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Commercial awareness

12 October 2009. Commercial awareness . Peter Goode. Introduction Schedule. Mercer Who are we? Commercial awareness What is it? Why do we need it? How do you demonstrate it? How do you improve it? How is it tested? Summary. Mercer – who are we?.

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Commercial awareness

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  1. 12 October 2009 Commercial awareness Peter Goode

  2. IntroductionSchedule • Mercer • Who are we? • Commercial awareness • What is it? • Why do we need it? • How do you demonstrate it? • How do you improve it? • How is it tested? • Summary

  3. Mercer – who are we? • Mercer is a leading global provider of consulting, outsourcing and investment services, with more than 25,000 clients worldwide. • Founded in 1937 as employee benefits department of MMC, headquarters in New York, wholly owned by MMC • Globally: • Annual revenues over $3 billion • 18,000+ employees • Locations in 40+ countries • UK: • 19% of global revenues • 3,000+ employees • 17 locations

  4. Guy Carpenter & Co. Marsh Kroll Oliver Wyman Group Mercer Major global provider of consulting, outsourcing and investmentservices World's leading risk and reinsurance specialist World's leading risk and insurance services firm World's leading risk consulting company Specialised management consulting businesses Mercer – who are we? MMC Structure

  5. Business Areas • Retirement, risk & financial consulting • Investment consulting • Outsourcing • Human capital • Health & benefits • Communication • Investment management • Mergers & acquisitions Work alone or in combination to offer services to our clients

  6. Who are our clients?

  7. Our UK Offices • Offices in Blue are the offices we recruit grads and interns into Aberdeen Glasgow Edinburgh Belfast Leeds Liverpool Manchester Birmingham Solihull Brentwood Bristol London Windsor Croydon Southampton Leatherhead Chichester

  8. Where are we around the world?

  9. Commercial awareness

  10. Commercial awarenessWhat is it? "At heart, commercial awareness is about being able to talk to clients, finding out what they want, why they want it, what they will do with it and what they are prepared to pay, and then delivering it in the way they want. To do that you need to understand how organisations work, the issues they face and the role of people within them.“ Christopher Stoakes 'All You Need to Know About Commercial Awareness'

  11. Commercial awarenessWhat is it? • General business awareness • Organisation/sector specific knowledge

  12. Test your knowledgeGeneral business awareness In groups discuss the answer to these questions • Do you know where the phrase "the bottom line" comes from and what it means? • What is the role of the International Monetary Fund? • Why is Corporate Social Responsibility important to organisations? • What is the name of the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer? • What does private equity mean?

  13. Test your knowledgeAnswers 1) The term ‘bottom line’ comes from the fact it is found at the bottom of the balance sheet and refers to a companies net income 2) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 186 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world. (http://www.imf.org/external/index.htm) 3) Many reasons here are a few: • Brand differentiation • Risk management • Public relations • Recruitment and retention 4) Alastair Darling 5) Shares in unquoted companies. Usually high risk, high return in nature.

  14. Commercial awareness – organisation/sector specific knowledge • How does the business attract and keep customers? • How has the business responded to globalisation? • How can good relationships be maintained with customers, employees and suppliers? • What impact is the state of the economy likely to have on business decisions? • What impact might the political environment have on a business?

  15. Commercial awarenessWhy is it important Commercially aware individuals… • …appreciate the processes, relationships, risks and costs involved in commercial transactions and are able to assess whether value for money has been achieved. • …work towards the company’s objectives and strategy. • …are aware of all the company’s stakeholders. • You don’t have to be applying for a career in commerce to need commercial awareness skills.

  16. Commercial awarenessHow do you improve it? • Keep up to date with current business issues • Newspapers, magazines, internet and television (e.g. Financial times, BBC’s working lunch) • Professional bodies/associations websites generally provide information on industry trends, recent research and a range of related information. (e.g. www.actuaries.org.uk/) • Company/organisation websites provide more specific information about the organisation and its products/services. (e.g. www.mercer.com)

  17. Commercial awarenessHow do you improve it? • When thinking about a specific organisation the SWOT analysis technique is useful. • This a technique used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a business. Other useful techniques • PESTLE • Porters 5 forces

  18. Commercial awarenessHow does Mercer test it? • Online application • Telephone interview questions • Assessment centre interview questions • Group case study • Written case study

  19. Commercial awarenessSummary • Graduates who are commercially aware are highly prized • You may well already possess commercial awareness skills and these can be developed further. • Do your research!

  20. Mercer Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority Registered in England No. 984275 Registered Office: 1 Tower Place West, Tower Place, London EC3R 5BU

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