The curriculum consists of 6 modules. Treasury (Financial) Risk Management and International Cash Management are traditional treasury disciplines. Corporate Finance is part of the Corporate Financial Management and Capital Markets and Funding module. The embedding of the treasury and corporate finance function in corporate organizations is discussed in the Treasury Organization module. An overview of relevant aspects in financial law and fiscal law is given in the Financial and Fiscal Law and Regulations module.
Each module is concluded with an exam. All modules are organized in such a way to allow for sufficient preparation time for assignments and exams.
Below the topics addressed in the 6 modules are described using keywords and in a short overview.
Module: Treasury (Financial) Risk Management
• Commodity risk
• Interest and FX risk
• Pricing derivatives
• Pension risk and insurance risk
• plus necessary mathematics (level Options Futures and other Derivatives by Hull)
The central theme in this module is the set of financial instruments used by corporate treasurers in risk management; in particular currency risks, interest rate risks and commodity risks. For a good understanding of the functioning of financial instruments, theoretical insight into the valuation of these instruments is required. The book by John Hull "Options, Futures and Other Derivatives" is used as reference material. Much attention is paid to the valuation of these instruments with mathematical models (including binomial models, Black-Scholes-model, Monte Carlo simulations and volatility modelling). Also, innovations in financial instruments will be addressed: credit derivatives, energy derivatives, weather derivatives and emission derivatives.
In addition to the technical aspects of financial instruments, the hedging strategy of a company is also discussed in case studies: to what extent should which risks be hedged and at which costs? How is risk appetite determined, in what way is risk appetite connected to company strategy and companies’ financial situation and how is it converted into a hedging strategy? Top professionals in corporate treasury will share their views with the participants.
In order to successfully complete this course, some knowledge of mathematics is required. For those who would benefit from it, additional attention is paid to probability, differentiation/integration, Taylor series, optimization techniques, regression analyses and time series analyses. This involves practicing with the use of spreadsheet models (Excel Solver), among other things.
Module: Corporate Financial Management
• Accounting and reporting particularly relevant for treasury and corporate finance professionals
• Financial statement analysis (linking finance to corporate strategy)
• Corporate valuation
• Credit risk and equity risk pricing models
This module combines accounting, financial statement analysis (strategy), corporate valuation and corporate finance. After a brief introduction to the annual report and the accounting standards (IFRS and FASB), the focus will be on financial statement analysis which is key to understanding business models and corporate strategy performance. Insight into the business is essential for corporate valuation, which in turn underpins corporate finance decisions.
Reference material in Corporate Valuation is McKinsey's book "Valuation, measuring and managing the value of corporations". Starting with the valuation principles outlined in this book, an overview is given of the current state of the art in Corporate Valuation. In practice, corporate valuation is often based on professional "standards" that match the limited theory formation as closely as possible. Both theoretical knowledge and awareness on practical conventions are needed to be able to make judgements in corporate valuation practice.
In most companies, the treasurer is involved in providing accounting-related information for the financial statements. The treasurer anticipates the consequences for the profit and loss account when financial instruments are used. Accounting rules for the processing of (derivative) financial instruments such as forward currency contracts and interest rate swaps are detailed and complex. The complexity is in the valuation and result (including hedge accounting, IFRS 9) and the extensive and technical disclosures required in the financial statements for the use of financial instruments (IAS 39 and IFRS 7, fair value, amortized cost, effective interest, impairments). This section also deals with accounting for pensions (IAS 19), deferred tax (IAS 12) leasing (IAS 17) and derecognition for factoring and securitizations.
Module: International Cash Management
• Cash flow forecasting
• Cash management, payments and clearing
• Liquidity management
• Working capital management
• ST funding and trade finance
• Treasury systems, cash management systems (technology and security)
This module offers an extensive and detailed overview of the field of international cash management and emphasizes the state of the art practice.
The module starts with the international banking infrastructure. This includes the principles of international payments, the most common payment systems and the role of correspondent banking. Examples of topics covered are check clearing, SWIFT, ACH, CHIPS, Fedwire, SEPA, EBA, EURO1 and TARGET. This module also deals with the information technology structure that connects corporates with banking payment systems. The latest developments are discussed, including blockchain technology and crypto currencies.
Netting and cash pooling techniques are also discussed (multilateral netting, netting cycle, leading and legging, notional pooling, cash concentration). Attention is paid to legal and fiscal aspects of international cash management (including withholding tax).
The working capital management, liquidity management and ST financing disciplines are integral and essential to the daily practice of treasury professionals. As theory building in this field is rather limited, a large number of practical cases/solutions are elaborated in this module.
In 2018, for example, guest lectures were given on the implementation of supply chain finance, module chain technology and security issues in treasury management systems.
Module: Capital Markets and Funding
• Financial markets and institutions
• Debt capital markets
• Bank lending/relationship
• Project finance
• M&A and equity capital markets
This module is about the interaction between corporates and their corporate capital market.
Developments in corporate capital markets are key input for corporate finance decisions. Pricing of corporate capital strongly relates to globalization and the international integration of capital markets. Recent developments in capital markets are addressed, including the exceptionally low level of interest rates, regulation and the role of monetary authorities in capital markets.
A corporate treasurer needs a good understanding of macroeconomic developments. Economic growth, production and unemployment are linked to inflation, interest rates and exchange rates which in turn determine the pricing of financial instruments including treasury instruments.
The module switches between macro perspectives and micro perspectives on corporate capital markets. Financing decisions on a corporate level deal in essence with the matching of a company's business assets to a range of corporate finance alternatives offered by the corporate capital market. Apart from standard forms of corporate financing (equity and bank financing), asset-based financing, cash-based financing, hybrid financing and project finance are addressed. Interesting current developments in corporate capital markets include alternatives to bank financing, the development of private placement markets in Europe and the public issuance of bonds in Europe. Developments in corporate equity markets are particularly visible in the M&A market.
Module: Treasury Organization
• Treasury function in corporate governance
• Embedding the treasury function in the organization
• Risk management systems
• Treasury control systems/treasury information systems
The role of the treasurer and the treasury department varies across corporates. Central versus decentralized, adviser or agent, cost centre versus profit centre are considerations in the organizational design of the treasury and corporate finance function. Several organizational models for the treasury role within the company are discussed in this module (including outsourcing). Important in this context is the link between the corporate treasurer and corporate controller.
Once choices for the organizational model have been made, the internal control of the treasury function comes into play. Important internal control concepts are outlined in this module (COSO model, segregation of duties, necessity compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley legislation). Appealing practical examples illustrate the concepts. In addition to administrative-organizational aspects, information technology is also explicitly discussed such as IT controls and measures to prevent fraud.
The role of the treasurer shifts to a critically investigative, advisory and supervisory role. In short, the treasurer gets a more active role in the management of the company. This postgraduate programme provides professionals with the knowledge and skills to fulfil this role.
Module: Financial and Fiscal Law & Regulation
• Financial law and regulations
• Fiscal law and regulations
It starts with contract law and the legal aspects of financial contracts (including securitization, derivatives, ISDA contract and loan agreements). Practical examples highlight the importance of technical details. Subsequently, legal aspects in market corporate finance are addressed: capital protection for NVs and BVs, group financing and the regulatory aspects of the capital market and the use of inside information. Since the corporate treasurer will most likely also have to deal with British law, a brief overview of British corporate law is provided.
Lastly the module deals with fiscal law. Fiscal profit determination of groups, transfer pricing and withholding taxes on (international) money flows are extensively discussed. Considerable attention is given to specific tax aspects of group financing and a large number of financing instruments, including derivatives.