The Department of Finance teaches into a number of specialist areas, to cater for the diverse interests of our students and researchers.

Capital markets and financial institutions

This area deals with the behaviour and decisions of banks and other financial institutions, such as managed funds, and includes the design of securities and other financial instruments. Capital markets include the stock market, the debt markets and other asset markets; while financial institutions include banks, investment banks, brokers and financiers.

Successful practitioners specialising in this area normally require a network of contacts, knowledge of legal and tax issues, and an understanding of finance theory and clients' needs in order to structure and implement a transaction.

Investments and financial planning

This area examines the pricing of securities and the process of combining securities into portfolios. There is an increasing demand for professionals who can give sound investment advice to both institutional investors (such as trustees of superannuation funds) as well as to individual investors (Personal Finance).

Their role may include alerting clients to, and advising them about, particular securities which they may want to buy or sell. Others will concentrate on examining the performance and prospects of particular companies and assessing the attractiveness of the securities they have issued.

Derivative securities such as options, futures and swaps, may be used for both hedging and speculative purposes. At the retail level, financial planners advise individuals on retirement planning and superannuation.

Corporate finance

This area examines the acquisition of funds and the efficient management of a companys financial resources, and is increasingly the hallmark of successful and profitable businesses.

One aspect of corporate finance involves capital raising: should the company borrow or raise money from its shareholders? How much? When? Another aspect of corporate finance is the best use of the companys money: does it need more equipment? More inventory? Less cash on hand? Perhaps a merger or takeover?

Real estate finance

Real estate is the largest asset class in the investment universe. It consists of everything from the single-family home to real estate-backed derivative products. This area looks at how to analyse investments in residential and commercial real estate.It examines the operation of the markets for owner-occupied and rental housing, the operation of markets for commercial space for retail, office and industrial uses and the mortgage market; as well as the specialised economic and financial principles needed for portfolio and investment decision-making for this diverse asset class.