Specialization in International Finance

Finance and economics have always been essential components of HEC Paris’ DNA. Over the years, our Finance Majors have supplied leading international investment banks with their largest contingent of European graduates, all while irrigating the French and European economies beyond the boundaries of finance. HEC alumni have strong footholds in fields as diverse as strategic consulting, top management of industrial firms and public policymaking.

Specialization in International finance keay features

Key Features

The approach to this specialization is deeply rooted in the French tradition of strong analytics and theoretical grounding with courses taught by world class researchers, but also in “hands on“ knowledge with courses taught by top practitioners working for, or at the head, of international banks, corporations and consulting firms. This unique combination is at the heart of the attractiveness of HEC Paris graduates for international recruiters.

The curriculum has a strong analytical focus and is common with HEC’s MIF (MSc in International Finance), ranked #1 worldwide by the Financial Times. Both populations of students are grouped within the same promotion and have access to the same courses.

By choosing the International Finance Specialization, students will be able to build on the fundamental knowledge acquired during the M1 year in the field of finance, thanks to a wide range of core and elective courses.

Throughout M1, students get to know the general functioning of companies in all its dimensions: management, law, marketing, finance, etc. During the Specialization in Finance’s year, they will go in deep into the different components of the financial discipline, from financial instruments to ethics, including capital markets, financial engineering, and corporate finance.

Balance Between Theory and Practice

The number of hours spent in the classroom significantly exceeds the international standards. Around half of that time will be spent in front of researchers, teaching students state-of-the-art knowledge. The other half will be spent in front of top-notch practitioners. The latter is one of many ways in which the learning experience at HEC Paris is different.

A Strong and Cohesive Peer Group

Who your peers are matters: for the quality of your learning experience, for the perception by potential employers and for the value of your network after you graduate. This is why academic performance is at the top of our admission criteria. But academic performance is not enough: smart, ambitious individuals will underperform if they do not cooperate. Within this group of students from almost 30 nationalities (in 2014), we particularly emphasize team spirit and group cohesion.

A Core of Common Values

HEC Paris believes that a strong Finance program goes hand in hand with strong values. That is why HEC Paris wants its students to enrich their experience and vision with a social dimension, by providing:  

  • Ethics classes: in collaboration with the CFA Institute (the HEC MIF is a CFA partner program), we included an ethics seminar and an ethics class in our curriculum years before the crisis even started
  • Pedagogical engineering: HEC Paris has been at the forefront of pedagogical engineering on topics such as social business. HEC MIF students have guaranteed access to the HEC Paris Social Business Certificate during the May-June period.

Career Outlook

Between practical course work, networking events and specific career fairs, the International Finance Specialization paves the way to a successful career in finance or consulting from day one. With a highly time sensitive interview process, the first few weeks of class are dedicated to job market training classes, professional workshops with leading banks, as well as a study trip to London. This career oriented approach sets our curriculum apart and leads to a 100% employment success rate within the first 3 months of graduation in sectors such as Asset management, M&A, Private Equity, Strategic Consulting, Trading and Structuring in top firms worldwide.

The Curriculum

The International Finance Specialization’s curriculum aims to fulfill two objectives within a short period of time: lay the necessary foundations for any career in finance and provide in-depth knowledge in each student’s field of specialization.

Core Courses

  • Asset Management
  • Asset Pricing Theory
  • Corporate Finance
  • Corporate Finance Theory
  • Corporate Valuation
  • Derivatives
  • Empirical Methods for Finance
  • Ethics Seminar
  • Financial Engineering
  • Financial Modeling
  • Financial Regulation
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Fixed Income and Money Market
  • International Finance
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Probability and Statistics Refresher
  • Quantitative Asset Management
  • Security Markets
  • Soft Skills Seminar
  • Valuation Refresher.

Elective Courses

  • Advanced Asset Pricing
  • Advanced Financial Accounting
  • Advanced Topics in Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Alternative Investments
  • Behavioral Strategy
  • Bond Portfolio Management
  • Business Taxation
  • Capital Markets
  • Conduct of Debt Restructuring Transactions
  • Corporate Strategy and Financial Institution
  • Credit Crisis: Historical and Technical Analysis
  • Credit Risk
  • Economie et gestion bancaire
  • Energy and Finance
  • Energy Markets
  • Equity Capital Markets
  • Ethics: Financial Analysts and Portfolio Managers
  • Financial Dimensions of Strategic Decisions
  • Financial Engineering and Derivatives
  • Financements structures
  • Financial Modeling
  • Financial Solutions for Corporation
  • Financing Decisions of Firms
  • Fiscalité à l’usage des financiers
  • Fixed Income - Emerging Markets
  • FX Derivatives Trading
  • Infrastructure and Real Assets Private Equity
  • International Expansions Strategies
  • LBO Structuring and Modeling in Practice
  • Legal and Contractual Issues in Corporate Finance
  • Macroeconomics of Crisis Economics
  • Modeling Techniques for Financial Engineering
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Origination of Structured Products
  • Probability and Stochastic Processes
  • Quantitative Asset Management
  • Real estate foundations
  • Real Options
  • Stochastic Processes
  • Sustainable and Responsible Investing
  • Topics in Valuation
  • Treasury Management
  • Volatility Modeling.

