Master of International Finance â€˜The MIF is a well-established, advanced and specialised programme taught by excellent staff in an international financial environment.â€™ Jeroen Ligterink, Director MIF
The MIF approach The programme Amsterdam Faculty Practical information Fees and admission
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A Master’s degree in Finance can have a profound impact on your career. It is important to make the right choice because it is a big investment in time and money. There are four reasons why you should put the Master of International Finance (MIF) at the University of Amsterdam at the top of your list. Firstly, your qualification must have credibility. The MIF is an established programme, building on the faculty’s distinctive strengths in Finance and Financial Econometrics. Above this, the MIF has credibility with prospective employers. Secondly, English is the international language of both professional and academic finance. Accordingly, the MIF is, and always has been, taught in English.
2 Founded in 1632, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) offers a wide range of courses, a first-class academic curriculum, inspiring surroundings and tailored personal guidance. What it asks in return is that students learn as much as they can. This combination of what the UvA has to offer and what it expects enables its students to develop personally and intellectually. To create a fruitful, international learning environment, the UvA has always encouraged international cooperation. With about 25,000 students and 5,000 staff from more than 100 countries, the UvA provides ample opportunity to benefit from academic knowledge from around the world. In the THES 2007 World University Rankings, the UvA was ranked 48th in the world, 4th in continental Europe and 1st in the Netherlands. The UvA has links with universities across the globe; most of its students can do part of their degree abroad, or they can meet students from around the world in their Amsterdam classroom. The UvA is a member of LERU, a network of renowned European research universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, University College London, Zurich, Leuven, Leiden and Edinburgh. The Faculty of Economics and Business, established in 1922, has around 4,000 students. With its excellent
national and international reputation, it is among the top 10 European research faculties in its field (European Economic Association, 2003). The Faculty offers a wide range of Bachelors, Masters and Executive Masters programmes in Business, Economics, Econometrics and related disciplines for both the domestic and international graduate and post-graduate markets. The Faculty is divided into two schools, the Amsterdam Business School (ABS) and the Amsterdam School of Economics (ASE). Together they are responsible for managing these programmes. The ABS reflects Amsterdam’s traditions as an international, entrepreneurial, intellectual and socially responsible environment. Building on these traditions, the ABS’s educational philosophy is characterised by small-scale interactive seminars, workshops and case-based programmes, all designed to stimulate active student participation. The ABS is ranked 11th in the top 20 international business schools (Social Science Research Network, 2006), a very promising position. Excellent international students are attracted by the ABS’s two flagship programmes, the Amsterdam Master of Business Adminstration, known as the Amsterdam MBA, and the specialised Master of International Finance (MIF).
Thirdly, if you choose to study finance, it is best to do so at an acknowledged centre of financial and business activity. Amsterdam is one of Europe’s main commercial hubs, and most of the major financial firms are represented in or near it. The MIF takes full advantage of this ‘real’ financial environment – not least via the internships that conclude most student programmes. Finally, for those of you who do not already live in Amsterdam, the Rough Guide to the city describes it as ‘a beguiling capital, a compact mix of the provincial and the cosmopolitan. It has a welcoming attitude towards visitors and a uniquely youthful orientation’. It is a great place to spend a year or two and, to make things easier, nearly everyone speaks English. The stimulating MIF programme first introduces you to core areas. Subsequently allows you to choose from the specific areas of International Finance,
Mathematical Finance, Law and Finance or the recently developed Real Estate Finance track. As the MIF has proved to be an excellent launching pad for ambitious young professionals, any one of these tracks can be expected to give you a solid basis for furthering your career. Our current class includes students from around the world. This mix of full-time and part-time students representing a diversity of cultures, professional backgrounds and academic skills is an exciting environment that brings a distinct added value to your educational experience. We hope you will choose to join us here. Good luck with your application! Dr Jeroen Ligterink Programme Director
The MIF approach Dong Wang (1974, China) Director HSBC Jintrust, Shanghai
4 The intensive one-year MIF programme helped me to successfully re-engineer my career in the financial services industry with a new start in London at HSBC Investments. After a few years, I was transferred to Hong Kong and then to Shanghai, in a new greenfield operation called HSBC Jintrust, which is very challenging and interesting. The MIF differentiates itself by its clear specialisation approach. The rigorous coverage of all major aspects of modern financial theory prepares students both qualitatively and quantitatively. The involvement of many highly regarded academics as well as a pool of senior industry practitioners ensures the high quality of the programme. In addition, this international orientation exposes every student to the unparalleled experience of working and co-ordinating with people from different cultural, educational and work backgrounds. Trust me, this really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Finally, an ever-growing MIF alumni network benefits everyone.
Our renowned international Finance Group offers courses that introduce students to recent developments in accounting, corporate finance, law and finance, investments, banking, risk management, real estate and financial engineering. The courses aim to prepare students for a professional rather than an academic career. Nevertheless, high academic standards are maintained and students are introduced to the most recent research in the respective areas. At the same time, institutions in the area of International Finance are involved in developing and evaluating the curriculum, thus guaranteeing that the course material offered has a high degree of practical relevance. Part-time and full-time groups interact throughout the programme. All courses are conducted in English. The degree
The Master of International Finance is an advanced MSc programme. After successful completion of their studies, students are awarded the degree Master of Science in International Finance.
