UNIGE launches a doctorate of advanced professional studies, Press release - Geneva | September 25th, 2018

Doctorate of Advanced Professional Studies in Applied Finance

A brand new professional doctorate degree has been created in 2017 within the University of Geneva, the first of its kind in Switzerland ; the “Doctorate of Advanced Professional Studies in Applied Finance” provides academic excellence to train the wealth management professionals of tomorrow

The Degree

  • A unique high-level professional doctoral degree that specializes in Wealth Management
  • Offered by the the University of Geneva
  • Combining theoretical and applied knowledge in finance
  • Three year part-time program
  • Ten courses, bilingual English-Chinese
  • A professional doctoral thesis in Wealth Management

For further information please contact : executive-education@giwm.ch

Academic Partners

GIWM – Geneva Institute for Wealth Management

A non-profit foundation created by the University of Geneva and the foundation Geneva Financial Center dedicated to promote international collaboration in executive education and research in the field of Wealth Management between the University of Geneva and other international academic partners.

Leading banks and financial institutions in Geneva, the Swiss capital of Wealth Management


The “Doctorate of Advanced Professional Studies in Applied Finance” is a three-year high-level executive program consisting of ten courses taught by renown professors and professionals in finance and law.

The aim of the program is to train entrepreneurs, investors and senior managers in analyzing, anticipating and conducting scientifically applied research in the field of asset management.
The program is organized into 10 thematic modules (50 ECTS credits), 1 methodological module (5 ECTS credits) and a thesis in applied research (25 ECTS credits).

This program is built on individual experience and collective exchange between participants and the contributions of recognized professors and professional speakers. It allows students to transfer in real time in their professional environment the conceptual and methodological knowledge acquired and the skills developed in their applied research.

The structure :

  • Global Capital Markets & Financial Institutions
  • Global Asset Allocation and Management
  • Applied Qualitative Research in Behavioral Finance
  • Risk Management in Private Banking
  • Investment Strategies and Assessment
  • Alternative Investments (Private Equity, Real Estate Hedge Funds)
  • High Technology Venture Capital
  • Data Analysis Methods & Advanced Modeling in Finance
  • Legal and Tax Issues in Wealth Management
  • Wealth Management in Practice and Geneva Study Tour
  • Dissertation

We offer an immersion into the Private Banking world with a Geneva Study Tour of one week that combines lectures in Private Banking with visits of some of the most prestigious financial institutions located in Geneva such as BCGE, HBS, Julius Baer, Lombard Odier, Mirabaud, PWC, UBS, and 1875 Finance as well as opportunities to network with Swiss financial professionals.

Prospective graduates will benefit from a solid knowledge in the fields of financial markets, international portfolio management, risk management, quantitative and qualitative methods of finance, along with analysis and modeling methods that will enable them to meet the challenges faced by companies in an increasingly uncertain and globalized environment.

Audience :
Entrepreneurs, wealth managers, portfolio managers, asset managers, lawyers, fund managers, relationship managers, economic researchers, insurance consultants, product developers, wealth and estate planners, trust and estate practitioners and other professionals working in the field of finance or in a related field and occupying senior positions of responsibility


Selected course syllabi

Global Asset Allocation and Management

Prof. Tony Berrada and Prof. Ines Chaieb

The objective of this course is to understand the process of portfolio construction and acquire skills to implement these processes. As globalization is a major trend affecting the asset management industry, we will also discuss international diversification of portfolios and currency hedging. Should investors invest globally? What would happen if all investors diversified their portfolios internationally? Do investors actually invest globally? Are there special diversification opportunities for international investors for example from investing in partially integrated markets such as emerging financial markets?
Traditional asset management focuses on equities and fixed income. In this course, we will also discuss currencies as an asset class and explore carry trade strategies.

Risk Management in Private Banking

Dr. Michel Crouhy, Prof. Dan Galai, Prof. Olivier Scaillet, Prof. Fabio Trojani

The objective of this course is to provide an overall presentation of best practice and acquire key data-analytic tools for risk management. In a first step, the course discusses Risk Management in Private Banking in light of what has been learned from past disasters such as Orange County and Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM) as well as the subprime and sovereign debt crises. We present the typology of risk types and the various potential exposures of companies to types of uncertainties, for both financial as well as non-financial corporations whose debt and equity constitute the main assets of investment portfolios. We address wealth management, corporate governance issues, liquidity risk in periods of market turmoil and, finally, financing and risk management issues specific to start-up.

In a second step, the course emphasizes risk-modelling tools used in the industry to monitor risks both at the bank level and at the client level in wealth management. A crucial theme is the modelling and measuring of the dependence among risks. Using an intuitive teaching approach with interactive training sessions based on case studies solved through a web platform allowing for online data analysis, we explain key data-analytic tools for risk management in a non-technical way and we demonstrate their application in selected real-data problems.

Wealth Management in practice: course outline

Dr. Michel Girardin

The objective of this course is to know how to define an investment policy based on the clients’ needs and objectives and, thanks to on-site visits and practical illustration, to be introduced to how Wealth Management is carried out in the Swiss Private Banking industry, with special emphasis on the New trends such as Impact Investing, Robo-advisors and Behavioral / Neuro-finance.

Specifically, we will address the goals of private clients (High and Ultra-High Net Worth Individuals) and see how they may differ from those of institutional clients (Corporate firms and Pension Funds). Once we define the optimal strategic asset allocation, and provide a toolkit on the best measures of investments’ risk-adjusted returns which enable the portfolios’ performance analysis and attribution.

Data Analysis and Advanced Modeling for Finance

Prof. Olivier Scaillet, Prof. Fabio Trojani

The objective of this course is to understand the underlying instruments and the application of various quantitative investment strategies, which are consistently used by modern professional investors to optimize the risk-return trade of in wealth management. We introduce important data-analytic tools for measuring existing risk-return trade-offs in financial markets. We adopt an intuitive teaching approach supported by interactive training sessions on a web platform. In this way, we explain the properties of key data-analytic tools for portfolio management in a non-technical way, and we demonstrate their practical relevance in selected real-data problems.

The first part of the course introduces important types of financial data structures and their properties. In the second part of the course, we focus on different linear models, highlighting return predictability structures that might be difficult to detect in periods of distressed financial markets, the identification of "smart" risk-premium components in cross-sections of assets, and the joint return dynamics of bond of different maturities. The third part addresses the measurement, the modeling and the prediction of time-varying financial risks. The fourth part of the course focuses on practically relevant nonparametric methods to characterize the joint randomness of returns and volatilities and to uncover potentially nonlinear predictability structures for returns.

Alternative Investments

Prof. Rajna Gibson Brandon, Prof. Harald Hau, Prof. Martin Hoesli, Prof. Philipp Krueger

The objective of this course is to present the main characteristics, valuation and performance attributes of three important categories of alternative investments, namely hedge funds, private equity and sustainable investments.

The first part presents the main strategies used by hedge funds, analyze their risk-return trade-offs and assess their ability to generate positive performance (alpha). The course will draw on the most recent academic research on hedge funds and its relation to industry practice. Additionally, some empirical case studies conducted by the students will help them to get familiar with this specific type of alternative investments. The second part will discuss how and when private equity investors can create shareholder value by restructuring and reorganization for both profitable and distressed corporations. The emphasis will be on understanding the source of value creation or value transfer for the private equity firm. Finally, the course will explore how sustainability issues are incorporated into traditional investment management and how sustainability relates to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. Students will also be exposed to recent product innovations and carry out an empirical case study learning how sustainability data can be used in portfolio construction.

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