© Copyright Ashley Knowles 2015 | all rights reserved
30 Years of Financial Analysis and Support for All Sizes of Business
I support businesses of all sizes, from start-ups to global leaders, by providing expertise in financial analysis, business planning and senior financial management.
My career began in operational research (after a Physics degree) which led to a role as a senior consultant with a Big 5 practice followed by independent consultancy, working on projects in the UK, Canada, the US, Mexico and Europe.
I aim to give my clients perspective and insight, with financially rigorous analysis that doesnít lose touch with the reality of running a business. I work well with both finance and operational functions, and have led a finance department. I always aim to make the most of the knowledge and skills that exist within the organisation.
My forecasting and reporting work is well respected by financial institutions, and has underpinned significant financial and commercial transactions.
I have particular experience of real estate, restaurants and hotels, telecommunications and IT services.
Although Iím largely committed to existing projects for the immediate future, Iím always interested to hear about potential future initiatives and to discuss possible forms of collaboration.
I have worked on behalf of all three key elements of commercial real estate: developers, occupiers and investors, looking at anything from a single office lease to multi-billion-pound mixed-use developments.
Alongside my analytical work, Iíve dealt with related property issues such as non-domestic rates and insurance, and Iíve managed the production of award-winning marketing brochures.
At the early stages of planning a new business, I can help you to clarify the aims & strengths of your new business, then Iíll create a rigorous and persuasive business plan and give you the analysis that you need to raise finance or set up a joint venture. I have worked for both lenders and borrowers, and know what a potential partner needs to see.
Looking further ahead, Iíll create appraisal and projection models that you can use throughout the life of your project and help you to use tight budget control and forecasting to build a close relationship with your partners and lenders.
Spreadsheets are my favourite tool now, and Iím known as an expert model builder, particularly in the field of property cashflow modelling. I aim to make each spreadsheet not just a collection of figures, but a live model that responds to changes in the business, with understandable controls and outputs.
A well-structured model increases the ownerís understanding and can be both a powerful presentational device and a bridge between planning and reporting systems.
I donít sell standard solutions, but I very much enjoy creating model templates that can be reused by your own staff.
I collaborated with a software developer to design a system of spreadsheet add-in functions that greatly simplify cash-flow modelling and financial analysis. As part of this collaboration, I created a database-driven code-writer, which also published a manual and help file.
This is where my heart was at the start of my career. Though I wouldnít claim to be a serious operational researcher now, I still think about the insights that come from simulation, multiple regression, decision analysis and statistics.
You can read a selection of case studies here, which will give you an idea of the way that my mind works.
More recently, Iíve been modelling the relationships between vacancy levels and office rents, and looking at interest-rate derivatives to assist with forecasting and to suggest market opportunities.
Living with Uncertainty
The human brain is poorly equipped for evaluating and managing uncertainty. This thought-provoking and entertaining seminar reveals some surprising paradoxes and pitfalls, and offers strategies for dealing with uncertainty in business life without either underestimating risks or adopting excessive caution.
Get in touch now for more details ...
Financial Analysis and Board Support