Appearing on the evening news isn’t an obvious expectation for analysts entering the field of project finance modelling, but that’s exactly what happened to two Operis financial modelling champions last week, when the UK’s Independent Television News ran a piece in its daily News At Ten programme on the emergence of spreadsheet modelling as a spectator sport.
It may come as a surprise to some to learn that financial modelling has become a field in which individuals and teams pit themselves against each other in online competitions. The Financial Modeling World Cup has been running since 2020, and before that, a similar event existed called Modeloff. They attract entrants from well-known banks, accounting practices, universities, and firms specialising in modelling and analysis.
What is new is that the final stages of the contest are broadcast, initially through YouTube, and more recently through Disney’s ESPN cable sports channel, as part of its coverage of E-Sports, a term that also covers competitive video gaming.
Whilst solving demanding modelling problems is nothing new for Operis analysts, doing it live on YouTube and ESPN is an energising innovation. The firm has always placed modelling at the core of everything it does and has an unparalleled team of expert modellers who enjoy the challenge of their work.
Operis won the Financial Modeling World Cup Team competition in both 2020 and 2021, and currently leads the rankings in 2022. This is no doubt helped by the extraordinary pedigree within the team which includes two previous modelling champions, Michael Jarman Head of Model Development, and Hilary Smart, Associate Director.
The firm encourages participation in events such as these as it is a superb opportunity for employees’ professional development. The Financial Modeling World Cup fosters healthy competition between colleagues, and, though it is virtual, the opportunity to meet peers in other companies. It exposes participants to models and types of analysis outside the range that they encounter day to day, and allows them to bring that new expertise to the work they undertake for clients.
“The main FMWC competition tests all aspects of finance – not just project finance and infrastructure modelling – meaning that the team are constantly kept on their toes. The fact that we can continue to win against consultancy firms who outnumber us by several orders of magnitude shows just how strong the principles that underpin our modelling methodology are, and also that the team can adapt to any modelling challenge that comes our way.” – Michael Jarman, Head of Model Development
You can watch the segment on ITV news here.