Rotman School of Management

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Course Descriptions

The curriculum at a glance

The Master of Financial Risk Management curriculum will allow you to master the complex issues involved in risk management and trading. All courses are developed with practitioner input.

Fall Semester

Financial Markets, Risk and Institutions

This course provides a discussion of the role of different financial institutions (commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies, mutual funds, and central banks) in the economy. It considers their basic business practices, the regulatory environment, and the risk management challenges they face.

Market Risk

This course deals with the way in which market risk is quantified and managed. It applies state-of-the-art risk measurement and risk management techniques, critically appraises commercially available risk management systems, explains the use of derivatives in risk management, and looks at ways speculative asset returns can be analyzed.

Operational Risk

It is now recognized that operational risk is as important, if not more important than, credit risk or market risk for a financial institution. This course will involve guest speakers who are experts in different aspects of operational risk. It will cover legal risk, compliance risk, cyber risk, internal fraud, external fraud, model risk and so on.

Regulation of Financial Institutions

This course traces the history of the regulation of banks and insurance companies. Students learn about the current regulatory environment and likely future developments. The course covers the lessons learned from the 2008 credit crisis and the way regulations have evolved since then.

Probabilistic Modeling for Risk-Informed Decisions

This Finance Lab-based course integrates theory and practice by using simulation cases and real-time data links to both a simulated market and to quotes from actual markets. This is a ‘learning-by-doing’ course which gives students practice in deriving effective strategies when faced with uncertainty and quantifiable risks.

Rotman Risk Management Project

A distinctive feature of MFRM is the integrated Risk Management Project undertaken in December and January where students consider a real risk management issue important to financial institutions. The project builds on material learned during the first semester and prepares students for the courses they will take during the second semester. Students are supervised by faculty, and obtain important input from meetings with risk management professionals. They present their findings to faculty and senior industry professionals at a downtown location in early February.

Spring Semester

Credit Risk

This course covers the fixed income securities market, default risk and securitization. It deals with the estimation of default probabilities (both from historical data and credit spreads) and explains the difference between physical and implied estimates. It explains the calculation of CVA, DVA and credit value at risk.

Derivative Models for Risk Management

This course considers the range of derivative products that exist in financial markets, how they are used, how they are valued, and how trading in the OTC market is changing. Students are required to take an introductory options and futures markets course prior to the start of the MFRM program. This course provides a more in-depth coverage of key issues.

Advanced Investments

This course focuses on theories and techniques that underlie the construction and management of optimal investment portfolios, emphasizing the risk-return tradeoffs that are appropriate for different types of investors. Students are required to have completed an introductory course in investments prior to the start of the MFRM program. This course deals with more advanced topics such as the Black-Litterman model.

Risk Management for Pension Funds and Insurance Companies

This course will discuss risks faced by insurance companies and pension plans. These financial institutions face risks on both sides of the balance sheet. The course will discuss the types of products that are offered by life, property, and casualty insurance companies, and the risk they entail. In particular, it will discuss longevity risk, natural disaster risk, and the use of reinsurance and derivatives to hedge risks. It will cover the risks faced by pension plans, especially defined benefit plans, and the asset management strategies that are appropriate.

Macroeconomics for Financial Risk Management Professionals

This course provides an applied background into macroeconomic issues that are relevant to finance professionals. To that end, rather than presenting a detailed macroeconomic framework, the course examines a series of interrelated topics, with a particular focus on the monetary and international economic context of financial sector developments.

Note: Curriculum is subject to change.

Curriculum overview

Faculty - Susan Christoffersen - Industry Connections

Susan is a Vice-Dean and an Associate Professor of Finance at Rotman