Programme Structure & Curriculum

Future-ready Curriculum for the 21st Century Leader

Our EMIR programme is a 14-month programme consisting six week-long in-residence sessions, including a four-day overseas segment, and 120 hours of virtual classroom sessions. Commencing in April and ending in May of the following year, students must complete 42 Modular Credits of coursework to graduate.

Our Programme

In-Residence Sessions

WEEK 1

CAMRI Investment Management & Trading Lab, NUS Business School

Lecturer: Adjunct Prof Richard Yeh
This is an introductory module in state-of-the-art financial management techniques, drawing primarily on Modern Portfolio Theory and its subsequent and rapid evolution since. It is a comprehensive real world examination of the various quantitative and financial modeling techniques available in portfolio management, and how these might be applied to the investments industry. Topics covered include a review of cutting-edge methodologies and technologies for estimating parameters for Portfolio Building Blocks; the portfolio impact of Estimation Errors, the use of Bayes-Stein shrinkage and other methodologies to robustify the estimation process; the use of Monte Carlo simulations including parametric and non-parametric (resampling) methodologies; a review of Equilibrium Models with particular focus on the Black-Litterman Model; Equity Valuation & Portfolio Construction; and dealing with data issues, in particular non-synchronous and missing data using the Stambaugh methodology. In summary, you learn how to design and implement financial models and solutions using data analytics (even if data is in limited supply), with Excel and VBA programming as the primary software tool. This module will enable you to apply finance theories to solve various problems in financial management, investments, portfolio management and risk management; and would provide the foundational building blocks to complement evolving technologies in the “Fin-Tech” space, a nascent example of which might be the fast growing Robo-Advisory services.

Lecturers: Adjunct Profs James Cheng and Robert Lewis
The first part of this course will highlight the skills necessary from a theoretical and practical standpoint for investing using a “fundamental” approach. The course aims to apply traditional Graham & Dodd “deep value” investment theory with the practical challenges of investing in Asian equity markets. Critical to this analysis is understanding the Business Model Canvas and how it evolves into the future. Participants will gain practical experience in fundamental research techniques including conducting company and sector due diligence, as well as financial statement (earnings/balance sheet) model construction and forecasting techniques.


WEEK 2

CAMRI Investment Management & Trading Lab, NUS Business School

Lecturer: Prof Sumit Agarwal
This course is an in-depth look at the role of Behavioural Finance, the key behavioural biases, and how they may affect investor behaviors and responses, which in turn can affect both the equilibrium (or disequilibrium) pricing of financial assets. Discussion topics include the latest applied academic research covering anchoring, over and under-reaction, overconfidence, loss aversion, herding, mental accounting, and confirmation and hindsight bias. In light of the fact that consumption constitutes over 70% of the GDP in most countries, understanding what drives consumption patterns and behaviors is critical for banks and other financial institutions. To this, we will discuss fiscal, monetary, and other programs that can impact transitory income, and then study its impact on consumer behavior and consumption. This will help you learn about macro-economic implications of such policies, and the resulting impact on your business. Lastly, we will also give an academic cum practitioner’s tour of financial crises and scandals, and some of the key lessons learnt from them. Through this presentation, some Bloomberg live illustrations and our classroom discussion, we hope to gain a deeper understanding of how financial crises evolve, the role of individual, collective and institutional behaviors in causing and/or preventing them (i.e., if and how they can be), while gaining some real world perspectives on finance, tail risk management and compliance. The crises’ subsequent effects on financial markets, and what this means for the future of our industry, will also be addressed in an engaging and fast-paced discussion.

Part 1: Applied Portfolio and Risk Management
Lecturer: Prof Joseph Cherian
This course is a comprehensive summary of the real world examination of the quantitative, fundamental, behavioural, and model-based approaches utilized for performing securities valuation & investing in the financial industry. Major topics covered include Relative Valuation, building Multifactor Models, Liquidity Measurement & Detection, the basics of Behavioural Finance – particularly investor psychology, imperfections of the human mind, biases, etc., which can lead to financial, investment and other mistakes being committed across the board – Portfolio & Risk Management, Hedge Fund Analysis, Asset Allocation, Value Enhancement Strategies, and the design of optimal Retirement Finance solutions. Lectures will include hands-on lab projects using Bloomberg and MSCI Barra resources, interaction with practitioners from the industry, and real-life portfolio & risk management examples utilizing various financial applications & tools within a trading room setting. Last but not least, this module will also present the need for financial and investment executives to understand ethical business practices in the global economy. Using case studies and referencing current issues, we will explore the legal, fiduciary, risk management and philosophical foundations for restrictions on corruption, cronyism, money laundering, securities fraud, cyber security, and the importance of just not being compliant with the letter of the law, but being compliant with the spirit of the law as well. This course will also address the injection of social responsibility (ESG/SRI) into the investment process, which will include a discussion on climate change and carbon credits, SDGs, markets and trading.


