WHU | Logo

Capstone Module Abroad MiF

Course code
Course type
MSc Course
Weekly Hours
FS 2021
Prof. Dr. Besim Burcin Yurtoglu
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.

Due to the well-known consequences of the continuing Covid-19 crisis, the Programme Management of the WHU has decided to replace the CMA that was planned to take place in London with an alternative design that does not involve traveling abroad.

The overarching goal of the Capstone Module Abroad (CMA) is to provide the participants an international perspective on how to conduct business in the financial world combined with indirect goals of helping them to network and interact with high-level managers and decision-makers in the finance industry. To achieve these goals, WHU used to offer a CMA consisting of a one week stay in London and including a series of company visits and other activities (meeting with WHU alumni and extracurricular/social activities) in the first week of May. We expect the various sorts of risks associated with the CMA in London for that purpose to remain high in May 2021. At the same time, the high degree of uncertainty prevailing as of early 2021 renders a serious commitment on behalf of partner companies almost infeasible.

Thus, we plan to achieve the expected learning outcomes of the CMA with an alternative strategy that includes the following elements:

The overarching themes of the CMA will be centered around “Managing the Covid-19 Pandemic Crisis in the Finance Industry”, which we believe to include highly relevant topical issues in view of the recent developments in response to the COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic can be considered the second major shock to have hit the global economy in the first two decades of this century following the 2008–2009 Financial Crisis. Both of these crises affected the global economy and the financial system in different ways and confronted them with distinct challenges, with the COVID-19 crisis likely to be much impactful. According to the OECD (2020) global GDP shrank by almost 5% in 2020 – a figure that can be only be undone if various factors such as vaccination campaigns, concerted health policies and government financial support programs function in the most favorable way. How do the financial markets and the decision makers in the finance function respond to the crisis? How can they make sure that their organizations weather the immediate shocks while preparing them to emerge from the crisis in the best possible shape?

Such questions are seldom studied in normal times. Organizational crisis that extends beyond the walls of the organization and into the public domain can have significant long-term negative impact on the reputation and viability of an enterprise (De Wolf & Mejri, 2013). As such, crises will have far-reaching consequences in the financial markets that should be studied from a variety of perspectives. Corporations, whether small or large, or young or old, are at the very heart of these two challenges, and both sound analysis and leadership skills will be needed to guide them out of the crisis.

In the short period following the outbreak of the Covid-19 crisis, both practitioners and academicians have started to (re-)think about the optimality of company- and institutional-level responses to crisis situations (e.g., Nohria, 2020; McKinsey, 2020a, 2020b, and 2020c; see also other references at the end of this document with an emphasis on the papers from the November 2020 issue of the Review of Corporate Finance Studies).


Andrew Ellul, Isil Erel, Uday Rajan, 2020, The COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis and Corporate Finance, The Review of Corporate Finance Studies, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp. 421–429: https://doi.org/10.1093/rcfs/cfaa016.

Arner, Douglas W. and Barberis, Janos Nathan and Walker, Julia and Buckley, Ross P. and Zetzsche, Dirk Andreas, Digital Finance & Crisis (March 22, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3558889.

De Wolf D., & Mejri, M., 2013, Crisis Management: Lessons Learnt from the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill Oil. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/310d/3d57a5b089560602a430c1dbddca01fb62eb.pdf.

Deloitte, 2020, COVID-19: Confronting Uncertainty through & beyond the Crisis -- The Power of Scenario-Thinking to Enhance Decision-making (https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/covid-19/covid-19--confronting-uncertainty-through---beyond-the-crisis-.html).

Fabiano Schivardi, Enrico Sette, Guido Tabellini, 2020, Identifying the Real Effects of Zombie Lending, The Review of Corporate Finance Studies, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp. 569–592: https://doi.org/10.1093/rcfs/cfaa010.

McKinsey, 2020a, Coronavirus: Leading through the Crisis: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/coronavirus-leading-through-the-crisis.

McKinsey, 2020b, COVID-19: Implications for Business (by Matt Craven, Linda Liu, Mihir Mysore, Shubham Singhal, Sven Smit, and Matt Wilson): https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/risk/our-insights/covid-19-implications-for-business

McKinsey, 2020c, Banking system resilience in the time of COVID-19: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/banking-system-resilience-in-the-time-of-covid-19.

Michael Halling, Jin Yu, Josef Zechner, 2020, How Did COVID-19 Affect Firms’ Access to Public Capital Markets?, The Review of Corporate Finance Studies, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp. 501–533: https://doi.org/10.1093/rcfs/cfaa008.

Nohria, Nitin, 2020, What Organizations Need to Survive a Pandemic, Harvard Business Review, January 30, 2020.

OECD (2020), OECD Economic Outlook: Statistics and Projections (database), OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2020 Issue 2.

Pisano, Gary P., Raffaella Sadun and Michele Zanini, 2020, Lessons from Italy’s Response to Coronavirus, Harvard Business Review, March 27, 2020.

Rui Albuquerque, Yrjo Koskinen, Shuai Yang, Chendi Zhang, 2020, Resiliency of Environmental and Social Stocks: An Analysis of the Exogenous COVID-19 Market Crash, The Review of Corporate Finance Studies, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp. 593–621: https://doi.org/10.1093/rcfs/cfaa011.

Date Time
Thursday, 18.02.2021 10:00 - 11:00
Friday, 07.05.2021 15:00 - 18:00
We expect CMA participants to work in groups on how the crisis have affected one of the following areas or actors below. The areas are selected broadly to give participants the freedom to define their own research questions in a subfield or a neighboring part of the stated area.

1) Banks and their lending behavior

2) Corporations and their need for financing (this topic can be addressed from the perspective of listed vs. unlisted and large vs. small firms)

3) Investment and fund managers

The goal of the group work will be to think, analyze and make suggestions on optimal approaches that prepare organizations to crisis situations and on how to deal with such situations when they occur. We will make every effort to match each group with a corporate partner, so that the analysis can be undertaken in a concrete corporate context and by incorporating feedback loops from the real-world experience of these corporate experts. To this end, we are contacting the following experts

With outstanding diligence on behalf of Ms. Hülpüsch, we have been able to secure the collaboration of three WHU alumni to act as external experts in such sessions:

Alexander Bruells (Builders Union, London)

Christian Schilling (UBS, London)

Jens Meckel (Goldman Sachs, London and Frankfurt)

The deliverable is a power point presentation that groups can supplement with additional material if they believe that this is necessary. Burcin Yurtoglu will be available for support in designing your work, providing sources and guidance, and exchanging ideas in the period till early May.

It is required to consider diversity aspects in group formation that allows each group to benefit from a multiplicity of opinions, experiences, and perspectives. Thus, each group should aim to achieve group diversity taking into account the gender and nationality dimensions.

The groups will present their work in online sessions to all other participants of the CMA. These sessions will be accompanied by the (online) presence of one or more experts. The group presentations (15-20 minutes each) will conclude with a Q&A session, discussion, and assessment of the experts.

Group assignment and presentation
Excellent command of English
WHU | Logo