The course offers a first overview of the realm of financial communication through the lens of communication theory, exploring its multiple forms ranging from mass communication to private conversations.
Communication is crucial in finance mostly because it enables the diffusion of information that financial players, first of all investors, need to construct their evaluations and decisions. Listed companies depend on effective communications to communicate their value to stockholders, to other investors and to a variety of stakeholders. Public communications from listed companies to the markets, often referred to as “disclosures”, impact stock price and are highly regulated. Central banks use communication, e.g. in the form of press conferences, as one of the key instruments of monetary policy. Financial analysts function as information intermediaries between listed companies and investors by taking part both to public and private interactions, from “conference calls” to “roadshows”. Business and financial media, from newspapers to the social media, also function as “information intermediaries” disseminate financial communications from a variety of sources to a variety of publics involved in the financial markets, including individual retail investors. Financial intermediaries, such as banks and asset managers communicate both publicly and privately with their client-investors, in particular private investors. Here, communication becomes a key element in building trust and solid relationships that often encompass a variety of domains and interests beyond finance proper (e.g. ethical investment, philanthropy).
The communicative practices connected to transactions in the financial markets will be described using a discourse approach to communication theory.
Besides attending classes regularly, students will be expected to take part in a series of exercises, designed to help them practise their communicative skills in writing and speech. In particular, extended role-playing simulations of a private banking dialogue will be held. Course activities will amount to 30% of the grade, while 70% will be attributed through a final oral exam.
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