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03/18/2010

Entrepreneurial Tip Corner: Is Your Business Ready for an Economic Upturn?


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During the better part of the past two years, we have been in a pretty deep recession. That’s not a revelation for employers from Wall Street to Main Street who have managed to live through it, with major cutbacks and layoffs. Firms have downsized or become “right-sized” to be able to hunker down and survive this difficult period. Many economists are forecasting our emergence from this recession. Some say it has already begun and others are predicting an upturn in the economy during the first or second quarters of next year. Ask yourselves one simple question: Will my business be ready to service the anticipated new level of business? If the answer to that question is “No” or “I’m not sure”, then I suggest you make some definitive plans to “stay ahead of the curve” and make sure you are in the best position possible to capitalize on the comeback expected in the economy.

To downsize or right-size, you most likely terminated certain employees, offered early retirement or had an across-the-board reduction-in-force. To service the projected increase in demand, you will have to begin to rehire or hire new individuals back into some of these positions. Assuming that you have eliminated employees who you would rather not rehire, you will be looking to hire new, potentially less-experienced employees. You probably won’t have to pay as much per employee, but in order to service your clientele in the manner in which they expect, you will need to train your new employees thoroughly before you allow them to begin to service your customers. Depending upon the industry and type of organization, training needs will greatly differ.

In the financial services industry alone, there are various sectors in which new employees would require different types of training. Asset management firms may require different training than debt and fixed income firms. Hedge funds may require different training than investment banking firms. Private wealth management firms may require different training than private equity and venture capital firms. You get the picture.

There is another issue here besides offering the right type of training to such new employees. The cost of the training itself can really add up if you take on a significant number of new employees. Some estimates for a series of training courses for a new employee within a typical financial services firm approximate $25,000 to $30,000—PER EMPLOYEE! Is there a better and more cost-effective solution? The answer might be closer than you think. NYSSA offers a variety of professional development training courses at its headquarters in New York City, as well as the ability to bring its training to the employer to train all of the new employees at a mutually convenient date and time. Either way, this type of training can be accomplished for a fraction of the cost mentioned above. Individual courses range from $225 for the least costly half-day course to less than $700 for the most expensive full-day course.

NYSSA has segmented its training courses into Microsoft Excel, Financial Modeling, Valuation Topics, and Portfolio and Risk Management. The courses NYSSA typically offers include the following:

Microsoft Excel

Advanced Excel—Charting, Graphing and Power Point Integration
Advanced Excel for Data Analysis
Excel Fundamentals for the Finance Professional

Financial Modeling

Bank Financial Modeling
Basic Financial Modeling Using Excel
Energy Sector Financial Modeling
Financial Modeling—Core Model
Financial Modeling with the Monte Carlo Simulation
Insurance Financial Modeling
Integrated Financial Modeling—Enhancements to the Core Model

Valuation Topics

Analyzing and Interpreting Bank Financial Statements Primer
Corporate Valuation Methodologies
How to Analyze a 10-K
Technical Analysis: The Basics
Uncovering Creative Cash Flow Reporting
Valuation Concepts: Technical Aspects, Nuances and Exceptions

Portfolio and Risk Management

Commodity Risk—Corporate Hedging and Analysis
Credit Analysis and Credit Risk Management
Exotic Options and Structured Notes
Investing in Distressed and Defaulted Debt
Managing Portfolios with Exchange Traded Funds
Real Estate Investment and Income Analysis
Securitization and Mortgage-Backed Securities
Timing the Market with Commodity Trend Models
Using Commodities in a Diversified Portfolio


There are 25 unique courses above, which can be hosted at NYSSA or at your company’s location, at a fraction of the course that you currently pay for your training.

In addition to the courses listed above, NYSSA has the presented additional courses in the past, which can be revised and presented or customized for your business needs. Some of these additional courses have been:

  • Advanced Distressed Debt Investing
  • Forecasting: Using Time-Series to Predict Future Results
  • Advanced Segment Build-up & Sensitivity Financial Modeling
  • Foreign Exchange & Currency Swaps
  • Basic Leveraged Buyout Modeling
  • Forensic Accounting Disclosure
  • Collateralized Debt Obligations
  • Hedge Funds
  • Commodity Trend Modeling
  • Islamic Finance
  • Credit Derivatives
  • Linking Strategy to Valuation
  • Discounted Cash Flow Analysis
  • M&A Deal Structuring & Merger Modeling Basics
  • Equity Analysis    
  • Real Estate Investment and Income Analysis
  • Evaluating Credit Risk for Emerging Markets
  • Research Report Writing
  • Exchange Traded Funds
  • Structured Finance and Applications
  • Financial Accounting
  • Writing Marketing Materials

This may sound like a commercial or advertisement, but as someone who has chief fiscal responsibility for my organization, I continuously advocate the need to save costs wherever and whenever possible. If I believe that an organization will deliver as good or better quality product at a lower cost, I will almost always advocate that we take our business to that organization. It just makes good business sense.

--Michael Herz, CPA, MBA 

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