Graduate Management Admission Test
In November 2005, the MIF was as one of the first programmes of its kind in the Netherlands to receive NVAO accreditation from the Dutch government. The MIF is now officially recognised as a post-initial (i.e. post-experience) or advanced Master’s degree in the Netherlands and will as such be recognised by most ministries of education in other countries of the world.
GMAT scores provide a valuable source of evidence regarding the suitability of applicants for the MIF. The GMAT tests verbal, mathematical and analytical writing skills that candidates have developed through education and work experience. Every applicant is required to take the GMAT. We have no formal cut-off score for GMAT results, as these are evaluated in conjunction with the rest of the application package. Details about the GMAT, how to prepare for it, the location of test centres and how to reserve a test date can be found at http://www.mba.com/mba/ TaketheGMAT. Applicants wishing to have their score reported directly to the International Office of the ABS should enter the UvA institution code number (0500) on the GMAT registration form. Applicants with a PhD or other postgraduate qualification can apply for an exemption from the GMAT. The Admissions Committee decides whether the request is granted.
Applicants must hold a reputable Bachelor’s degree in a business-, economics- or law-related subject or in another quantitative subject. Professional experience is a strong advantage but not mandatory. To ensure that students are well suited to their programme and to maintain the programme’s reputation, we require evidence of both English language proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS) and general management aptitude (GMAT). Most prestigious business schools require the GMAT and we are no exception. In our experience, it helps us in identifying excellent students. In addition, it is a useful independent guide for the university when allocating scholarships.
The Finance Group at the UvA, which provides the core academic staff for the MIF programme, received a glowing report in the latest national assessment. The report notes that ‘the average Dutch finance programme should make all but (perhaps) one or two European schools blush with envy and compares quite respectably, per capita, relative to top-tier US schools. Top publications are now present – or even abundant – almost 5 everywhere…’ In this competitive field, the Finance Group was awarded the maximum score of five out of five for the quality of its work, and four out of five for productivity, relevance and viability. Furthermore, it was noted that ‘the UvA has now taken the lead as regards theory, with an interesting strand of analytical and normative work on corporate finance and financial institutions’. Since the publication of the report, the Finance Group has been strengthened even further. The MIF’s core academic staff is unsurpassed in the Netherlands. In the American W.P. Carey Rankings (2006), based on publications in the top four financial journals for the period 20012005, the ABS Finance Group was ranked in the top five in Europe, together with LBS, LSE and INSEAD. Much of the teaching is conducted by outstanding academics from the ABS or from elsewhere in the Faculty of Economics and Business. All academic staff are dedicated to providing practical training as well as a relevant academic background. For further details on MIF staff, see page 14.
In April 2006, the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) awarded EPAS accreditation to the UvA’s MIF programme. This was the first time accreditations of this type were awarded by the EFMD. In the past, it was their policy to accredit schools rather than specific programmes. Clearly, a school award is only indicative of the quality of a school, while a programme award is a more specific indicative of the quality of a particular programme.
Test of English as a Foreign Language
In February 2007, the Amsterdam Business School received EQUIS accreditation. EQUIS, the European Quality Improvement System, is the leading international system of quality assessment, improvement and accreditation of higher education institutions in management and business administration. Among other things, the EQUIS accreditation was awarded in recognition of the international focus of the ABS, its academic strengths and its promotion of entrepreneurship and social responsibility.
A good working knowledge of English is required. Applicants for the full-time programme whose first language is not English and who are not in possession of a university degree that was taught in English must therefore submit an official report of a recent TOEFL score. Where a TOEFL score is not available, an IELTS score will suffice. The TOEFL scores normally required are: a minimum of 100 for the Internet-based test, a minimum of 250 for the computer-based test and a minimum of 600 for the paper-based test. The UvA TOEFL code number is 0398. For registration and test locations, see http://www.toefl.org.
The Amsterdam Business School’s MIF programme is committed to educating its students in an active way. Educational research has shown that this provides deeper and more lasting benefits, and that the methods of active learning – group work, research presentations, case studies and real-life cases – help develop precisely those skills from which students will benefit most once they have graduated. One particular benefit of the MIF programme is the different cultural, educational and professional backgrounds of the students. In the financial world, such multiculturalism and differing viewpoints are the norm. The MIF gives its students the opportunity to experience some of the challenges and opportunities that such an environment will present.
The programme Full-time or part-time evening programme
The MIF allows you to study full-time over a period of twelve months or part-time over a period of twenty-four months. Both programmes begin in September 2008. The full-time option is designed for individuals who are able to take a break in their career and attend daytime classes. The part-time option is designed for those who wish to complete their degree while continuing to be fully employed. Part-time participants typically attend two evening courses a week. Classes for part-time students take 6-8 hours a week. Class preparation, casework and assignments demand a further 10-12 hours a week. For addi6 tional information, please consult our website at www.abs.uva.nl/mif.
International Finance track
This track is particularly suited for students who are aiming at a career in international corporate finance (mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, equity or debt issues, etc.) or in international asset management, or for investment analysts who join project or structured finance teams or who wish to pursue a more general managerial finance career within a financial institution or multinational company.
MIF students can choose from four tracks:
Law and Finance track
The introductory days at the beginning of September give you the opportunity to meet other students, familiarise yourself with the ABS facilities and become acquainted with Amsterdam. The electives and the core courses normally finish around mid-June. The internship and thesis are completed before the end of August. In the first semester, all students follow a more or less fixed curriculum designed to provide a solid foundation. They also decide on the track they wish to follow. During the second semester, the emphasis shifts to the electives and the specialised core courses of the chosen track.
