All Posts by Alex Arnold:

Why we believe business has a social as well as an economic purpose

Posted by Alex Arnold

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At F1F9 we strive to build sustainable, mutually beneficial partnerships with our suppliers, our customers and our staff. We’re in this for the long term.

In addition to donating 1 per cent of our revenue to charity every year, we look for practical ways to contribute to our community. Where possible, we buy from organisations or individuals with a social conscience.

When we set up our Delhi office in 2005, we began looking for a charity to support. Our criteria were that it should be local, educational in nature, and we needed to have complete confidence in the ethical integrity of the organisation. Asha met all of these requirements.

Asha (which means "hope" in Hindi) works with around 400,000 people in more than 50 slum colonies of Delhi, tackling all the issues that can keep slum dwellers trapped in poverty. Its programmes help slum residents gain access to healthcare, financial services and education, and make it possible for them to make long-term, positive changes to their lives.

As a small, growing, entrepreneurial company, F1F9 has limited cash to give.  So we instead turned to the one resource we are rich in, namely our energy and our expertise. In late 2010, we suggested to Asha that we offer internships to their students who had made it through to university.

The following year, the first “pathfinder” group of 8 Asha students spent 6 weeks of their summer break in our Gurgaon office, 2 of which were spent with our colleagues from accounting firm Mazars. Between Mazars and ourselves we’ve subsequently hosted two more groups - last summer and the summer just gone.

In our experience the benefits have gone both ways:

  • Asha students have seen what a university education can lead to.  In particular they have learned the critical importance of English in the business world.
  • F1F9 staff have learned that there is less difference and distance between Asha students and themselves.

Past interns have found the experience hugely valuable. One of them, Sandeep, told us how his favourite part of the internship was experiencing the co-operation within the company as well as the chance to gain so much knowledge – he missed the team when his internship was over. Chatting confidently in English, Rajeev, another ex-intern, said that he’d advise any potential interns not to think twice about taking part in the programme, as “this opportunity will open up your world”.

We've been excited to watch the Internship programme go from strength to strength and we were delighted to have attended Asha’s event at the British High Commission in Delhi on 25 October. The evening celebrated the achievements of the many students from Delhi’s slums who have gained a place at college with the help of Asha’s Higher Education programme. Hundreds of students from the slums are thriving at university, thanks to Asha, and the first graduates are finding jobs in the professional world. Younger slum children are now seeking to follow their example.

Our Managing Director, Kenny Whitelaw-Jones, spoke at the ceremony and said, “We believe Asha deserves much more support and resource - and we believe these hard working graduates deserve more opportunities.”

“It is an honour for F1F9 to be associated with Asha, for Asha to have trusted us as a partner, and thereby allowed us, in our own small way, to make a difference in the lives of these students.”

To find out more about Asha and the impact it is making, visit http://asha-india.org/

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We're hiring: Project Finance Sector Head

Posted by Alex Arnold

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We’re seeking a Sector Head for Project Finance to take overall responsibility for model build assignments for the sector and generate new model build opportunities.

The Project Finance Sector head will be expected to:

  • Generate new Project Finance training and model build opportunities.
  • Take overall responsibility for delivery of model build assignments in your sector.
  • Manage and grow our team of model build project managers.
  • Collaborate with our training team to ensure courses reflect latest developments in your sector.
  • Support the Project Finance modelling team based in New Delhi.

THE CANDIDATE

To be considered for this role you must:

  • Have a background in Project Finance modelling, having been a modeller yourself earlier in your career.
  • Be passionate about transparent and efficient modelling, and the need for professional modelling standards.
  • Be willing to adopt and embrace the FAST Modelling Standard.
  • Have solid Project Finance transaction structuring experience (over and beyond modelling).
  • Have proven project and team management skills.  This is a senior business development and management role, not a senior modeller role.
  • Be a good conceptual modeller; able to identify the commercial essence of what clients need reflected in their model, and to communicate that succinctly to the modelling team in New Delhi.
  • Have first-rate business development and networking skills.
  • Be happy and able to work from home, with the ability to make yourself an integral part of a geographically distributed team.
  • Be prepared to travel a reasonable amount, and work reasonably flexible hours.
  • Be passionate about providing customised client service. Our models are tailor made to our clients' requirements.
  • Be passionate about continuous improvement and knowledge sharing, with colleagues and customers alike.
  • Under-promise and over-deliver.

Additionally, our ideal candidate will:

  • Already be an advocate of the FAST Modelling Standard.
  • Have experience and knowledge of the energy sector (Oil & Gas, Power, Renewable).
  • Have a solid understanding of accounting, including direct experience of modelling IFRS.
  • Be conversant in a language other than English.

WHAT WE OFFER

An opportunity:

  • To promote and manage a cutting-edge model building service, delivered by a uniquely enthusiastic, well trained, and experienced team in New Delhi.
  • To market and sell a range of high quality modelling training products.
  • To work within a passionate, flexible and un-bureaucratic organisation.
  • To be well rewarded for what you bring to the table.
  • To spend a week working from the New Delhi office a couple of times a year.

To find out more or to apply for the role, please email alex.arnold@f1f9.com

 

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Online financial modelling training – Four months at 100% satisfaction

Posted by Alex Arnold

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Once again during October we smashed the industry benchmark of 87% for customer satisfaction – for the fourth month in a row we had a fantastic result of 100% customer satisfaction. We are delighted to be maintaining these high standards and look to continue this performance.

On its own this performance is a powerful measure of the effort and commitment our support and training staff demonstrate, but when combined with more detailed analysis it shows why as a company more businesses are choosing our financial modelling solutions.

