Recently our friends at Full Stack Modeller conducted the biggest ever survey of the financial modelling profession, and the results were published in February 2021. What are financial modeller’s biggest frustrations? How much do modellers earn? What add-ins and tools beyond Excel do modellers use? Covering tools, standards, risk management and more, the 2021 survey paints a picture of the current state of play in financial modelling.

The foreward to the survey report was written by Danielle Stein Fairhurst:

Having been part of the financial modelling profession for many years, I am always delighted to observe and be involved with some of the industry innovations and developments of recent years.

Full Stack Modeller has been a breath of fresh air in the industry and I have been looking forward to seeing the results of this recent survey. Working in finance, we think we may have a feel for what is happening around us but, as data-based specialists, we know that there is nothing quite like surveying a representative group of professionals to find out exactly where our industry is headed. I hope you find the report as interesting as I did; some of the findings were to be expected, and others were a surprise.

When I started out, the concept of modelling was fairly niche; building financial models was just a part of your job and not seen as a role in and of itself. With the increase of financial modelling qualifications, however, it seems that fewer modellers are self-taught, and the financial modelling profession is gaining traction as an industry in its own right. Its reputation has sometimes suffered by modelling being seen as a low-valued profession, but this appears to be improving, as more modellers now say they feel their work is highly valued by others, compared to the last survey.

For a long time, I’ve been concerned about the lack of female participation in financial modelling events, and the industry in general. Before seeing the results of the survey, I had suspicions about the gender pay gap, but it is dismaying to see it so clearly crystallised in this report. I recently started a “Women in Financial Modelling” online meetup community to support and encourage women to become more involved in financial modelling by speaking
publicly, competing in championship events or gaining a qualification.

In the short time it has been operating, it has become a thriving community. I sincerely believe that with increased skills, involvement and confidence the salaries of female financial modellers will also increase.

I’ve always believed that having good financial modelling in Excel skills will always stand you in good stead throughout the course of your finance career, and this can be seen by the fact that financial modellers can be found in almost every industry and every corner of the earth. It is exciting to think that, as a financial modeller, your skills are widely applicable to industry and location (after quarantine of course).

The travel restrictions placed upon us globally by the COVID-19 pandemic have increased opportunities for collaboration within the industry. Modellers who have been working together and collaborating globally for years are finding working remotely has become mainstream out of necessity. I believe that through discussions and community, together we can work to increase the profile of financial modelling as an industry in its own right and improve the profiles, demand and employment opportunities for financial modellers everywhere.

I’m very much looking forward to what 2021 will bring!

The Full Stack Modeller programme is a learning community of financial modellers and opens just a few times a year. Use the discount code PLUM10 which will give you 10% off.