• International Finance • Law and Finance • Mathematical Finance • Real Estate Finance
With the Law and Finance track, the MIF seeks to attract ambitious individuals with a legal background who plan to further their careers by developing expertise in modern financial market techniques. The courses in this track are designed to provide essential tools and concepts for all students interested in international investment banking and the intersection between Law and Finance.
Block 1 SeptemberDecember
Corporate Finance, Finance and Financial Markets, Financial Accounting, Investments, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Professional Skills, Quantitative Methods
Block 2 January-March
Corporate and Tax Law International Banking Elective 1 Elective 2
Block 3 April-June
Banking and Securities Regulation Emerging Markets Law and Finance Elective 3 Elective 4
Electives Advanced Asset Management Advanced Corporate Finance Corporate Governance and CSR Corporate Strategy International Finance International Financial Analysis Financial Derivatives Real Estate Finance Real Estate Markets Students may choose one course from the MBA curriculum as an elective.
Block 1 SeptemberDecember
Corporate Finance, Finance and Financial Markets, Financial Accounting, Financial Econometrics I/Quantitive Methods, Investments, International Economics, Professional Skills
Block 2 January-March
Financial Derivatives International Banking International Finance Elective 1
Block 3 April-June
International Financial Analysis Elective 2 Elective 3 Elective 4
Electives Advanced Asset Management Advanced Corporate Finance Advanced Risk Management Asset and Liability Management Banking and Securities Regulation Corporate and Tax Law Emerging Markets Law and Finance Financial Econometrics II Mergers and Acquisitions Law Real Estate Finance Real Estate Markets Stochastic Calculus in Finance
Mathematical Finance track
This track is particularly suitable for students aiming at a career in quantitative international finance. Graduates specialising in this track are equipped to join risk management teams (e.g. BIS II implementation), structured finance teams, or to work on the development of investment portfolios, advanced financial derivatives and other instruments. Alternatively, they could also be employed in the research departments of banks or other financial institutions, for example to work on the empirical financial market analyses upon which investment strategies are built.
Block 4 July-August
Block 1 SeptemberDecember
Corporate Finance, Finance and Financial Markets, Financial Accounting, Financial Econometrics I, International Economics, Investments, Professional Skills
Block 2 January-March
Financial Econometrics II Financial Derivatives Elective 1 Elective 2
Block 3 April-June
Advanced Risk Management Stochastic Calculus Elective 3 Elective 4
Students may choose one course from the MBA curriculum as an elective. Block 4 June-August
Electives Advanced Asset Management Advanced Corporate Finance Asset and Liability Management Banking and Securities Regulation Corporate and Tax Law Emerging Markets Law and Finance International Banking International Finance International Financial Analysis Mergers and Acquisitions Law Real Estate Finance Real Estate Markets Students may choose one course from the MBA curriculum as an elective.
Block 4 June-August
Real Estate Finance track
The Real Estate Finance track is ideal for students seeking a career in the real estate industry, banks, brokerage and investment firms (REITs), and institutions such as insurance and pension funds. The track gives a sound basis in real estate finance. Career prospects are: portfolio manager, stock analyst, appraiser, property consultant, mortgage credit and securitisation analyst, property broker and corporate real estate manager.
Block 1 SeptemberDecember
Corporate Finance, Finance and Financial Markets, Financial Accounting, Financial Econometrics I/Quantitive Methods, International Economics, Investments, Professional Skills
Block 2 January-March
Financial Derivatives International Finance Real Estate Finance Elective 1
Block 3 April-June
Real Estate Markets Elective 2 Elective 3 Elective 4
Electives Advanced Asset Management Advanced Corporate Finance Advanced Risk Management Asset and Liability Management Banking and Securities Regulation Corporate and Tax Law Emerging Markets Law and Finance Financial Econometrics II International Banking International Financial Analysis Mergers and Acquisitions Law Stochastic Calculus in Finance Students may choose one course from the MBA curriculum as an elective.
Block 4 June-August
Final thesis and internship
The final requirement of the MIF programme is a thesis, which most students complete while doing an internship. The thesis is usually based on the application of concepts from one of the core areas of the programme to a practical project in the student’s work environment. This gives students the opportunity to apply their academic knowledge to practical situations. It also provides invaluable work experience. Indeed, a number of students have found employment in this way. MBA in Finance
The Amsterdam Business School also runs an international MBA programme. MIF students can fully benefit from this through: • the option to complete the MBA within one year (part-time) after completing the MIF; • an increased elective choice from the MBA curriculum; • interaction with the MBA students.