WEEK 3

Bendheim Centre at Princeton University campus, New Jersey

Part 2: Special Topics in Investments
Lecturer: Prof Yacine Ait-Sahalia
This advanced portfolio and risk management “special topics” class will cover the following four topics:

  • Factor investing: emphasis on the theory behind the applications seen in the two earlier modules, how the theory interfaces with practice, “smart beta” and recent trends.
  • How financial crises and market crashes tend to occur, some of the key lessons learned from the recent US banking and Eurozone crises, some of the danger signs building in the Chinese financial system, and what specific portfolio strategies can be employed to mitigate their adverse effects. Students will gain a deeper understanding of how crises start and evolve, if and how they can be measured and prevented, while gaining some real world perspectives on finance.
  • How high frequency traders have changed financial markets, and their impact on the portfolio and execution strategies of asset managers and other financial markets participants, the impact of the rapid withdrawal of liquidity in adverse market conditions. The possible regulatory responses, some of which may be counterproductive in certain situations, will also be covered.
  • An introduction to some financial econometrics methodologies, including machine learning and other data science tools.

The course will involve a mix of theoretical modelling and empirical analysis, and will be taught at the Bendheim Center for Finance at Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.


WEEK 4

CAMRI Investment Management & Trading Lab, NUS Business School

Lecturers: Adjunct Profs James Cheng and Robert Lewis
The second part of this course seeks to highlight and provide the rigour and skills needed for stock selection using fundamental research with an emphasis on the Future Economy, and how certain qualitative skills are applied to portfolio management in the investments industry. This is done through completing an analysis on the intrinsic value of companies best positioned to prosper in the Future Economy.The third part of this course will focus on the challenges of valuation in the face of uncertain future outcomes. The course will look at past “Future Economies” (the infamous Internet and dotcom craze), and analyse strategies that investors have used in the past, and the challenges investors face trying to correctly price the Future Economy and its risks.

Lecturer: Prof Kim Sun Bae
Following the Global Financial Crisis, the economic environment has been changing dramatically while proactive central banks and regulators have had an unprecedented impact on the global marketplace as well as investment decision-making. This part of the course highlights some of the key changes unfolding in the macroeconomic and policy front, both globally and within Asia, which will dynamically shape the investment landscape over the near- to medium-term. Topics covered are always updated and current, they may include the prospects and risks of monetary policy “normalization” in the US; rebalancing in China and its implications for Asia and the rest of the world; and financial regulation post global financial crisis. The lectures will apply some of the tools and models of macroeconomics and international finance in framing these issues, particularly as they impact the investment landscape.

WEEK 5

CAMRI Investment Management & Trading Lab, NUS Business School

Lecturer: Adjunct Prof Ganesh Ramchandran
This course provides insights into interest rate, FX and credit markets and products from an industry insider’s perspective. The focus will be on valuation and risk management in “FIC”, with real-life examples from the banking and hedge fund world.The training will emphasize practical case study applications, including asset-liability management, cross-currency swaps, and an in-depth analysis of infamous derivative “accidents” in history, and possible measures to prevent their future reoccurrence. Pricing and valuation techniques will follow both qualitative or intuitive first principles-based techniques, as well as model-based ones such as the “Rates’ Zero Curve/ Term Structure” approach, Foreign Exchange Volatility Smiles, Credits – both the Merton structural and CDS/CDO reduced-form approach, and so on. You will also learn about the pitfalls of having an over-reliance on financial models. The course will also cover Asset Liability Management (ALM) with applications across pensions, insurance and asset managers, with worked out examples and case studies of interest rate and credit immunization, ALM as practiced in a Treasury context, viz. liquidity risk and stress testing, the tradeoffs between qualitative and quantitative ALM modelling, and Enterprise Risk Management, especially with respect to an integrated approach to risk and asset allocation. Last but not least, this course will provide insight into the world of hedge funds from an industry practitioner’s perspective. The wide spectrum of different hedge fund strategies will be presented with an emphasis on the investment/arbitrage opportunity and the risk management. Quantitative pricing models will be covered but in general the focus will be on learning simple and complex trading strategies in a non-technical intuitive manner using a “first principles” approach. Real-life “war stories” from the hedge fund and banking world will be used to supplement conventional text-book analysis.

