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Home » RSM2326H – How Banks Work: Management in a New Technological Age

RSM2326H – How Banks Work: Management in a New Technological Age

General Information


Applicable Major(s):
(c) = Core, (r) = Recommended

  • Risk Management and Financial Engineering (r)

Instructor Bio

Richard Nesbitt is chair of The Inclusion Initiative at the London School of Economics and is an Adjunct Professor of the Rotman School of Management,.  He is the former CEO of Global Risk Institute (retired 2019). Mr. Nesbitt was Chief Operating Officer, CIBC and CEO of CIBC World Markets until he retired from that position in September 2014. In this role, he was responsible for the global operations of Wholesale Banking, Technology and Operations, Strategy and Corporate Development, CIBC’s International Operations, including CIBC First Caribbean International Bank, and Treasury. Mr. Nesbitt joined CIBC in 2008 following his more than 20 years of experience in the securities industry. From 2004 to 2008 he was Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Stock Exchange having joined as President of TSX Markets in 2001.

Target Audience

This course is designed for students who intend to work in the financial services industry or in an industry that is closely aligned to financial services. Students will learn about the businesses of banks under new regulations that have been adopted since the 2008 Credit Crisis and how these have worked in the pandemic of 2020. The increasingly important factor of technological disruption will feature in most discussions on bank’s core businesses.  A discussion of how banks will compete with Fintech new entrants and the possibility of facing significant competition from Big Tech firms if they choose to enter the market.  Students will learn how banks make money across each of their main business lines, the key components of their business model and the impact of regulation today.   Senior subject matter experts in each class will allow students to meet multiple business leaders in person.


This course is being offered as an intensive in January 2022 over 10 sessions. Begins on January 3 and ifnal class on January 14, 2022.

Professor Nesbitt is returning from London where he works with the LSE to again offer this course for Rotman students.

Course Mission

The goal of this course is for the students to develop a real world understanding about managing a bank or other financial institution.  Today especially following the pandemic of 2020, we are in a world of trade-offs.  Customer and employee health versus returns to shareholders.  Investor protection versus investor choice. Investment in new technologies that may cannibalize existing business lines.  Competing against new competitors.  We will examine the trade-offs that go into management’s decisions in their major lines of business.  In order for a student to be an effective professional, including in their first role at a financial institution, it is crucial for her/him to understand how banks work in today’s intensively competitive environment. Students at the end of this course should have a clear contextual framework for understanding and discussing the financial landscape across the Canada, United States and United Kingdom as well as analyzing emerging trends and trade-offs between all stakeholders.

Course Scope

This course will be delivered in a unique format. All materials (where possible under copyright law) required for the course will be available on line through Rotman system.  Each session will be discussion and debate among the students and the professor around several questions posed based on the materials. A major feature of this course is that senior industry executives attend classes to provide you their perspectives.  This is a unique opportunity for students to interact with senior financial services executives and learn from their experience.  The following is the 18 list of expert guests.

Guest speaker bios from 2021 may be found here. The list of speakers may change in 2022.

Evaluation and Grade Distribution

ComponentDue DateWeight
Class ParticipationOngoing20%
Small Group PresentationVarious15%
Term PaperEnd of class sessions15%
Final Exam*24 hours following last class50%
*Open book take home exam. Answers to 5 questions based on class readings and sessions

Required Resources

The reading includes, book chapters, case studies, and articles. All provided on Rotman system.

A new book titled “The Technological Revolution in Financial Services” is to be published by University of Toronto Press in the summer of 2020.  Professor Nesbitt and Professor Michael King (University of Victoria) are co-authors and editors of this book.  The content will be used extensively in the course.

Last Updated: 2021-07-13 @ 9:25 am