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Commercial Awareness

What does it mean to be 'Commercially Aware?' 

Commercial awareness is extremely important for both interviews and applicants. Being commercially aware means understanding the industry. This includes the different sectors within Investment Banks, the different products available, understanding how different firms vary, how financial markets operate and understanding what impacts them - among other things.


We have compiled together various resources to help you:

  • Snippet.Finance (by Yuri Khodjamirian;  invaluable for building an authentic and genuine passion for financial markets)

  • The FT (great for reading in detail about specific news stories)

  • Bloomberg (again, great for specific news stories and market updates)

  • Finimize (useful for breaking down complex financial & investing concepts)

  • Newsletters (e.g. Andrew Ross Sorkin, FT DD, Pitchbook & Snippet Finance)

How to PROPERLY read the FT

The FT has 2 different parts, a 'main section' and a 'companies and markets' as well as supplements 

Our top tips are:

  • Bin the supplements

  • Look beyond the industry

  • Put yourself in a Commercial Position

  • Follow stories

  • Read the Lex Column

    • ​Not only is it written by the youngest FT writers, but also, it is read by the top of the top politicians, bankers, and industry leaders. When you continue to read the column, it will become obvious there is a clear pattern.

  • Read the first few pages of the Companies and Markets section

    • ​Only stop when the words turn into figures, reporting stock, commodity, and currency markets. What trends are there and what shocking market stories are there? Also, if you are having an interview with a specific firm… are they in the news, are their deals in the news or is there anything that could impact them?

  • Glance at the front page and read back to front

    • ​Whilst geopolitics and trade talks ( and Covid-19 ) can be useful and interesting it gets more detailed and more interesting the further back you read. 

  • Go back to the number pages of the Companies and Markets section.

    • ​Scan the numbers and consider what you noticed last time. What has changed considerably? Are there any shocking figures… if so why? Consider certain sectors that you know recent news stories and apply what you know to see if you may have been correct in how you perceived something might change.

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