Nielsson’s academic background includes an M.Phil. in financial economics from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University in New York. His research primarily revolves around financial markets, institutions, and households, earning him multiple accolades for his contributions to international research. Additionally, he lends his expertise as a consultant to the industry and the judicial system.
The financial decisions a company makes depend on its unique circumstances. The macro economy, industry, and competitive landscape all play a role in shaping these choices.
“Key financial decisions vary depending on which company you are working for so in the classroom we look across the varied landscape of business. For example, when we discuss the impact of taxes, the conclusion is different for US vs Denmark, as these two countries differ substantially in the tax code,” says Nielsson.
Current EMBA participant, Maria Beck-Tange reflects...
“The models, concepts, and tools were presented from a practitioner's perspective, ensuring their direct applicability in a business context. Even the more complex financial elements were made accessible for comprehension and practical application. I’ve gained a highly valuable toolbox and framework on a general level. The multitude of backgrounds among my fellow EMBA colleagues provides unique opportunities, creating a confidential and 'safe' environment where we can gain perspectives on key challenges in our respective businesses and areas. We are already leveraging each other's strengths and capabilities to enhance value in addressing our various business and leadership challenges.”
Real-life cases examined during the course include both US and Danish companies. The course aims to strike a balance, so participants are capable of applying their knowledge to a multitude of business contexts. Examples of global firms examined in the classroom are:
- Why is Apple keeping so much cash on their balance sheet?
- How does Nike fluctuate with the business cycle?
- What is the DSV debt policy and why is this important to understand?
- Why did JP Morgan lose billions despite top-shelf risk measurement?
- Mergers & acquisition: Why do acquirers on average pay a 43% premium for their targets?
Steps, Analysis and Tools…
The fundamentals of our Corporate Finance course are centred on pivotal decisions that shape the financial landscape of all organisations. These steps offer a comprehensive understanding of Corporate Finance.
Financing - which involves the critical task of procuring funds necessary for a company's operations. These funds can be sourced from a variety of avenues such as venture capital, private equity, or initial public offerings (IPOs), each with its own unique characteristics, risks, and returns.
Investment decisions – which are paramount, determining where to allocate the acquired capital effectively. Participants in our EMBA program delve into the complexities of choosing between various projects and assessing the expected profits and returns, here intricate mathematical calculations are taken.
Risk management – a vital part of managing the finances of a firm. This involves both identifying, measuring and controlling the risk level the company is willing to take. This can be done via various means and with use of specialized financial instruments that will be introduced.
Profit allocation – the ultimate goal of a profit maximizing company is to create profits and returns to its shareholders, but it is less obvious when potentially profits should be paid to investor and when they should be reinvested in the firm. Furthermore, when means of payment to shareholders, such as cash dividends or stock repurchases, may influence firm value.
Participants are required to envision themselves as Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), this emphasises the critical nature of the role.
“Imagine yourself as a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a company. Your first crucial decision is acquiring funds, which are the lifeblood of any organisation. These funds primarily come from investors through various channels like venture capital, private equity, or initial public offerings (IPOs). Each source of funding has distinct characteristics, risks, and returns, making it essential to choose wisely,” says Nielsson.
Participants are given tools, necessary methods, arguments, and mathematical tools to navigate the role with confidence.
Nielsson elaborates, “Our curriculum includes a comprehensive examination of market dynamics, helping students grasp the impact of variables like interest rates on financing and investment decisions. Mergers and acquisitions are also explored, highlighting the complexities and financial considerations involved, including the payment of premiums during acquisitions.”
***A key component of the CBS EMBA is its focus on sustainability and responsible management, so participants also engage in discussions surrounding the equitable distribution of ownership among stakeholders, addressing questions of fairness and practicality.
Current EMBA participant, Marie Carlsson, Head of Mergers and Acquisitions at SVEVIA, reflects...
"In Corporate Finance you are privileged to take the overall perspective and by travelling in time (calculating NPV, IRR, discounted cash flows etc) making strategic investment decisions for the future with the overall goal of maximising corporate value."
As an Executive MBA student at Copenhagen Business School, participants become well-acquainted with the diverse backgrounds and experiences that fellow participants bring to the table.