Building a Vital Core Skill Set

The Client

New graduates joining an international fund management company

Key Takeaways

  • Assessed the wide range of qualifications and skills amongst new fund managers.

  • Designed a customized program to disseminate adequate and equal financial knowledge and training.

  • Instilled a practical understanding of accounting practices, macroeconomics, financial modeling, and other training to complete their skill set.

The Challenge

A team of new graduates had joined an international fund management company and needed training. The team members were from a wide range of academic backgrounds, from those with postgraduate qualifications in economics and CFA®  qualified, to those with a humanities degree.

However, they were all going to be fund managers and required a training program that would ensure a level playing field. It would also provide a firm basis for a subsequent detailed, in-house training regime.

The Solution

Kaplan designed an in-depth, two-week program to ensure all of the employees had a consistent level of knowledge across a number of areas. Key focal points included financial awareness and teamwork through the Kaplan Business Challenge, and techniques of financial analysis and Excel modeling, all relevant to their everyday work as fund managers.

The training was delivered face-to-face with exercises, case studies, and group presentations. Financial modeling was presented using best practices, culminating in the development of a model to analyze real-world accounts of two public companies and key financial ratios.

The Result

As a result of the content, design, and delivery of the program, employees understood the following concepts in a completely integrated manner upon the completion of their program. Here is a partial list of their accomplishments:

  • Learned how to organize and run a business, and managing across a range of functional areas, including stock control, production, finance, and marketing, for valuable insights into inter-relationships between groups.
  • Gained an appreciation for the major institutions in the city, the main markets, and key asset classes, as well as the role of the yields curve and sovereign debt markets.
  • Acquired a foundation in macroeconomics with insight into the main macro drivers, the key macro relationships and the tools of economic management.
  • Understood the role of interest rates and their relationship with bond markets, fiscal policy, and the yield curve.
  • Assimilated the main techniques and tools of corporate strategy, and the analysis of competitive pressures facing a company.
  • Obtained a thorough understanding of financial accounting, providing them with the main tools necessary to conduct a thorough financial statement analysis and to look behind the numbers in the principal accounting statements.
  • Learned how to complete a detailed analysis of equity valuation and, in particular, the whole range of multiples, when and why they’re used, and how to interpret them.
  • Conquered the Excel modeling techniques to allow building of a financial model of the principal accounting statements, flex the key drivers of those statements, and assess the impact on the company’s valuation using the equity multiples identified earlier in the program.

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Key Takeaways

  • Identified and assessed several key areas of weakness in management.

  • Reviewed current leadership and management roles, and implemented new performance goals.

  • Generated positive communication, competency, and impact among those holding leadership roles.

Key Takeaways

  • Focused on two-prong approach to increase commercial and financial success.

  • Developed an effective strategy that addressed financial implications of decisions.

  • Applied role-playing scenarios to test return on profitability, interact with stakeholders, and improve interpersonal skills.

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