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Fall 2022  ›  Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration  ›  5th Semester  ›  The Finance Function: Theoretical Perspectives and Practical Insights

Finance Function Challenges

Course Code:
Prof. Dr. Edgar Ernst
Course Type:
BSc Course
Week Hours:
Fall 2022
(Please note that exchange students obtain a higher number of credits in the BSc-program at WHU than listed here. For further information please contact directly the International Relations Office.)
The course "Finance Functions Challenges – A CFO’s Perspective" aims at allowing students to familiarize themselves with the ever-increasing demands of capital markets and the challenges top management faces because of those demands. The course focuses on the corporate finance function and the CFO’s work therein. Students learn about essential fields of responsibility of a CFO, such as investor relations, corporate governance, risk management, acquisitions, valuations and ratings as well as top management compensation contingent on capital market performance. Moreover, the current and contentious issue of the professionalization of the work of supervisory boards is another topic in the course. Finally, students get to learn about regulatory and legal issues that managers in the finance function, such as a CFO, but also members of supervisory boards, need to deal with on a regular basis.

Professor Dr. Edgar Ernst is the course instructor. He worked as the CFO of Deutsche Post AG in the past and is currently a member of the supervisory board of several renowned companies. Thus, he is in a position to illustrate the contents of his lecture with many examples from business practice (e.g. from the privatization and the IPO of the Deutsche Post).

Students are expected to complete three in-class assignments. This gives rise to the opportunity to discuss topics with the instructor and receive valuable feedback.

The individual chapters are as follows:

Week 1

  • Introduction: Capital markets and their demands
  • Corporate governance

Week 2

  • Investor relations (IR) as a bridge to capital markets
  • Rating: Transparency and IR for creditors?

Week 3

  • Risk management
  • Value-based compensation

Week 4

  • Mergers & acquisitions
  • The roles of controlling
Friday, 11/11/2022
11:30 AM till 05:00 PM
Friday, 18/11/2022
11:30 AM till 05:00 PM
Friday, 25/11/2022
11:30 AM till 05:00 PM
Friday, 02/12/2022
11:30 AM till 05:00 PM
Acquaintance with the corporate finance function at the top management level
Lecture slides can be downloaded from moodle before the respective lecture.
Lecture (100%)
Essay (70%), In-class assignments (30%)