Visiting professors Among our visiting professors and other academic staff, we are proud to have many worldrenowned academics and eminent practitioners who are recognised experts in their field. Visitors in recent years have included: Professor Simon Benninga University of Tel Aviv (Israel) and Wharton Business School (USA) Professor Willem Boeschoten Shell Pension Fund and University of Groningen (NL) Professor Thomas Buchman University of Colorado (USA) Professor Stijn Claessens World Bank (USA) Dr Jo Danbolt University of Glasgow (UK) Professor Ton Daniels Ernst & Young and Utrecht University (NL)
Professor Adriaan Dorresteijn Utrecht University (NL) Professor Raymond Fisman Columbia Business School (USA) Professor Paul de Grauwe Leuven University (B) Professor Fred Huibers ING Bank and Tilburg University (NL) Dr Luc Laeven World Bank and MIF alumnus (USA) Professor Bill Megginson University of Oklahoma (USA) Professor Anjolein Schmeits New York University, Stern School of Business
Introducing the MIF class of 2007 - 2008
The MIF programme of 2007-2008 represents everything the ABS stands for: high-quality students from diverse backgrounds studying innovative courses and taught in small groups by world-class academics and practitioners. Offered in cosmopolitan Amsterdam, the MIF itself is very international. In the 2007-2008 class of 30 students, 15 nationalities are represented. Over 30% of the students come from the EU, 10% from other European countries, about 40% from Asia, 10% from North and South America, and 10% from Africa. The 2007-2008 class is diverse in other aspects as well. The male to female ratio is 75:25, and ages range from 23 to 34, with an average age of 28. In terms of educational background, the majority has an economics or business-related background, but there are also those with engineering, law and other degrees. Many
students have professional experience in finance, but there are also some with a background in consultancy, engineering, accountancy and other sectors. Another segment of the student body has either little or no experience, or comes from a different background altogether and is preparing for a career switch. During lectures, students may find themselves in a class or case study group with a business analyst from Brazil, Thailand, the Netherlands or China, a central banker from Colombia or the Netherlands, a financial analyst from India, an investment banker from Canada, a financial adviser from India or the Netherlands, or a bright young student from Turkey, Bulgaria or China, to name but a few possibilities. We strongly believe this cultural and professional diversity contributes to lively discussions in class and thus to everyone’s learning experience.
Mausam Meghani (1976, India) ING Investment Management, The Hague
After doing an MBA in the United States and spending a few years with Merrill Lynch in India, I was looking for a specialised course that would give me an opportunity to pursue my interests in Finance even further. The MIF gave me exactly that. Knowledge was imparted with a fine balance between academic insights and practical, ‘real world’ applications. It was enriching to study with a group of people that had impressive educational and work backgrounds. The very talented set of professors used case studies and ‘real world’ projects that gave us a tremendous opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences. It was also enjoyable to have so many international students, locals and part-timers in class and to have the occasional drink after lectures. I was offered a position in the equities department of ING Investment Management in The Hague. It was subsequently also very encouraging to meet some very successful MIF alumni at my new work place.
Course descriptions Advanced Asset Management
Banking and Securities Regulation
Building on the insights developed in the Investments course, the focus here is on the more advanced techniques used in Asset Management. In addition, the latest research on hedge funds and private equity is reviewed. The course aims to increase the students’ understanding of the most recent developments in hedge funds and private equity through lectures, case studies and discussion.
This course introduces students to the regulation of banks and financial intermediaries. The first part of the course addresses international aspects of US and EU banking regulation, the infrastructure of capital adequacy and clearance settlement procedures. The second part examines the regulation of US securities markets and the new Lamfalussy reforms for European securities markets. Students learn about how financial instruments are regulated by banking and securities regulation regimes in both onshore and offshore markets.
Advanced Corporate Finance Advanced Corporate Finance focuses on the economics of mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, equity carve-outs, work outs and other forms of corporate restructuring. Using economic theory and applying this to case studies, the course aims to provide students 10 with an understanding of the complexities of such restructurings, as well as to offer them creative problem-solving tools that are useful in such settings. Moreover, the course deals with complexities in valuation.
Corporate and Tax Law This course covers the legal aspects of doing business in an international context. It explains the different types of legal rules and requirements in existence, at the international, regional (including EU), federal/state, national and sub-national levels. By the end of the course, students are familiar with the main aspects of international corporate law, as well as with legal terminologies and approaches.
Advanced Risk Management Here, students are introduced to the pricing and hedging of advanced derivative securities. The course reviews the valuation of swaps, futures and option contracts for stocks, currencies and commodities. Traditional methods for pricing and hedging options, as well as the implications for the performance of investment strategies are discussed, followed by a consideration of advanced derivatives, such as the valuation and hedging of equity ‘exotics’ and credit derivatives. Fixed-income derivatives and term-structure theories are also covered.
Asset and Liability Management This course deals with the risk management of those financial institutions that invest money for long periods of time, such as life insurers and pension funds. It provides an overview of the models and techniques for optimising investment, and of the risk management policies of life insurers and pension funds.
Corporate Finance In this course we provide a perspective on the modern theory of corporate finance and valuation. The focus is on how companies evaluate investment opportunities and raise the necessary capital as well as on how investors assess these decisions.
Emerging Markets Law and Finance This course is designed to help students think about the impact of the legal protection of investors (broadly defined as corporate governance) on investment banking and financial markets around the world. Particular attention is paid to emerging markets.
Finance and Financial Markets This course focuses on the foundations of Finance. The objective of this course is to introduce students to the most commonly used quantitative tools and fundamental financial concepts. The topics covered include: arbitrage and the law of one price, time value of money, capital budgeting and company valuation, valuation of stocks and bonds, optimal
portfolio selection, the relationship between risk and return, and market efficiency. The course is intended to provide you with both a lasting conceptual framework and, through the incorporation of real-world data and business cases, a greater understanding of how real life situations play out.
Financial Accounting This course is designed to provide students with the skills that will enable them to interpret published financial statements. It covers such topics as basic statements, revenue recognition, capitalisation and valuation, examines the incentives and constraints influencing the preparation of financial statements, and concludes with the interpretation of financial statements, including ratio analysis.
Mergers and Acquisitions Law
This course analyses the role of banks and financial markets in the funding of corporations. The main topics are credit rationing, the theory of financial intermediation, contracting and financial innovation, banking relationships, universal banking and bank regulation. Practically oriented topics include credit analysis, credit risk management and BIS guidelines.
