ICM138-Strategic Approaches to the Business of Finance

Module Provider: ICMA Centre
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Lisa Schopohl

Email: l.schopohl@icmacentre.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module enables students to develop a nuanced, advanced understanding of the topical challenges associated with the development of the financial sector including the evolution of complex structures, instruments, markets and enhanced consumer choice. It will then evaluate the challenges posed to regulators by changes to industry structure, business strategy and risk appetite. 



This module is for students studying MSc in Regulation and Compliance (Degree Apprenticeship) only. 


Aims:

This module aims to develop regulatory insights into overarching and strategic challenges that regulated financial entities are exposed to and examines the consequences that strategic developments in the financial services industry have for the financial regulator. 


Assessable learning outcomes:

This module is intended to develop students’ ability to demonstrate an advanced understanding of a business strategy and different strategic perspectives and approaches as well as the interplay between strategy and business models, particularly in the context of the financial services industry. By the end of this module students will also be able to engage with new or overarching developments in financial sector pra ctice and to reflect on the role that financial regulators should play in overseeing firm strategies. 


Additional outcomes:

Students will gain experience in handling case studies and in debating with their peers. 


Outline content:

In the wake of an everchanging political, economic and technological landscape, it has become increasingly clear that regulators must have an incisive and wide-ranging understanding of financial firms’ business models and their overarching strategic choices in the context of governance arrangements and the risk transmission mechanisms across the economy. There is also a need to develop regulatory foresight as the problems of the past are no t necessarily repeated in the same format in future crises although there are often common themes that may recur. This module enables students to develop a nuanced, advanced understanding of the topical challenges associated with the development of the financial sector and how actors in the finance industry respond to these strategic challenges. We will examine different strategic perspectives and approaches and how they translate into business models. Based on this conceptual basis, we will exp lore specific strategic challenges in respect of changes to industry structure, business strategy and risk appetite which together help to understand the complex sources of strategic change in the finance industry. We will also examine the consequences that strategic developments in the financial industry have for the financial regulator. 


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Taught content for this module will primarily be delivered through lectures and syndicated learning.  



For students on the MSc in Regulation and Compliance (Degree Apprenticeship), there will be 4 workshops of 8 hours (including a mix of lectures and seminars).  



Where appropriate materials and learning will also be shared through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that is intended to facilitate and aid your learni ng journey within the MSc Programme.  



Students are also encouraged to make extensive use of the facilities at the University of Reading library (Whiteknights campus) and the Academic Resource Centre (ARC) Online.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 27
Seminars 5
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 36
    Wider reading (directed) 17
    Advance preparation for classes 20
    Preparation for presentations 30
    Group study tasks 8
    Essay preparation 50
    Reflection 7
       
Total hours by term 0 0
       
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 80
Project output other than dissertation 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Group project and presentation, worth 20%, results to be presented during the last lecture (week 7 of spring term). 



Students will be allocated into groups of 3 to 4 and will be asked to develop a scenario plan for a particular strategic challenge of their choice. The scenario plan shall be informed by individual interviews that students conduct with subject experts. The students present their results of the group work to the class during the final lecture. The summative assessment will be in the form of a mark awarded to the entire group. 



 



Individual written assignment of a maximum of 3,000 words, worth 80%, due in week 10 of spring term. 



The assignment is an individual reflective essay on the student’s experience of designing a strategic plan relating to the chosen strategic challenge and the role of regulatory involvement in firm strategy. Students are asked to link their discussion to relevant academic literature and real-world examples as well as evidence based on their conducted interview. Students will have to submit a signed consent form for their interview together with the essay. 


Formative assessment methods:

Peer feedback on presentations. 


Penalties for late submission:

The following penalties will be applied for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.  



•  where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days; 



•  where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded. 



The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf 



You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work. 


Assessment requirements for a pass:
50% weighted average mark.

Reassessment arrangements:

Individual assignment to be submitted in August/September


Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 4 April 2020

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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