The national context in which shareholder representation considerations are set is variable and important. The USA is a litigious society and shareholders use the law as a lever to pressure management teams. In Japan it is traditional for shareholders to be low in the 'pecking order,' which often allows management and labor to ignore the rights of the ultimate owners. Whereas US firms generally cater to shareholders, Japanese businesses generally exhibit a stakeholder mentality, in which they seek consensus amongst all interested parties (against a background of strong unions and labour legislation).
Managing a client’s investments has its challenges: Investment management isn’t a precise science, and often even the pros fail to accurately predict the market. Despite this, a client’s anger may be directed at their advisor in times of financial turmoil, especially if their portfolio takes a dive. The investment management industry is also facing new challenges from the rise of robo-advisors, which offer a less expensive alternative to traditional investment management.
In this Specialization, you will understand how investment strategies are designed to reach financial goals in a global context. You will learn the theory that underlies strong investment decisions, as well as practical, real-world skills that you can apply when discussing investment proposals with your advisor, managing your personal assets or your client’s investment portfolio. You will start by developing a global understanding of financial markets and what impacts rational and irrational behaviors have in finance at the micro and macro levels. You will then learn how to adequately build and manage a portfolio with a long-term view while gaining an appreciation for novel research advances in finance and related areas as well as future trends that are shaping the investment management industry. In the final Capstone Project, you will create a sensible 5-year investment plan that accounts for an investor's goals and constraints in a dynamic economic landscape. Key speakers from UBS, our corporate partner, will contribute to this specialization by providing you with practical insights they have gathered through years of experience working for the world’s largest wealth manager. Director of this Specialization and main teaching contributor: Dr. Michel Girardin, Lecturer in Macro-Finance, University of Geneva
Financial planners explicitly providing financial advice and managing money for clients are considered fiduciaries. This means they are legally obligated to act in the client’s best interests and they can’t personally benefit from the management of client assets. They are expected to manage these assets for the client’s benefit rather than their own. Fiduciary specifics can vary. For example, registered investment advisers (RIA) are fiduciaries under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. They are regulated by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) or state securities regulators.
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