This deals-oriented course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the legal and financial issues that arise when firms decide to expand their business to foreign markets, and to offer insight into how firms can find, analyse, structure and negotiate international deals.
This course provides finance students with an introduction to international economics and monetary/financial and institutional issues. It provides a general theoretical framework alongside a topic-based approach to ‘real world’ economic problems.
As well as offering a wide selection of ‘hard’ finance courses to our students during the programme, we believe it is very important to develop their professional skills. We therefore provide courses throughout the year in Excel modelling, presentation, writing and negotiation skills, and CV writing and interviewing techniques.
Real Estate Finance
Today derivative products are dramatically altering financial markets and business practice, and there is extensive interaction between academic theory and business practice. This course seeks to find a balance between theory and practice by examining the fundamental principles of the valuation of derivative securities and a series of case studies.
Topics covered in this course include international valuation and exchange risk management issues as well as international portfolio investment, comparative financial markets and long-term risk exposure. The course pays special attention to emerging markets. The teaching is based on case studies, which are analysed in teams.
Financial Econometrics I
International Financial Analysis
A working knowledge of statistics and econometrics is indispensable for finance, for example in the evaluation of portfolio performance. This course aims at developing skills for the statistical and econometric analysis of macroeconomic and financial models, with a particular emphasis on regression theory and time-series analysis.
International Financial Analysis focuses on the work of financial analysts and the relationship between accounting and stock market prices. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to analyse a company’s performance and prospects in the global marketplace and to produce an investment report and recommendation.
Real Estate Finance provides an in-depth analysis of the role of real estate assets in portfolio decision-making. Students are given the necessary tools for analysing the different vehicles of real estate investments such as REITs and CMBS, for describing the international real estate marketplace and for addressing the issues and challenges of performance measurement for real estate assets. The course also aims to analyse the different channels characterising the financing process of real estate assets.
Financial Econometrics II
Here, we model and explain financial returns and financial risk using econometric techniques that are applied in risk management and portfolio analysis. The main topics are predictability of returns and the efficient market hypothesis, common trends using co-integration methods and time-varying volatility using ARCH. Students learn to apply these techniques in practice, using econometric software.
This course seeks to find a balance between investment theory and portfolio management in practice. Course topics include: optimal portfolio selection, capital asset pricing theories, performance evaluation, the term structure of interest rates and fixed-income portfolio management. Many institutional investors use concepts developed in this course in their investment strategies.
Real Estate Markets Real Estate Markets seeks to achieve a balance between academic insights into the workings of real estate markets and practical property investment issues. Separate real estate sub-markets are discussed, along with the interdependencies of these markets with the general economy and the concepts and tools for studying the investment attractiveness of these markets and individual properties.
Stochastic Calculus in Finance This course aims to develop an understanding of the elements of probability theory, stochastic processes and stochastic calculus, and the latter’s application in the pricing of financial derivatives. Over the last decade, these techniques have become an integral part of modern investment finance.
Professor Peter Boswijk The Mathematical Finance track
Rapid changes in international finance have generated a growing demand for highly trained financial experts with advanced quantitative skills. This development is most obvious in the field of strategic asset allocation and risk management via complex financial derivatives such as options, swaps and the increasing market for exotic derivatives, but also in banking, where the need for appropriate risk modelling has increased due to the implementation of BIS II. In response to this, we have developed a specialised track in Mathematical Finance which aims to develop the advanced quantitative skills of these professionals. This track is for students whose ambition is to be able to respond to career opportunities in portfolio and performance analysis, risk management, asset and liability management, and the development, pricing and trading of complex financial instruments. This track is particularly interesting for students with a degree in Mathematics, Physics, Engineering or another quantitative background.
Amsterdam The capital of the Netherlands is one of Europe’s most frequently visited cities. According to the Lonely Planet’s Amsterdam City Guide: ‘Amsterdam combines a huge case of big city exuberance with small-town manageability; it doesn’t take much more than chaining your bike to a bridge to feel like you’ve got a handle on the place’. It is this mix which makes Amsterdam a pleasure both to visit and to live in. It is a truly cosmopolitan capital, and one of Europe’s most beautiful, featuring a wide range of cultural attractions. It is also relatively small, peaceful and well organised, and an easy city to find your way around in.
The perfect balance
The historic city centre is famous for its architecture and canals. Amsterdam also has an outstanding – and well-deserved – reputation for the variety of entertainment it provides. If you visit the tourist websites, such as www.visitamsterdam.nl or www.iamsterdam.nl, or, for a less formal view, the Lonely Planet, Time Out or Rough Guide sites, you will see the diversity of cultural activities which Amsterdam has to offer. Moreover, the capital city has always been known for its intellectual freedom, which has greatly stimulated the international exchange of ideas and research. Amsterdam has repeatedly shown itself to be an important
centre for cultural, social and financial developments. The city’s diversity of global cultures and its liberal approach to social issues make it an ideal destination for international students looking for the perfect balance between modern culture and classic European charm. Strong city brand
An annual survey conducted in December 2005 by Simon Anholt and the Global Market Insite marketing research agency measured the strength of city brands based on the opinions of international consumers. The main criteria for the survey were: ■ presence (contribution to culture/science) ■ place (physical aspects) ■ potential (job/educational opportunities) ■ pulse (urban lifestyle) ■ people (hospitality/diversity) ■ prerequisites (basic facilities/services). ■ Amsterdam ranked 6th, well ahead of cities like New York, Brussels, Singapore, Geneva, Milan, Toronto and Hong Kong. Dynamic and safe
Another study on the quality of life in major cities around the world ranked Amsterdam 12th out of 235 (William M. Mercer, 2005) and Time Out has called the city ‘in a nutshell, one of the most consistently surprising, thrilling, intriguing [and] compelling cities on earth’. William Mercer’s has also evaluated Amsterdam as one of the safest capital cities in Europe.
