NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Spring 2012

Instructor Details

Lee, Samuel


MW 3:30pm-6:00pm

KMC 9-71


Course Meetings

MW, 9:30am to 10:45am

Tisch T-UC21

Final Exam:

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on:
    Class will meet on:


Course Description and Learning Goals

Course overview:

This is an advanced corporate finance course for undergraduates in finance. The purpose of the course is to illustrate the role of incentives, information, and coordination in corporate finance. Students will learn to understand why financial transactions and financial securities are (structured/designed) the way they are, and hence acquire the conceptual knowledge to structure financial transactions themselves.

Learning objectives:

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to do the following things.


Course Pre-Requisites

 Passing grades in C15.0002 Foundations of Financial Markets and C15.0007 Corporate Finance. Having taken C15.0041 Equity Valuation, or taking it in parallel, is useful for the case study part of this course, but it is not required. Students are expected to be familiar with basic valuation methods.


Course Outline

The course consists of lectures and case studies:

  1. The lectures cover advanced corporate finance theory. There are two modules: Module I (Capital Structure) analyzes the link between a firm's financial structure and value maximization, and how transactions are designed to optimize this link. Module II (Transactions) analyzes how corporate finance transactions suffer from frictions, and how transactions are designed to mitigate these frictions. This material will be tested in the final exam.
  2. The case studies illustrate the practical relevance of the abstract concepts discussed in the lectures. Moreover, they provide an opportunity for the students to apply, and hone, their valuation skills; learn how capital structure interacts with valuation (above and beyond tax shields); and see how strategic aspects affect valuations in practice. Case study work will be conducted in groups. Cases will be discussed in class, and participation in the discussions will be graded on an individual basis. 



Course Materials

A set of lecture notes will be handed out at the beginning of the course. Students will also have to purchase a digital course pack containing the materials for the case studies. There is no required textbook for this course. For the purpose of the course, the lecture slides are comprehensive. However, students will find some recommended readings mentioned in the lecture slides, some of which refer to Brealey, R. A., Myers, S. C., and F. Allen, 2007, Principles of Corporate Finance, 10th edition, McGraw-Hill. The book should be available at the NYU Bookstore or online. 


Assessment Components

The above components will be weighted as follows in the final grade:


Group Projects

Guidelines for Group Projects

Business activities involve group effort. Consequently, learning how to work effectively in a group is a critical part of your business education.

Every member is expected to carry an equal share of the group’s workload. As such, it is in your interest to be involved in all aspects of the project. Even if you divide the work rather than work on each piece together, you are still responsible for each part. The group project will be graded as a whole:   its different components will not be graded separately. Your exams may contain questions that are based on aspects of your group projects.

It is recommended that each group establish ground rules early in the process to facilitate your joint work including a problem-solving process for handling conflicts. In the infrequent case where you believe that a group member is not carrying out his or her fair share of work, you are urged not to permit problems to develop to a point where they become serious. If you cannot resolve conflicts internally after your best efforts, they should be brought to my attention and I will work with you to find a resolution.

You will be asked to complete a peer evaluation form to evaluate the contribution of each of your group members (including your own contribution) at the conclusion of each project. If there is consensus that a group member did not contribute a fair share of work to the project, I will consider this feedback during grading.



At NYU Stern we seek to teach challenging courses that allow students to demonstrate their mastery of the subject matter.  In general, students in undergraduate core courses can expect a grading distribution where: 

Note that while the School uses these ranges  as a guide, the actual distribution for this course and your own grade will depend upon how well  you actually perform in this course.



The process of assigning grades is intended to be one of unbiased evaluation. Students are encouraged to respect the integrity and authority of the professor’s grading system and are discouraged from pursuing arbitrary challenges to it.

If you believe an inadvertent error has been made in the grading of an individual assignment or in assessing an overall course grade, a request to have the grade re-evaluated may be submitted. You must submit such requests in writing to me within 7 days of receiving the grade, including a brief written statement of why you believe that an error in grading has been made.


Professional Responsibilities For This Course




In-class contribution is a significant part of your grade and an important part of our shared learning experience. Your active participation helps me to evaluate your overall performance.
You can excel in this area if you come to class on time and contribute to the course by:




Classroom Norms


Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. As members of our community, all students agree to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct, which includes a commitment to:

The entire Stern Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in Stern courses and can be found here:

Undergraduate College: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct
Graduate Programs: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/involved.cfm?doc_id=102505

To help ensure the integrity of our learning community, prose assignments you submit to Blackboard will be submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin will compare your submission to a database of prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications.  Additionally, your document will become part of the Turnitin database.


Recording of Classes

Your class may be recorded for educational purposes


Students with Disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation of any kind during this course, you must notify me at the beginning of the course and provide a letter from the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980, www.nyu.edu/csd) verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.


Stern Policies

General Behavior
The School expects that students will conduct themselves with respect and professionalism toward faculty, students, and others present in class and will follow the rules laid down by the instructor for classroom behavior.  Students who fail to do so may be asked to leave the classroom. 


Collaboration on Graded Assignments
Students may not work together on graded assignment unless the instructor gives express permission. 


Course Evaluations
Course evaluations are important to us and to students who come after you.  Please complete them thoughtfully.


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