Corporate Financial Policy & Strategy Course

Advanced issues in corporate investment decisions, dividend and debt policy, corporate restructuring, risk management, and corporate governance.

Video Transcript

Hi, welcome to this corporate finance course. It’s a course that I hope you will find very useful and enjoyable as we work our way through this particular semester. You’re going to learn a lot about financial policy and strategy as we go through this. In a particular, view this as the decision-making processes that CFOs undertake during their tenure in that position. I want to tell you a little bit about my background before we describe some of the key features that would be involved in you being successful in this course. My name is Tom Barkley. I’ve been at Syracuse University since 2007, but I’ve had a very broad background. I was born and raised in Brazil and South America and grew up speaking another language, Portuguese, as well as English. But I was educated in the United Kingdom and went to university in London, Imperial College, in case any of you are interested in or have been there. After my degree in mathematics that I got from Imperial, I decided that I really wanted to do something that put mathematics to good use, so I worked for a bank for about a year and a half. That was useful because it taught me a lot about how businesses operate, and you’ll see that as we go through this course, understanding the operation of a business is essential.

I decided, however, that I didn’t get enough of my favorite topic, which was mathematics, so I ended up being a schoolteacher for a period of time and worked in, of all places, the Bahamas, a great place. People asked me why I left, and sometimes I scratch my head and wonder myself, but after being there for several years in the Bahamas, I found that I really wanted to use my math skills again and try to apply them in business one more time. I decided to do a master’s in business administration, and I got that from Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management in Arizona. My first job when I left Thunderbird was working for a large Fortune 500 Company. At the time, it was number seven on the Fortune 500 List. You may have heard of it; it’s place called Enron. Oh, wait, they’re not around anymore, but I did have a good time while I was there. It lasted, my experience, for about a year, and when I left Enron, it was mainly because the company had gone bankrupt, and I decided to pursue even more education— get my PhD in finance—which I did in Florida. Well, moving on, from Florida, I came to Syracuse, and I’ve really enjoyed my time as a professor. It’s kind of combined my knowledge of business with my knowledge of teaching and my passion for teaching students. I really love to see the light bulbs go off and so whether we’re talking informally through one of our live sessions or doing anything else. When we meet in person, I want to see that click that happens when you understand some of the concepts we’re going to be going through.

So, what does it take to be successful in this course? Well, make sure you do the readings. The readings are important, and they will help to provide the background to the lectures as you listen to them. I also encourage you to do all of the assignments that are outlined in the syllabus, whether it’s online assignments, written assignments, or as you’re practicing for a final exam. I wish you success no matter what you’re doing, whether you’re taking part in this course or as you’re going forward on in life and in your career. May it all work out for the best.