With its proximity to Schiphol International Airport, which is about half an hour from the UvA by public transport, Amsterdam offers easy access to the rest of the world. Barcelona, Berlin, Vienna, Paris, Edinburgh, Geneva, London and Rome are all within easy reach for a long weekend. Public transport around Amsterdam and the Netherlands is excellent, which makes living there and visiting other parts of the country or neighbouring countries all the more convenient. International business hub
The Dutch capital is a leader in finance and trade, and is at the heart of Europe 13 in more ways than one. International finance was born in Amsterdam, built on the capital amassed by the merchants of the Golden Age of the seventeenth century. The world’s first public stock exchange was founded in Amsterdam, and served as an example for stock markets around the world. Amsterdam now has a broad-based economy, but the most important sectors are still business and financial services, which provide over 120,000 jobs. Together, the Dutch Central Bank, Euronext and the main branches of various Dutch and international banks make Amsterdam the financial heart of the Netherlands and a prestigious international financial centre. As the undisputed financial capital of the Netherlands and one of Europe’s principal financial centres, Amsterdam is an ideal host city for the Master of International Finance.
Faculty Vasily Agapov (1979, USA) Market Risk Group at Merrill Lynch, London
14 After working for three years in energy risk management, I was keen to return to school in order to expand my more generalist undergraduate degree with focused graduate studies in Finance. At that juncture, I was principally interested in modelling and the latest developments in that field. I was looking for a relatively small programme which nevertheless provided a diverse and international environment. The quantitative track of the MIF fit the bill precisely. It provided me with a well-balanced curriculum, academically excellent yet approachable professors and a lively alumni network. Most importantly, the MIF gave me the chance to form lasting friendships with my classmates and to experience student life in Amsterdam, quite possibly the best city on earth. What’s more, by the time I graduated I was able to secure a full-time offer to join the market risk group at Merrill Lynch in London. I have to credit the MIF with the solid foundation of knowledge and skills upon which I am able to build in my everyday work.
Arnoud Boot is Professor of Corporate Finance and Financial Markets at the University of Amsterdam and director of the Amsterdam Center for Law and Economics (ACLE). He is a member of the Dutch Social Economic Council (SER) and the Bank Council of the Dutch Central Bank (DNB), and an adviser for the Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden). He is also a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) in London and at the Davidson Institute of the University of Michigan. Prior to his current positions, he was on the faculty of the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago and, during 2000-2001, a partner in the Finance and Strategy Practice at McKinsey & Co.
Peter Boswijk is Professor of Financial Econometrics at the University of Amsterdam. After obtaining his PhD from the University of Amsterdam, he received a grant from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences to continue his research on the econometrics of non-stationary time series. He has been Visiting Professor at the Technical University of Lisbon, the University of California, San Diego and the University of Aarhus. His research has been published in journals such as the Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, the Journal of Econometrics and the Review of Economics and Statistics. He has been an invited keynote speaker at various international conferences, and was founding co-editor of The Econometrics Journal. His current research interests include the econometric analysis of time-varying volatility and non-normality in financial returns.
In addition to his academic activities, Professor Boot advises extensively on ownership structure issues, particularly related to the public/private domain. He is frequently consulted in legal cases for his expertise and is a consultant to several financial institutions and corporations. He serves as a consultant in areas concerning the regulation and strategic positioning of financial institutions, corporate finance, governance and anti-trust issues. To support these activities, he has also established the Amsterdam Center for Corporate Finance, a ‘think-tank’ designed to improve the interaction between theory and practice. Arnoud Boot has taught in a number of MBA programmes and a variety of executive education programmes. His research focuses on corporate finance and financial institutions. His publications have appeared in major academic journals, such as the Journal of Finance, American Economic Review, Economic Journal and the International Economic Review.
Joost Driessen is Professor of Financial Derivatives at the University of Amsterdam. He has published empirical work on credit risk, the term structure of interest rates and interest-rate derivatives in journals such as the Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Econometrics, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis and the Journal of International Money and Finance. He has presented his research at many universities, financial institutions and international conferences. His research has been sponsored by a VENI grant from the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research (NWO). Driessen obtained his PhD at Tilburg University. He is currently research fellow at the Tinbergen Institute and senior researcher at Netspar, the Dutch network for studies on pensions, aging and
retirement. His current research interests include the empirical analysis of derivatives, corporate bonds and credit risk, portfolio choice, and the term structure of interest rates. He teaches courses in Derivatives and Risk Management at the University of Amsterdam.
Jensen Prize for the best paper published in the Journal of Financial Economics in the areas of corporate finance and organisations (2000). López-de-Silanes has been a professor at Harvard and Yale. He holds a Master in Economics and a PhD in Economics from Harvard University.
Joseph A. McCahery
Rajkamal Iyer is Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of Amsterdam. He obtained his PhD from INSEAD with a dissertation on Financial Intermediation. His main areas of interest are banking, international finance and political economy. His research focuses primarily on the transmission of a crisis and the optimal regulatory policies to minimise contagion. He has published several pieces on regulatory structures in the banking industry. Prior to his PhD, he obtained a Master’s degree in Finance and Economics from the London School of Economics. He has also worked in the area of risk management.
