Encouraging Lifelong Learning

Continuing education has never seemed so important. A recent study from Citi GPS revealed that 79% of respondents considered ‘on-the-job’ training and professional development important when choosing potential employers. It is essential that you are investing in your employees and equipping them with lifelong learning so that they remain engaged and can easily adapt. But, what skill training should you be offering your staff, especially those working in the banking sector?

Continuing Education in Investment Banking

The knowledge and skills required to work for a top investment bank are broad, and regular revision on complex topics can be incredibly beneficial. Felix is a searchable database with over 1200 concise finance lessons, designed by top Wall Street instructors. Despite being just over a year old, there are already over 1,000 users enrolled at 6 of the top 10 investment banks. Financial analysts and associates can use this tool to build new skills and refresh old ones while at the desk. We decided to find out what our users are most interested in learning on the job. To do this, we took a look back at the last four months on Felix. Here’s what we found:

To give a little context, each lesson playlist in Felix consists of a series of videos aimed at building the viewer’s understanding and skill base. Playlists introduce a topic, starting with a definition, and finish by applying learnt theory to practice. We notice users are continuing to reinforce their understanding on topics surrounding financial accounting, valuation, deal analysis, modeling and Excel. In particular, there is a significant portion of viewing time focused on the top three playlists: ‘Leveraged Buy Out‘, ‘DCF Valuation‘ and ‘Income Statement‘.

Each of these topics provides critical and comprehensive technical knowledge to help underpin an analyst’s decision making. Understanding the fundamentals of accounting is crucial in helping support complex calculations, as well as to build an understanding of how companies report their financial data and how to analyze it. Both DCF Valuation and Equity to EV Bridge introduce users to valuation principles, vital for valuing an asset or company accurately. These valuation skills build directly on the knowledge gained from completing the accounting topics.

We notice that not all skills are technical as users also used Felix to increase their efficiency with Excel, one of the most common tools used by finance professionals. The lesson ‘Menu and Shortcut Basics (Excel)’ provides shortcuts and tips and tricks to increase their productivity and ability when working with spreadsheets. This makes reading and manipulating sheets in Excel far easier and assists with building even the most technical models.

Other popular playlists include:

Conclusion

Our findings show that analysts and associates at the top investment banks are still keen to reinforce their fundamental knowledge and continue to learn. It is interesting to see that, despite their existing training, they continue to refresh their knowledge on the more basic knowledge. However, it is also important to note that playlists such as ‘Advanced Valuation’, ‘Divestiture Modeling’ and ‘Getting Started with Python’ proved popular, as these focus on teaching more advanced skills.

This report shows that there is a clear calling for professional development in the workplace, and overlooking this could potentially be detrimental to not only employees but employers as well.