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Home » Course Catalogue » MBA Electives » RSM2321H – Special Topics in Finance: Fintech

RSM2321H – Special Topics in Finance: Fintech

General Information


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Applicable Emphases:
(m) = Main, (s) = Supplemental

  • TBD

Instructor Bio

Professor Xu is an incoming faculty who will join the Rotman School of Management in January 2023. He has been an Assistant Professor of Finance at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia since 2017. At Darden, he teaches FinTech and Financial Management to MBAs and EMBAs using case method. Professor Xu conducts research in entrepreneurial finance, fintech, and corporate finance. His research has been published in top academic journals and has been featured in leading media outlets such BBC, Bloomberg, and NPR, etc. His research has been presented in front of regulators such as the US Securities Exchange Commission and the US Department of Health and Human Services. He holds a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of British Columbia and a MA in Economics from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Target Audience

This course will directly benefit students considering technology careers, including careers in both startups and established firms, as well as those considering careers in the financial sector, such as fintech, investment banking, venture capital, private equity. The course will also be valuable to students considering joining regulatory bodies, non-profits, and legal advisory services.


12 weekly sessions

Course Mission

FinTech, the application of information technology to finance, is rapidly changing the landscape of financial services. The purpose of this course is two-fold 1) to provide knowledge and skills needed to understand the mechanisms behind various FinTech innovations, 2) to prepare you for careers in the technology space, particularly those focused on financial services. The course is geared towards management students and does not require engineering or computer science knowledge; the focus is on finance concepts, economic intuitions, the institutions, and social and regulatory implications.

Course Scope

The course will be mainly qualitative, with emphasis on economic insights. Topics covered include digital banking, payment, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, DeFi, crowdfunding, and robo-advising. An emphasis will be placed on new technologies such as blockchain, cryptography, big data, AI, and algorithms. We will introduce concepts from economics, such as network effects, economy of scale, information asymmetry, disintermediation, and decentralization. We will also draw knowledge from strategy, law, marketing, and computer science. You will gain experience in analyzing real world companies and pitching new FinTech business ideas. Finally, we will discuss the social implications of FinTech in terms of regulation, inclusion, and consumer welfare.

Evaluation and Grade Distribution

ComponentDue DateWeight
Class ParticipationOngoing20%
Case Write-UpWeek 730%
Final PaperDuring Exam Week35%

Required Resources

  • There are no required textbooks for this course
  • Recommended:  Brett King, Bank 4.0: Banking Everywhere, Never at a Bank, John Wiley & Sons, 2018.
    Campbell R. Harvey, Ashwin Ramachandran, and Joey Santoro, DeFi and the Future of Finance, John Wiley & Sons, 2021.

Last Updated: 2022-10-03 @ 1:42 pm