Joseph A. McCahery is Professor of Corporate Governance and Business Innovation at the University of Amsterdam. He is also a Research Fellow at the Institute of International Corporate Governance and Accountability at George Washington University and a Research Associate at the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) in Brussels. In addition, he is the Leo Goldschmidt Visiting Professor of Corporate Governance at Brussels University (ULB). McCahery obtained his PhD in Law from Warwick University, where he taught until 1997. He serves on the editorial boards of several leading academic journals. He has written widely on banking and securities law, corporate law, corporate governance, the political economy of federalism and taxation. He is a consultant to the OECD, the Centre for European Policy Studies and a number of financial institutions and governmental agencies. He is also currently co-director of the Amsterdam Center for Corporate Finance.
Florencio López-de-Silanes is Professor specialised in International Corporate Finance and Financial Markets, Legal Reform and Privatisation at the University of Amsterdam. He has been an adviser on these topics to many governments, international institutions and corporations, and has published frequently in top financial and economic journals. His research shows the relevance of law and institutions for the optimal functioning and development of markets. He received the Harvard’s Wells Prize for the Best Dissertation in Economics (1995), the National Award for Law and Economics of the National Association of Law and Economics in Mexico (1996), the Brattle Prize for distinguished papers in the Journal of Finance from the American Finance Association (1999), and the
Ludovic Phalippou is Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of Amsterdam. He holds degrees from INSEAD (PhD in Finance), the University of Southern California (Masters in both Mathematical Finance and Economics) and Toulouse University (BSc in Economics). He is also a Research Fellow at Yale University. His research has received considerable attention from both the professional investment community and
the academic community. Several major newspapers have reported his findings: The New York Times, Pensions and Investments, The Wall Street Journal, Euromoney, Le Monde, The Financial Times and The Economist. He has received three ‘best paper’ awards and six research grants. His research has been presented at the very best academic conferences in both the US and Europe (AFA, WFA and EFA), and at seminars at prestigious universities such as UC Berkeley, UT Austin and Yale. His research has also been published in top academic journals: Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Harvard Business Review and Review of Finance. Most of his current 15 research efforts focus on the risk and return of investing in private equity funds. Programme committee Professor Peter Boswijk Professor of Financial Econometrics at the UvA Professor Enrico Perotti Professor of International Finance at the UvA Professor Bill Rees Professor of Financial Analysis at the UvA Dr Gavin Brown Old Mutual Asset Managers, London Dr Henk Oosterhout Duff and Phelps, Amsterdam
Practical information Facilities
Jude Cesar (1970, USA) Barclay’s Capital Investment Bank, London
16 Planning a career change from the law into finance and banking made it crucial that I find the right graduate programme. I needed a university that would give me a strong quantitative skill-set and engage me in a thorough study of the capital markets. I found what I was looking for in the MIF programme of the UvA. The MIF provides an environment where you will be challenged. The material covered is complex, but the professors’ ability to introduce sophisticated financial practice and theory in an accessible way to a small student body is one of the programme’s chief assets. The intellectual and international character of the MIF shouldn’t be overlooked either. We covered a broad array of topics in depth and participated in group project work, which was an effective teaching method. I use what I learned at the MIF everyday at Barclays Capital Investment Bank in London, structuring complex equity derivative and convertible bond transactions. Simply put, my time at the MIF was really fantastic.
The Amsterdam Business School is housed in a modern building in the eastern part of the centre of the city, at the junction of the Nieuwe Prinsengracht and the Plantage Muidergracht canals. It has excellent teaching facilities. MIF students have exclusive 24/7 access to a computer/ work room with wireless internet access, as well as to the university’s normal computing facilities. Naturally, MIF students may also use the university’s general facilities (libraries, restaurants and sports centres). The International Office and the teaching facilities and work rooms are all located close to the academic staff offices, facilitating easy communication between students, faculty members and staff. Visa requirements
Some students require an entry visa to come to the Netherlands. The International Office can help you in securing one. To find out whether you need such a visa, please consult www.nuffic.nl/immigration. We strongly advise you to start the visa application process as early as possible. This may include obtaining certain documents in your own country. For any questions concerning the requirements that may apply to you, please contact the International Office of the ABS. Living costs and accommodation
Living costs in the Netherlands can vary considerably. In general, living costs for a single student are approximately € 400 per month, not including accommodation. International students of the MIF can choose to live in UvA student housing
facilities. The rent for most single rooms with shared facilities is around € 500 a month (though this is subject to change), so students should be able to manage on less than € 1,000 a month. This is considerably more reasonable than living expenses in most European financial centres. By comparison, the London Business School estimates living and accommodation costs in London to be around € 1,800 a month. Career services
Most applicants will expect to embark on a career in areas where a thorough understanding of the complexities of international finance is essential. Graduates often pursue – or shift career paths in order to pursue – careers in investment, commercial and retail banking, investment management, trading, risk management, corporate finance and treasury and investor relations. Alternatively, they may join regulatory bodies, consultancies or the public sector, in jobs where an in-depth understanding of finance is required. We see it as our duty to help students make a sound career choice. One way we can help them in this is through our dedicated, individualised career advisory services. This includes a training programme which helps students improve cover letter writing, and guidance in preparing professional curriculum vitae and in interviewing techniques. We also provide assistance in seeking out and securing a suitable summer internship or consultancy project, and in co-ordinating job and internship leads offered by companies and institutions. We regularly organise company presentations and visits, and facilitate on-campus interviews with firms and executive search agencies.
