An international corporate financial management game

Areas: International Financial Management

Authors: H. Lee Remmers, Emeritus Professor

Minimum time required: 2½ days

Distribution Contact:
Professor H. Lee Remmers
Tel: (33) (0)1
FORAD is a computer-based learning experience designed to help corporate executives and bankers better understand what it takes to manage the financial position of a multinational industrial corporation. It is based on the issues and challenges which confront such a company operating in today's international markets.

Up to ten company-teams can take part in FORAD. Each company is managed by a small group of two to five participants who assume the role of the finance department of a multinational enterprise. They are faced with a series of dynamic decision-making situations which simulate the fundamental nature and many of the details of managing a firm's financial position in volatile foreign exchange and international capital markets. Companies compete against the market and each other over several simulated periods, trying to maximise objectives such as share price, earnings per share, credit rating and return on equity.

FORAD is normally played over a three to four day period as the major part of a corporate finance seminar. Usually two decisions are scheduled per day; each decision takes from two to three hours. In university courses, it is usually played over a longer period of time with one or two decisions scheduled per week. Short lectures on various aspects of financing companies, currency and interest rate risk management, corporate taxation and accounting are given between decisions to explain the possible strategies and instruments that might be used in the simulation. This means that participants should have a reasonable knowledge of finance and accounting, e.g., how to read a company's financial statements.

FORAD is used in Europe, the United States, Canada and Australia in seminars for bankers and corporate executives as well as in university courses.
FORAD requires an IBM-compatible PC and runs in MS DOS mode; it does not run on MAC computers. Each company-team of participants will need a PC; a printer for each PC is not essential but useful. The PC's can be placed in individual rooms for each company-team, or in a large room that will accommodate all teams comfortably. A device to project computer images (such as BARCO) is desirable for the main meeting room. Participants do not need more than minimal experience with computers.
Pedagogical Objectives
The FORAD simulation requires participants to consider a number of specific issues facing corporations in global financial markets:
  • Choice and proper use of suitable instruments to hedge currency and interest rate risk:
    Forward contracts, futures, money markets, options or combinations of these. A special feature of FORAD is a built-in graphics package to visualize and help understand the risk/return characteristics of complex hedging strategies under different foreign exchange and interest rate scenarios.

  • Management of a company's assets and liabilities so as to improve profitability and reduce risk:
    FORAD participants must choose a debt-equity structure, decide whether debt should be short term or long term, at floating or fixed interest rates, in domestic or in foreign currency. Swaps are available to help manage the debt structure. A suitable dividend policy is another key decision.

  • Minimising corporate taxes:
    Transfer prices on goods and capital or other means can be used to help determine the location of profits and costs of the corporate group. Profits can also be managed by taking advantage of bilateral tax treaties and subsidies that are available to multinational companies.
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