"Solid financial theory and practical examples to carry with you, either professionally or individually."
First Vice President,
Strategic Decision Support
ABN AMRO Bank, The Netherlands

Foundations of Finance
Your successful career in finance starts here!

Advance your career in finance with Foundations of Finance.

A compact and intensive blended learning program, Foundations of Finance delivers a solid foundation of financial insight and understanding for every professional whose work is (or will be) related to finance but lacks the necessary finance knowledge.

By attending this program you will learn the main principles underlying corporate finance, and gain practical experience with real-world applications through case studies and spreadsheet exercises. 
In a short amount of time, you will have acquired the tools to make financial decisions in various situations and be able to help create value for your company. You will also have the unique opportunity to be introduced to the latest concepts in Sustainable Finance.

  Topics covered in the program

  • Financial analysis
  • Valuation and key value drivers
  • Capital structure decisions
  • Equity financing and transactions
  • Risk management
  • Sustainable Finance

Key benefits

  • Learn  to identify and forecast the key drivers of a company’s (or project’s) future cash flows and risks, with the ultimate goal of making value-enhancing financial decisions
  • Gain a broad set of skills to succeed in equity valuation, investments, and in acquisitions
  • Deepen your knowledge of risk management and learn how to manage financial and non-financial risks
  • Understand how valuation and value creation can be affected by corporate sustainability and by behavioral biases in managers’ decision making

Foundations of Finance is taught using a blended learning approach – combining traditional classroom teaching with web-based learning and reducing time spent away from the office and home.

75% of the program will be taught in a face-to-face classroom setting, with an additional 25% being incorporated in web-based learning materials. The majority of this web-based learning will be completed as preparation for the face-to-face classroom time, ensuring all participants come together with the same pre-requisite knowledge about financial concepts.


Online Learning - Preparation for face-to-face classes

Participants will be given access to online learning materials covering prerequisite knowledge about finance concepts, including:

  • Discounting and the concept of present value
  • Financial calculus (e.g., standard deviation and correlation)
  • Basic spreadsheet functions for financial calculus
  • Basics of financial statements
  • Understanding and interpreting of accounting information contained in financial statements

Day 1
Discussion of Learnings from Online Sessions

Introduction to Value Creation and Understanding Value Drivers

  • Performance analysis and understanding key value drivers
  • Assessing liquidity and working capital management
  • Determining and forecasting future free cash flow
  • Capital budgeting: net present value and other criteria
  • Practical problem: data from a real company

Day 2
Risk and the Cost of Capital

  • The cost of equity capital and the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)
  • Other ways to determine cost of equity
  • Assessing credit risk and the cost of debt
  • Credit ratings and the credit rating process
  • The cost of capital and WACC
  • Learning by doing: estimating the cost of capital with real data


Day 3
Valuing Companies using Key Value-Drivers

  • Multiples-based valuation
  • Projecting Free Cash Flow (FCF)
  • Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) approaches to valuation
  • DCF in practice: valuing a company
  • Sensitivity and scenario analyses: what do we learn about key value drivers?


Day 4
Corporate Finance and Financial Management

  • Dividends a firm value
  • Leverage, WACC, and firm value
  • Taxes and leverage
  • Managing financial distress
  • The role of corporate governance
  • Raising capital and equity dilution
  • Asymmetric information and capital structure
  • Market timing


Day 5
Risk Management

  • Risk management essentials
  • The benefits of risk management
  • Types of risk: currency risk, credit risk, etc.
  • Introduction to risk management tools: Futures, Forwards, Swaps, Options


Day 6
Sustainable Finance

  • What is corporate sustainability and what are “ESG” factors”?
  • How to benchmark corporate sustainability
  • Do ESG factors affect key value drivers, such as profit and cost of capital?
  • Does the financial capital market reward firms with high sustainability ratings?

Note: As Day 6 takes place on a Saturday the program will finish earlier (in the mid-afternoon)

Who should attend

Typical Foundations of Finance participants  are ambitious professionals in banking, investment or corporate finance environments who require a solid foundation on which to build, or continue building, a successful career in finance. Professionals in other fields, with an interest or need to understand the principles of finance, will also greatly benefit from this program. Foundations of Finance can be used as a stepping stone to more advanced AIF courses.

Previous participants have come from banks, consultancies, law firms, public sector organizations and private sector companies. Their job titles included: Advisors, Analysts, Business Managers, Compliance Officers, Consultants, Directors, General Counsel, Lawyers and Managers.


Recent Foundations of Finance participants have come from companies such as:

ABN AMRO Bank Achmea Allen & Overy Blue Sky Group
Capital Market Authority De Nederlandsche Bank Delta Lloyd Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev & Partners
Essent Gulf One Investment Bank HAL Investments Het Financieele Dagblad
ING Bank Kempen & Co. Maritime Bank McKinsey & Company
Nestlé Oranje-Nassau Energie Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund Philips
Rabobank Santander Securities SNS Bank US Agency for International Development (USAID)


The countries they came from include:

Bahrain, Brazil, Brazil, India, Netherlands Antilles, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland, The Netherlands, U.S.A. and Zambia


An academic background or sufficient professional experience is necessary to participate in the program. Participants are required to have experience in Excel as this will be used during the program in casework and in the application of financial principles (advanced techniques, where necessary, will be explained during the program).

Paolo Fulghieri 

Paolo FulghieriPaolo Fulghieri is Professor of Finance at the Kenan-Flagler Business School of the University of North Carolina, USA. Between 1995 and 2002 he taught Corporate Finance in the MBA and several Executive Education programs at INSEAD, France, where he has been Dean of the PhD Program. Paolo holds a Dottore in Discipline Economiche e Sociali from Università Commerciale "Luigi Bocconi" in Milan, Italy and PhD in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.

Jeroen Derwall 

Jeroen_DerwallJeroen Derwall is a financial economist and is Associate Professor of Finance at the Open University, and Maastricht University in the Netherlands. He is also co-founder of the European Centre for Corporate Engagement (ECCE). Jeroen has a PhD in Financial Management from RSM Erasmus University.


Amsterdam Institute of Finance is registered with CFA Institute as an Approved Provider of continuing education programs. This program is eligible for 40 CE credit hours as granted by CFA Institute. If you are a CFA Institute member, CE credit for your attendance at this event will be automatically recorded in your CE Diary.

CFA Institute_CE Qualified Activity


Dates & fees
26 June - 1 July 2017 € 6,500

Program fee includes all study materials, books and software that are required for the program as well as daily luncheons.
Program fee is exempt from VAT for clients located in the Netherlands. For other EU and Non-EU clients, VAT may be due by client and will not be charged by AIF. Fees may be subject to change.

100% of the attendees in the June 2016 session would recommend the Foundations of Finance program to their colleagues.



"Great overview of basic concepts of finance."
Egeria Capital Management
The Netherlands

"It is a very interactive program, engaging though case studies and calculations. It gives a real life experience of being an analyst as opposed to only theoretical explanation."
Business Analyst
The Netherlands

"An excellent program and great professors."
Investment Broker Assistant
Santander Securities
Puerto Rico


"Solid financial theory and practical examples to carry with you, either professionally or individually."
First Vice President, Strategic Decision Support
The Netherlands


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