Our alumni are very helpful in assisting students in getting leads and interviews and in developing good contacts. Last but not least, for those of you who are planning to stay in the Netherlands after graduation, the Dutch government has relaxed work permit regulations for graduates from Dutch universities (regardless of their nationality). This means that all MIF graduates can stay and work in the Netherlands for up to five years after graduation without requiring a work permit. There are a few conditions (minimum salary, type of company), but these are normally met without difficulty by our students.
Among the many organisations for which our graduates (MIF and MBA) have worked or are working: ABN AMRO Bank, Amsterdam Trade Bank, Associates India (Citigroup), Banque Bruxelles Lambert, BDO Corporate Finance, BNP Paribas, Buckheissman, Commerz International, Credit Suisse First Boston, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Federal Reserve Bank, FERI, Fortis Bank, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Hewlett Packard, Hilti AG, HSBC Asset Management, IFC, ING Group, JP Morgan, Kazkommerzbank, Kempen & Co, KPMG, Lucent Technologies, McKinsey, Philippines Ministry of Finance, Philips International, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Proctor and Gamble, Provident Group, Rabobank International, Reserve Bank India, Shell International, Siemens Financial Services, Soros Equity Fund, UBS Warburg and the World Bank.
Sander van Adelberg (1976, The Netherlands) Navitas Capital, Bilthoven
17 Having worked for four years in business development, I decided to redirect my career. I had become interested in the field of private equity but felt that I needed a more thorough understanding of finance before I could make the switch. Of the various options I considered, the MIF program really stood out: an intense, one-year, full-time programme, with excellent professors, an international mix of students and a specialized curriculum. The MIF has been a very enjoyable experience. It was really pleasant to return to university after a few years of work experience, and to focus exclusively on the field that interested me, in a very stimulating atmosphere among a group of ambitious students. The small scale of the programme is a real advantage: lectures are very interactive and students and staff really get to know each other. The MIF has certainly enabled me to make the desired career move: I started working as an investment manager with Navitas Capital, a combined private equity and investment management firm.
Fees and admission 18
The tuition fees for participants in the full-time and part-time programmes commencing September 2008 are € 26,000. UvA alumni automatically qualify for a 10% discount on the tuition fees. These fees cover the entire programme, including course fees and international study trips, use of MIF facilities, university registration and examination fees. They do not cover the costs of text-books, living or accommodation. ABS Scholarship
In order to attract the brightest students, we have set up a tuition waiver scheme. The selection for the waivers, which is based entirely on the applicants’ qualifications, is made throughout the year, so early submission of applications is recommended. The three main criteria are good academic records from your first degree, relevant work experience and a high GMAT score. Other scholarships Within the framework of cultural agreements between the Netherlands and other countries, the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science offers scholarships to cover the costs of living expenses and/or part of the tuition fees. Information on these programmes and application deadlines can be found at www.studyin.nl and www.grantfinder.nl. For more information, please contact the Dutch embassy or consulate or a NESO office in your own country. You can also contact your national institute or ministry of higher education,to find out about funding opportunities for students planning to study abroad. Additional information and the latest news on scholarships can be found on our website.
‘The Amsterdam Business School aims to offer an inspiring, broadly oriented and thoroughly international academic environment where both staff members and students can develop their capacities to optimum effect. It seeks to emphasise an open-minded and tolerant attitude, a strong engagement between business and society, the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship and, throughout all, a commitment to the scientific study of the business world.’
You can apply on-line via www.abs.uva.nl/ mif or via a downloadable application form. The following documents should be mailed/attached: ■ a completed application form (hard copy or digital); ■ your Curriculum Vitae; ■ degree certificates and/or diplomas; ■ an official transcript of academic records (reporting your final grade and grades earned in individual exams); ■ your original GMAT score report; ■ your original TOEFL (or IELTS) test score certificate (if appropriate); ■ two personal letters of reference (please use the reference forms included in the application package). Applications for admission should be submitted to the International Office before 1 June 2008 (for the full-time programme) or before 31 July 2008 (for the part-time programme). Candidates are advised to submit their applications for admission as early as possible. All application materials should be submitted in English. You can start applying online or via normal mail even before you have gathered all your documentation. We will support you during the application process.
For further information, please do not hesitate to contact the International Office of the ABS. We will process your application, help you to arrange a visa (if applicable), help to arrange accommodation for those students who are moving to Amsterdam and answer any questions you have. This is your first port-of-call if you have any questions or difficulties. We will do our utmost to help you. Amsterdam Business School International Office – MIF T +31 20 525 4388 F +31 20 525 5092 E firstname.lastname@example.org I www.abs.uva.nl/mif
Although this brochure has been prepared with the utmost care, no rights can be derived from its contents. Colophon Design: Total Identity Lay-out: RAADHUIS voor creatieve communicatie Photography: Peter Hilz/Hollandse Hoogte, Ineke Oostveen, Henny Boogert Editors: Janine van Zantvoort, Sanne Landhuis Print: De Raat & De Vries
Universiteit van Amsterdam Amsterdam Business School International Office - MIF Roetersstraat 11 1018 WB Amsterdam The Netherlands T +31 20 525 4388 F +31 20 525 5092 email@example.com www.abs.uva.nl/mif