Part 1: An Introduction to Financial Technology
Lecturers: Dr Emir Hrnjic, Professor Wang Tong & Professor Ben Charoenwong
The objective of this module is to impart a rigorous and in-depth introduction to all the key aspects of FinTech. Technological change is disrupting many aspects of the financial industry, with (by some estimates) close to 30% of traditional finance jobs at risk of elimination. However, introduction of new technology offers opportunities as well as risks. This course focuses on the business effects of technological change, rather than on the technological change itself. Aside from learning the theory, participants will actively participate in practical workshops to fully embrace and complement the teaching methodology which will emphasize an entrepreneurial spirit. An important component of the module is to introduce participants to coding with an assessed project, where participants will be grouped into small teams to create a FinTech application working in small teams. The course is targeted at students looking to advance their careers in the investments, banking and insurance sectors, in addition to experienced professionals in those fields looking to harness and grasp this exciting new field. Moreover, the hope is that given the current Future Economy environment we live in, students may be inspired to create their own start-ups within their working environment, thus creating internal and external disruptive
solutions.

WEEK 6

CAMRI Investment Management & Trading Lab, NUS Business School

Part 2: Machine Learning, Neural Nets and AI with Applications
Lecturers: Dr Emir Hrnjic, Professor Wang Tong & Professor Ben Charoenwong
Innovations in technology have improved operations at companies of all sizes, and helped turn startups into unicorns and global businesses. They have become key elements of our lifestyle, and have brought a high degree of disruption to virtually every area of business. The financial services industry is no exception; the digital revolution – and the savvy use of smartphones and handheld devices – is transforming the way customers access financial products and services, and success is driven by the ability to improve customer experiences and meet changing customer needs. Although the sector has been buffeted by change over recent years, the constant impact of technology applications in nearly every segment of financial services is something new. Technology is creating a new order within Financial Services — technological advances, regulatory pressures and the changing preferences of consumers and institutions, especially among the younger generation, have unleashed disruptive forces that are undermining the status quo in the financial services industry, which some in that industry have recognized and are taking action. At that confluence of finance and technology – and this threat of disruption – lies Fintech, which is the key driver of this staggeringly fast e-transformation. According to a recent Economist article, about $4.7 trillion worth of revenues – from payments to wealth management, from peer-to-peer lending to crowdfunding – are at risk of disruption from technology-driven firms, including startups. The industry’s challenge is to marry innovative technology and domain-knowledge expertise to: (a) solve bottlenecks and problems in financial services; (b) conduct it in an ESG-friendly way; and (c) ensure it is value-adding to all stakeholders.Through a combination of lectures, live case studies, guest CEO speakers, and classroom discussion, the course coverage will include:

  • New frontiers of information communications’ technologies (ICT) applications through innovative use of the fourth factor of production – information;
  • The technologies & financial innovations that have created the highest velocity of change in our industry, particularly in the investments arena. This will include an overview of
    the FinTech landscape;
  • Startups and unicorns in Financial Services, including the FinTech innovation successes (and failures) in Emerging Markets;
  • Distributed ledgers, Blockchains and Cryptocurrency (Bitcoins);
  • Thoughts on regulations.

Lecturer: Prof Veronica Eng
This course seeks to provide a basic framework of the Private Equity (PE) industry, expand on the principles of PE, with a particular focus on leveraged buyouts, and bring to life these principles through a “practitioners guide” to the subject by the illustration of several live case studies, guest CEO speakers, and panel discussions. It will cover the What, Why, When and How of the PE within the framework of real live cases with an emphasis in Asia, giving students the know how to identify an investment opportunity; gain experience in conducting PE research, deal sourcing, due diligence and investing techniques; perform valuation, financial assessment & investing techniques; learn about LP & GP fund structures, fund mandates, investment thesis, term sheets, and negotiation; on-going monitoring and most importantly the value creation phase of the investment; and finally, developing an exit strategy. Students will also gain practical experience, including linking together a variety of real world business issues with a common “Risk-Reward” framework for deals and situations by geography, sector, size, and deal type. Private Equity unlike Public Equity is about buying business rather than a stake in a listed company. Successful private equity investment requires a holistic and hands-on approach to understanding and managing a business, choosing and operationalising strategies, effecting changes and putting in place the right management team to lead the business to ultimately build a stronger and more valuable enterprise. Some of the most well-known names in our everyday lives have been Private Equity owned. It is now a mandatory and growing part of any asset allocation for fund managers globally. At the end of this course, students will have practical appreciation of how Private Equity creates value, which techniques are equally applicable in any business situations, especially in the fast evolving business environment.
Mathematics Refresher (Optional)

In partnership with:

Offered in partnership with ARPM – Advanced Risk and Portfolio Management, all registered participants are strongly encouraged to take the free online Mathematics Refresher during the in-residence/ virtual classroom break. This optional session, taken online at your own pace and time, provides the key mathematical foundations relevant to the ARPM Cluster.
Topics covered: Basic & Advanced Calculus, Linear Algebra, Statistics, Geometry of Random Variables and Fourier Transformations. Further details can be found on the ARPM website.
Non-Residence Weeks
120 Hours of Virtual Classroom* Sessions

*Interactive Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Participants also have the option to convene in Singapore, where the VLE sessions will be hosted, or a satellite facility in Hong Kong.

