Financial modelling is a team sport



Kenny Whitelaw-Jones


01 May 2013




Financial modelling is, or at least should be considered in terms of, a team sport – the talents of an individual modeller, no matter how fantastic, are nothing if they cannot work together within a collaborative team to achieve their goals.

Michael Jordan, legendary NBA basketball player said this about teamwork:

There are plenty of teams in every sport that have great players and win titles. Most of the time, those players aren’t willing to sacrifice for the greater good of the team. The funny thing is, in the end, their unwillingness to sacrifice only makes individual goals more difficult to achieve. One thing I believe to the fullest is that if you think and achieve as a team, the individual accolades will take care of themselves. Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.

Take cricket players Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar. In their finest hour, the performances of their careers meant nothing because their team, as a whole, did not perform well.

In the past, financial modelling was a one-man show with everything depending on the “modelling guru” and it didn’t seem to matter that no one else – least of all the client – could understand the model. With the evolution the FAST standard, a common language for collaborative modelling, this is no longer the case.

Model building can now be shared among the team, leading to parallel working and great efficiency.

Absence of team work can lead to problems, among them:
– Work is duplicated causing inefficiency
– Deadlines are missed
– Models are more error prone

Consider the equestrian. Although in the ring there is just one person competing for the ribbon, behind that person there is the horse, the horse’s handler, the trainer, even the saddle – there are many facets involved in making the equestrian a champion.

Similarly, in financial modelling, the collaboration of a cohesive team is essential to the completion of a successful model build.


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Kenny Whitelaw-Jones
Kenny Whitelaw-Jones is no longer with F1F9 but we really like this blog so we've kept it.