Our average response time for support in October was 9.6 hours which is almost half the industry benchmark of 18 hours, with almost a third of questions receiving a response within an hour.

9/10 of questions were responded to within 24 hours which is a great result for our customers.

We received some very positive comments from our customers this month including “Great and speedy help and support.” and “Wonderful support”.

We are always interested to hear from other modelling professionals or about your experiences with training – Feel free to leave a comment about your experiences or let us know if you have a question.

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Online Financial Modelling Training - August Support Performance

Posted by Alex Arnold

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Online Financial Modelling Training - August Support Performance

During August we maintained our very high standards and achieved a second month in a row with 100% customer satisfaction. As with any business, we always aim to achieve 100% satisfaction and to continue at this high level of performance is a great endorsement for our support and training staff. The industry benchmark is 87%.

Our average response time for August was 9.7 hours which is almost half the industry benchmark of 18 hours, with nearly a quarter of questions receiving a response within an hour.

A satisfied customer this month commented: “The support I received was beyond what I expected and the training has been wonderful, as well. I am so grateful to have such a great tool that is run by such competent staff. It is rare to have such good service. Thank you!”.

As mentioned in our previous update, we have expanded our time zones for training support – we now have modellers based in the USA who are available to work on support queries that come in at different times.

We are always interested to hear from other modelling professionals, or about your experiences with training – Feel free to leave a comment about your experiences or let us know if you have a question.

 
 
 
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F1F9 on BBC Radio 4 Today Programme

Posted by Alex Arnold

Dirty-Dozen
It has been reported that 88% of spreadsheets have some sort of error in them, and that approximately 50% of financial models in use in large businesses have material defects.

We were therefore delighted that Kenny was invited on to the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 to talk about financial modelling, and specifically our new ebook in which we list the top 12 financial modelling horror stories and spreadsheet disasters of recent years.

If you missed the interview you can listen to it on the BBC website.

 
Download the Dirty Dozen ebook
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We're hiring: Marketing Operations Manager

Posted by Alex Arnold

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We’re seeking a Marketing Operations Manager to co-ordinate all aspects of F1F9’s inbound marketing strategy.

This is an opportunity for the right candidate to bring their inbound marketing expertise into the financial services sector.

The role involves the initiation and development of content such as ebooks, toolkits, webinars, etc. from scratch to help us convert visitors into leads... and leads into customers.

The person we're looking for will have a demonstrated passion for inbound marketing, energy, enthusiasm and excellent communications skills. He or she will have the ability to work independently, and to collaborate with team members located across the globe.

Our ideal candidate will have experience managing email marketing campaigns and a comprehensive understanding of best email practices.

The Marketing Operations Manager will work closely with other UK based members of our Sales and Marketing team but will also co-ordinate with colleagues in other countries. We're more interested in experience and ideas than location.

We expect first interviews to be held in mid-July.

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ONLINE FINANCIAL MODELLING TRAINING – JUNE SUPPORT PERFORMANCE

Posted by Alex Arnold

We have some very impressive statistics to report for June: 42% of tickets were responded to in under one hour, making this our fastest response time ever.

As well as dealing with nearly half of all tickets in under 60 minutes, our average first response time was 8.2 hours (less than half the industry benchmark of 18 hours, and a big improvement on last month’s figure of 12.7 hours).

73% of questions were answered within 8 hours, and 92% of questions were answered in under 24 hours, quite a feat as our Support team are not available on Saturdays or Sundays.

As promised, we’re also expanding our timezones for training support – we now have some modellers based in the States who are often available to work on support queries that come in later in the day.

We’re always interested in hearing from other modelling professionals – please contact us with questions, comments, tutorial suggestions or anything else!

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Opportunities for financial modellers in Infrastructure and Energy

Posted by Alex Arnold

Road-Infrastructure
We've just posted a new interview with Dan McCarthy of One Search Recruitment.

This short, 6 minute film covers:

  • what financial modellers in the sector can expect to earn
  • where the current recruitment activity is coming from;
  • what companies who are recruiting are looking for
  • how to manage your career progression. 
 
 
Watch Now
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Online financial modelling training: May support performance

Posted by Alex Arnold

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During May the F1F9 support team helped our 31 day course students, course alumni, online course customers and people preparing for upcoming classroom courses with a wide range of modelling queries and problems. We achieved our fastest responses so far, with 1 in 5 questions answered in less than 1 hour.

Our average response time was 12.7 hours, close to last month’s average (12.3 hours). More than half (54%) of questions were answered in under 8 hours, and we continue to attempt to answer all questions within one business day.

The satisfaction rating in May was 93% - less than the perfect score we're shooting for, but well above the industry benchmark of 87%.  We didn’t have tutorials on certain topics that some of our online customers were hoping for, but we're currently developing lots of new content in the form of tutorials, e-books and blog posts and hope to keep all our customers happy with the resources that are coming up.

We are always glad to hear from fellow financial modellers, so do get in touch if you have any questions for us. 

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Online financial modelling training: April support performance

Posted by Alex Arnold

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April was a busy month for our training support team, with a 45% increase in the number of questions from our online financial modelling training customers.

We were pleased that our average response time fell to 12.3 hours, down from 15.2 hours in March. More than 1 in 10 questions were responded to in under an hour, with more than half responded to in under 8 hours. Our target is to respond to all questions within one business day.

Overall we achieved a 94% satisfaction rating in April across all our online training support. This was down from March's 100% score due to some responses taking longer than clients expected due to time zone issues. Over the coming months we'll be setting up training support in other time zones which should help to address this.

Thanks to all our training clients for asking great questions - keep them coming!

 

 

Online financial modelling course, Online financial modelling training

 

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