- Programme: Corporate Finance Programme
- Nationality: French
- Job Post-programme: Executive Director, Shareholder Executive for the British Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)
Anne Spinali became the Shareholder Executive’s non executive board member for Companies House in December 2013. She was previously head of small medium enterprise debt finance, where she led work on establishing a business bank. Before joining BIS – a UK government body that is responsible for investing in skills and education, helping people start and grow businesses and promoting trade – Anne worked at the Confederation of British Industry and in the charity sector on public policy issues, as well as in the European Parliament.
I came to London Business School to do the Corporate Finance Portfolio and took the three programmes over six months. This was agreed with my employer as part of my learning and development programme to advance my practical and theoretical understanding of all corporate finance frameworks. That encompasses everything from understanding financial statements, learning how to do valuations using different financial ratios and also thinking about the finance options of companies we work with.
The programmes were extremely comprehensive and the teaching was excellent; it was varied in that I learned a great deal from the faculty such as Professor Chris Hennessy who talked about how leverage increases risk, which is fundamental lesson in business. Similarly, Professor Chris Higson taught us to read financial statements in excruciating detail, which has been invaluable to my work.
As well as learning from the faculty, I also gained invaluable teachings from my peers when working with them to apply what we’d just heard in the classroom to practical case studies. It was extremely interesting to hear people’s perspectives on how to approach a case study and to work together to find common solutions to the challenges that had been set.
Attending this programme has defined my role as a leader at BIS and I’ve acquired several tools and methods that I use in my job, such as scrutinising financial statements and approaching big annual reports and accounts to find the right information. I’ve also learnt how valuation methods and financial ratios are calculated and what they mean. The knowledge I now have allows me to look at financing options for businesses, think about how they can be better managed and consider ways to address potential, current and future problems that companies may face.
Managing large public organisations can be a challenge, so studying at London Business School has been invaluable. It’s allowed me to go deeper into the corporate finance-related issues faced by the businesses we work with and think of different solutions. I’m better placed to challenge our advisors who help us work with these organisations and I can offer suggestions for managing those businesses better – things I couldn’t do before taking part in the programme.
Having completed the Corporate Finance Portfolio at London Business School, I would very much like to be able to attend follow-up courses that look specifically at project finance or advanced corporate finance at a time when I feel my knowledge needs refreshing as well as expanding.