Course 2009-2010 a.y.



Department of Finance

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31
CLEAM (6 credits - II sem. - AI) - CLES (6 credits - II sem. - AI) - CLEF (6 credits - II sem. - AI) - BIEM (6 credits - II sem. - AI) - CLEACC (6 credits - II sem. - AI)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Course Objectives

The course aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the alternative investment techniques available to private and institutional investors in a globalized market. In particular the course aims to add a new dimension to the construction and management of traditional investment portfolios by focusing on alternative asset classes, examining their benefits, and presenting them in detail within an academic and practical framework.
The emphasis will be on four major classes of alternative investments: Hedge Funds, Real Estate, Private Equity, and Art. Asset classes will be examined in terms of the following aspects: key characteristics, investment strategies, and portfolio consideration (risk/return profile and contribution to portfolio diversification).
The aforementioned objectives will be addressed in a series of formal lectures that will be supplemented by live deals in the form of case studies and guest speakers from the industry.

Course Content Summary

  • Alternative investments: definition and taxonomy
  • Hedge funds: investment strategies
  • Hedge funds: performance measurement and contribution to portfolio diversification
  • Real estate: investment strategies (CMBS, REITs, and other real estate vehicles)
  • Real estate: performance measurement and contribution to portfolio diversification
  • Private equity: investment strategies (venture capital and LBOs)
  • Private equity: performance measurement and contribution to portfolio diversification
  • Art investment: High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) and art advisory in the private banking industry; art funds and hedge funds investing in art
  • Art investment: performance measurement and contribution to portfolio diversification
  • The alternative investment industry: a synoptic view

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

Students can choose between two alternative options: a final general exam; two partial exams. General and partial exams are both written, in-class, closed book and closed notes and will cover all the topics taught during the course. Students who have passed the first partial exam can take the second partial exam in either the first or the second exam session.


  • Required readings will be downloadable at the Course Web Page.
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)


Students attending this course should be familiar with the concepts learnt in the following courses: Financial markets and institutions, Financial mathematics, Statistics.

Last change 17/04/2009 09:08