Anna Shukla - Consultant, BSc Biochemistry and MRes in Cancer Biology at Imperial College London.
Joined 3 years ago.
Having studied biochemistry, I was initially quite hesitant to apply to a role that focused so heavily on finance and economics because I had no exposure to these subjects at university. However, by talking to previous graduates at FTI I learned that the work in EFC fit in well with many of the skills I gained in my degree, such as critical think ing and independent investigation. I also learned that EFC would sponsor me through the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification. As well as this formal training there is also a strong emphasis on learning on the job, so I have been able to contribu te to real projects from my first week at FTI.
Even though I’ve only been at FTI for a few years, I’ve been able to work on projects across a variety of areas, including telecommunications, aviation, pharmaceuticals, energy and even family law. In the first year, you rotate through at least two EFC teams, which also allowed me to experience the different types of projects we get to work on, from valuing assets in divorce cases to assessing the financial impact of fraud in high-profile court cases that make the news.
Outside of work, there are regular social events planned to allow colleagues to get to know each other better, both within departments and across departments at FTI. This includes our ‘Away Day’ trip overseas each year, as well as Christmas parties, summer socials and monthly drinks. This social atmosphere continued during the pandemic, albeit in other forms. I’ve also had the opportunity to play a personal role in the development of the department through involvement with recruitment and helping to organise a mentorship programme for sixth form students, which has been really worthwhile.
Project: Analysis relating to the acquisition of a company in the energy sector.
A group of investors engaged FTI to assist in the due diligence process for the purchase of a company in the energy sector. This involved verifying the financial health of the company and building forecasts to assess its future performance.
To do this, we had to make assumptions about future regulatory policy which would determine how much the company would be allowed to earn. The regulatory economists at FTI calculated specific regulatory model inputs, forecasted revenue and expenditure, and worked to analyse the potential impact of developments in the industry. We did this by looking at the historical actions taken by the regulator in the electricity distribution sector, as well as what other regulators had done in other sectors such as gas and water.
The energy market is currently undergoing significant changes and its future is highly uncertain due to the increasing use of renewable energy generation, and rapidly approaching Net Zero emissions targets. Therefore, we had to consider a wide range of scenarios, allowing the investors to assess the future performance of the company across different eventualities, and determine the size of their offer.
The project was split into two phases. During the first phase we assisted the investors in making their initial bid, after which the seller shortlisted potential buyers and gave them access to more detailed information. We then used this to refine our analysis and help to determine the final bid. Throughout the project we had to work with a variety of industry and technical experts to help assess all parts of the company’s business model.
My main task was to evaluate how much income the company could expect to earn under its regulatory incentive framework. Under this framework, the company receives rewards or penalties based on its performance against targets set by the regulator for things like reliability, customer service and sustainability. These rewards are a key source of income for regulated companies. I built a model to value this future income stream, relying on my analysis of the company’s prior performance against its benchmarks, and the performance of similar companies in the industry.
I also worked on forecasting the company’s future costs. For this we relied on assumptions from technical advisors as to potential efficiency sayings and necessary capital expenditure. I was responsible for integrating these external inputs into our model. Finally, I was also responsible for writing regular project updates to the client and the other advisors.