of the Stern Infrastructure Finance Initiative. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

This course has been designed for live online instruction. Daily sessions will run from 9:00am - 12:30pm ET with a 30-minute break starting around 10:30am ET. The June 8 session will run from 10:00am - 1:30pm ET with a 30-minute break starting around 11:30am ET.

June 8: New Perspectives on Equity Valuation, Aswath Damodaran

As the market continues to face fears about rising inflation and ongoing impacts of the pandemic, what new factors need to be taken into account in valuing companies? How can ongoing and heightened uncertainty be factored into forecasts? As valuation links the story of a company with quantitative measures, when and how does that story change in impactful ways? This session will explore new perspectives on valuation while remaining grounded in the fundamentals of identifying true value.

Aswath Damodaran is recipient of Giblin, Glucksman, and Heyman Fellowships, a David Margolis Teaching Excellence Fellowship, and the Richard L Rosenthal Award for Innovation in Investment Management and Corporate Finance, also the author of several highly-regarded and widely used texts on Valuation, Corporate Finance, and Investment Management.

June 9: What is Next for Hedge Funds?, Matthew Richardson

This module provides an overview of hedge funds. The session describes the specialness of hedge funds versus other actively managed funds; the ways in which the hedge fund industry has changed over the past quarter century; the types of trading strategies employed by hedge funds; and the challenges facing the industry moving forward. We will particularly emphasize the source of hedge fund's alpha and why it may or may not persist in the future.

Matthew Richardson is Director of Alternative Investments at the Salomon Center for the Study of Financial Institutions, Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and co-editor of the Annual Review of Financial Economics.

June 10: Climate Change and Asset Pricing, Johannes Stroebel

This module discusses the various ways that climate change affects valuations across a wide range of assets classes - equities, real estate, sovereign debt, etc. and potentially financial stability. We will discuss the outlook for climate-related regulatory trends in financial markets, from increased disclosure requirements to higher capital charges for lending to firms exposed to climate risks.

Johannes Stroebel is Faculty Coordinator of The Volatility and Risk Institute’s Climate Initiative, member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's Climate-Related Market Risk Subcommittee, Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research