10-15% of electives are renewed every year.

Professional Thesis

Students must write a professional thesis and fulfill a professional experience requirement in order to graduate. The professional thesis may either be written while on campus or during the internship under the joint supervision of a professional and an HEC faculty member. It constitutes an important component of the specialization in the International Finance learning experience. The objective of the thesis is to explore how cutting-edge research is being implemented in the daily practice of finance in a highly competitive environment.

London Study Trip

At the beginning of September, students have the opportunity to go on a study trip to London. The trip offers students plenty of networking opportunities, conferences and team building exercises. Many networking events are organized with HEC Alumni’s UK branch - one of the largest in the world, with numerous active members working in the City.

The 2015-2016 London study trip included company events with:

  • BNP Paribas
  • Société Générale
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Crédit Suisse
  • Barclays
  • Goldman Sachs.

See The MIF students take Canary Wharf by storm article.


Academic Team

Message from the Directors

The financial crisis has taught us many lessons. Now more than ever, finance is a field which requires passion and commitment, but also strong ethics and advanced technical skills. If you are looking at our program, there is a fair chance that you have a first training in either finance (business track) or math, economics, physics or engineering (accelerated track) and are now looking to acquire the extra set of skills that will provide a pathway to a successful career in finance. Many high-quality programs exist in Europe, so you are debating which one to choose.

Finance and economics have always been essential components of HEC Paris’ DNA. Over the years, the MIF (MSc in International Finance) and the “Finance Major“ of our Master in Management have supplied major international investment banks with their largest contingent of European graduates. They also irrigated the French and European economies beyond the boundaries of Finance: our alumni have a strong toehold in fields as diverse as strategic consulting, top management of industrial firms or public policy making.

There are many ways in which education at HEC Paris is different. Our approach is deeply rooted in the French tradition of strong analytics. We are looking for candidates who are strong quantitatively and we do our best to challenge them during the program. Another feature is our obsession with “tailor designing“ our programs to our students. The two different tracks, business and accelerated, allow us to leverage on pre-existing skills and knowledge to design the curriculum in a way that would be impossible in a “one size fits all“ regime. Finally, we believe in giving our students not only strong theoretical grounding with courses taught by world class researchers, but also “hands-on“ knowledge with courses taught by top practitioners working for, or at the head of, international banks, corporations and consulting firms. This unique combination is at the heart of the attractiveness of HEC Paris graduates for international recruiters.

As we write this message, we have just finished recruiting students for the Class of 2016. We must say that we are quite excited by the profiles of the men and women that we met throughout the year, coming from all five continents. We have been deeply impressed by their academic, personal and often even professional achievements. We are proud that they chose HEC Paris as the next step in their successful career.

We hope that you will want to come and join them: we are looking forward to meeting you soon! »

Alexei Ovtchinnikov, HEC Paris MSc International Finance program director

Olivier Bossard, Afiliate Professor of Finance and Executive Director of MSc Interantional Finance HEC Paris

Alexei Ovtchinnikov, 
Associate Professor of Finance
and Academic Director

 

Olivier Bossard,
Affiliate Professor of Finance
and Executive Director

See the article "Leading HEC Paris Master in International Finance to new heights", an interview with Jacques Olivier, former MIF program director, Alexei Ovtchinnikov, new Academic Director and Ferdinand Petra, professor.

Program Faculty

The quality of education is driven by the quality of professors. A distinguishing feature of education at HEC Paris is that half of course work is taught by researchers who are worldwide leading experts in their field and the other half by practitioners. More information about the HEC Finance Department.

  • A. Ovtchinnikov, Associate Professor and Academic Director (see his interview)
  • O. Bossard, Affiliate Professor and Executive Director
  • B. Allaz, Professor
  • A. Apffel (HEC 1991), founder and Managing Director, Perennium (see his interview)
  • S. Bedrossian, Investment Director, Bpifrance
  • A. Benos, Director, Group Risk Control and Architecture, National Bank of Greece
  • J-C. Bertrand, Head of Multi Asset, HSBC Global Asset Management
  • V. Capkun, Associate Professor
  • F. Ceddaha, Affiliate Professor
  • N. Columelli, Consultante, Finance Training
  • T. Foucault, Professor (see his interview)
  • A. T. Goh, Associate Professor
  • U. Hege, Professor (see his interview)
  • L. Henry, Head of Foreign Exchange Structuring Paris
  • P. Legland, Global Head of Research and a member of the Global Executive Committee, Société Générale (see his interview)
  • O. Levyne, Director, CA-CIB (M&A)
  • N. Naillon, Vice President, Healthcare team, Deutsche Bank
  • J. Olivier, Professor (see his interview)
  • F. Petra, Affiliate Professor (see his interview)
  • P. Quiry, Affiliate Professor
  • I. Rosu, Associate Professor
  • ...