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Foundations of Finance


Find strength through numbers.

In today’s hyper-connected business world, understanding financial and accounting issues are key for career progression in any sector. Get to grips with the fundamentals of both finance and accounting on a global scale in the finance capital of the world at Imperial London. This immersive five day programme equips managers with no formal financial training with the ability to critically analyse finance and accounting practice and make sound business decisions.

Our experienced Finance professors will help you and your international peers to speak the language of global business and develop the skills to intelligently use financial information and key metrics for commercial and career advantage. You’ll gain an understanding of the link between operating decisions and financial results and acquire a managerial accounting foundation.

This Finance course in London will develop in you the highly prized ability to think critically and make autonomous decisions for commercial success. You will feel confident in using the language and methods of finance. Your organisation could benefit from greater efficiencies and profitability. A great investment in any language.

Who should attend?

Those from any discipline seeking a firm foundation in global finance and accounting such as mid-level, non-finance managers. No previous financial education is required

Learning Outcomes

  • Understanding how to read and interpret a company’s financial statements
  • Using this information to make sound business decisions
  • How can operating decisions be used to improve financial results?
  • How can financial decisions achieve the same end?
  • How can strategy and finance be combined to create value for shareholders?

Programme content

Programme Introduction and Overview

Using Financial Information Intelligently
This session will focus on understanding how accounting numbers come from operating decisions. It will develop an understanding of accounting rules. It will show how to analyse the Income Statement and the Balance Sheet. It will use Diageo as an example.

Refreshment break

Analysing the Statement of Cash Flows
This session will demonstrate the Statement of Cash Flows and show how it is related to the Income Statement and the Balance Sheet. It will focus on the importance of cash and how to better manage cash flow. The session will continue to focus on Diageo as an example.

Group Photo followed by Lunch

Measures of Business Performance
This session will show how the DuPont System can be used to take the numbers from financial statements and systematically measure and understand the profitability of companies. It will show how finance and strategy can be integrated to build value in a business.

Refreshment break

Applying the DuPont System
This session will analyse the performance of Diageo and benchmark against other outstanding companies. The session will focus on Diageo’s profitability and value creation.


Using Discounted Cash Flow
This session will explain why discounted cash flow (DCF) is such a popular method which is used by companies all over the world to allocate resources and choose among investment alternatives. The session will explain how Net Present Value (NPV) is used to select investments that are most likely to build value in companies.

Refreshment Break

Discounted Cash Flow Applications
The most important part of a DCF analysis is the derivation of the correct cash flows. This comes from an understanding of how the investment will affect the future of the business. This session will focus on how to derive free cash flow by understanding how the investment will be executed and the strategy of the company. The session will compare NPV with alternative metrics for investment decision making such as Internal Rate of Return (IRR).


Group Discussion: Airbus Case

Airbus Case
This session will analyse the decision to invest $13 Billion in R&D and capacity in the A380. The decision will be analysed from a strategic point of view and from a financial point of view. The potential future cash flows from the market for the product will be explored and the competitive response from Boeing will be discussed.

Refreshment Break

Airbus Case (continued)


Financial Strategy and Capital Structure
This session will deal with the financial strategies of companies. The emphasis will be on the optimal way to finance a business and why that is different depending on the company’s industry, maturity and growth opportunities. The “trade-off” theory of capital structure which involves having an understanding of the influence of taxes and risk on financing decisions, will be explained.

Refreshment Break

Financial Strategy (continued)
This session will focus on additional factors influencing financing decisions such as future growth opportunities and over and under valuation of companies.


Current Global Financial Situation
In this session, Professor Allen will give his expert perspective of the current global financial situation in Europe, Asia and the USA.

Refreshment Break

Group Discussion: Diageo

Carbon Capture Lab

Programme Drinks


Mergers and Acquisitions
This session will focus on strategic reasons why M&A may be an attractive growth strategy compared to organic growth. The session will deal with alternative types of mergers and when one might be preferred over another.

Refreshment break

Mergers and Acquisitions (continued)
This session will focus on how to value and acquisition candidate. The session will discuss how to identify and value synergies than can result from combining the right two businesses together.


Diageo Case
This case involves the process by which Diageo take the trade-off theory of capital structure and operationalizes it in order to choose an optimal structure for the firm. The session will discuss why Diageo’s optimal capital structure may be different from other companies. The session will discuss alternative approaches that Diageo might have used.

Refreshment break

Group Discussion: USX

This session involves the attempts of a multi-division company to integrate finance and strategy. The CEO attempts to deal with difficult issues such as diversification vs. focus, choosing appropriate metrics, allocating resources, measuring cost of capital and the best ways to deal with risk. The issues are made particularly complicated because of the global nature of the company. The case focus on how USX deals with measuring the performance of individual segments of the company and the possibility to spin of one of its divisions.

Refreshment break

USX (continued)

Group Discussion: Emerson Electric


Value Creation
This session will integrate the week’s subjects by focusing on how the world’s top performing companies use financial information intelligently to formulate and execute strategies designed to achieve their financial objectives. The session will focus on the importance of non-financial managers in that process. The session will include a small group exercise designed to allow participants to apply the lessons of the week.

Refreshment break

Value Creation (continued)
This session will analyse data for companies in many businesses, from all over the world and identify those companies who achieve long term value creation and how those companies differ from less successful companies.


Emerson Electric Case
Emerson Electric is a company that has developed a management system that is focused on the importance of non-financial managers understanding how their decisions affect the company’s financial results. This session will discuss how that has led to superior financial performance for more than 50 years.

Programme Wrap Up

Contact us

jose caeiro do rosario

José Rosário

Director of Business Development

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 3772


Programme key info

5 days
Imperial College Business School

Only at Imperial

At Imperial, immersive experiences create more intelligent businesses with learning that goes way beyond the classroom. Unique to Imperial, Impact Lab™ is provocative, interactive and designed to test you in unfamiliar environments and scenarios – like the Performance Simulator (in partnership with the Royal College of Music) where you will develop your financial communication skills in front of a demanding virtual audience.

Read more about the Performance Simulator

What people are saying

It’s a great course - not only for myself - but I am going to recommend it to my employees also

Saad AliVP & Group General Manager, Ruskin Titus Gulf LLC

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