In partnership with:

Lead Lecturer: Dr. Attilio Meucci
Visiting Senior Research Fellow, CAMRI
Founder, ARPM – Advanced Risk and Portfolio Management

CAMRI and ARPM – Advanced Risk and Portfolio Management have established a special partnership to integrate a customized version of the ARPM Marathon curriculum into the EMIR programme. Over this period, students will cover the following four modules complete with intensive coding exercises via virtual classroom sessions:

  • Commencing with an introduction to the ARPM Lab environment, this module covers valuation techniques across various instruments and asset classes that are employed in the financial industry. These include:

    • company/ deal valuation used in investment banking and strategy consulting (discounted cash flows, comparable analysis),
    • non-linear actuarial pricing (distortion measures, risk premium arguments), and
    • standard methods for risk-neutral valuation of derivatives (Black-Scholes, martingales).

    As a thorough understanding of risk gains importance amongst asset owners, managers and regulators, participants examine the identification of risk drivers, exploring relationships between valuation, instrument-specific sensitivities or hedge ratios (i.e. the ‘greeks’) and different market risk factors. An in-depth discussion of projection techniques (Monte Carlo, analytical approximations) used to model the present value and the future investment horizon value of different instruments completes this module.

  • The largest of the four live virtual session modules, this component covers the statistical tools necessary to model and estimate the joint dynamics of financial markets. In contrast to related techniques used in computer science or engineering, this data science component is rooted in the pillars of quantitative statistics for finance, covering:

    • generalizations of linear factor models that underlie Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence models across finance,
    • estimation and calibration of the aforementioned models using classical and Bayesian econometrics,
    • backtesting and model/estimation risk in the context of decision theory, and
    • the translation of inferences derived through Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence into market view processing – namely distributional stress-testing for risk management and the related impact on portfolio construction.

     

  • A deep dive into two major aspects of risk management starts off the second half of the EMIR ARPM non-residence component, covering the following topics in a unified framework that spans the financial services industry (asset management, banking, insurance) for the management of both fund and enterprise risk:

    • financial aspects of risk management (risk aggregation, model risk, stress-testing, back testing, exposure computation, risk attribution, etc.), and
    • mathematical aspects of risk management (dependence, copulas, dispersion, etc.)

     

  • As in the previous module, this application covers the following topics in a unified framework that spans the financial services industry to address portfolio construction for funds (asset management) as well as business allocations for enterprises (banking and insurance):

    • financial aspects of portfolio management (risk-return trade-off, optimal execution, dynamic rebalancing, performance attribution, etc.)
    • mathematical aspects of portfolio management (optimization, views processing, etc.)

To find out more about the ARPM please click here. Students also have the option of convening in the primary host location at the CAMRI Lab, Singapore or a satellite venue in Hong Kong to attend these sessions.

The Non-Residences Weeks will be conducted on the selected dates according to the following schedule:

Saturday 9:00am – 5:45pm
Sunday 2:00pm – 5:45pm
Tuesday/Thursday 6:30pm – 9:15pm

 
EMIR NON-RESIDENCE SESSIONS (FEB – MAY 2020)

Please note that the EMIR programme calendar may be subject to change. The university reserves the right to vary the dates of the segments and sequence of the EMIR modules.

Requirements for Completion and Graduation

To graduate from our NUS EMIR programme, students must complete all 42 Modular Credits (MCs) of courses offered for the programme and achieve a Cumulative Average Point (CAP) of at least 3.0 (out of 5.0). To stay and complete the programme, you must maintain a CAP of at least 3.0. In the event that you are unable to maintain a CAP of 3.0 and above, the following scenarios may occur:

  • If your CAP is less than 3.0 but more than 2.5, you will receive an initial warning. This will lead to dismissal from the programme should your CAP remain below 3.0 for the third consecutive programme run
  • If your CAP is 2.5 or below for two consecutive runs, you will automatically be dropped from the programme

Kindly contact us for further details.