Course Director:

Dr. Michael Rees

Michael Rees

DPhil., M.A., B.A. (Oxon), MBA (INSEAD), CQF (Wilmott)


Dr. Michael Rees is a leading expert in the use of quantitative modelling for applications in business, decision-making, economics, finance and risk assessment. He combines practical experience from top firms with an exceptional academic record. He has over 30 years’ experience, including having been employed in senior roles at leading firms in finance and strategy consulting (Mercer Management Consulting, Braxton Associates, and J P Morgan).

Michael’s academic credentials include a Doctorate in Mathematical Modelling and Numerical Algorithms, and a B.A. with First Class Honours in Mathematics, both from Oxford University in the UK. He has an MBA with Distinction from INSEAD in France. He also studied for the Certificate of Quantitative Finance, graduating top of the class for course work, and receiving the Wilmott Award for the highest final exam mark.

As an independent expert, Michael’s clients include companies in private equity, oil, gas and resources, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, insurance, finance, transport, chemicals, construction, engineering, as well as a range of training, consulting, and software companies, and entrepreneurs. As well as conducting many short engagements, he has held retained long-term advisory roles at companies including Duff &Phelps (Senior Advisor, Valuations) and at Palisade Corporation (Global Head of Training and Consulting).

Michael is the author of Principles of Financial Modelling: Model Design and Best Practices using Excel and VBA (John Wiley & Sons, 2018), of Business Risk and Simulation Modelling in Practice: Using Excel, VBA and @RISK (John Wiley & Sons, 2015), and of Financial Modelling in Practice: A Concise Guide for Intermediate and Advanced Level (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). He is also a contributing author in The Strategic CFO: Creating Value in a Dynamic Market Environment (Springer, 2012), and has written articles in the Wilmott Magazine (2004, 2005). He is an Associate Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, and is regularly invited to speak at conferences (e.g. SMI conferences in 2009 and 2010, The Danish Risk Management Conference 2011, Vietnam Petroleum Institute 40th Anniversary Conference, 2018). He has had the opportunity to live in several countries, and speaks fluent French and German, in addition to his native English.

Whilst Michael formally launched The CinFM (The Certificate in Financial Modelling and Data Analysis) as a formal certification only in 2020, the content of the certification program(s) has been available in the form of training programs to Michael’s private clients for nearly two decades. Indeed, part of the motivation for its creation was repeated client requests to have a framework to be able to learn the full range of financial modelling skills. Another factor was Michael’s conviction of the need to treat “financial modelling” as area that is worthy of a professional qualification that goes beyond the scope of traditional individual training courses. This requires that the scope of the subject – and the skills necessary to achieve various levels of competence – be defined in a manner that is broad enough to cover many areas, yet not unrealistically ambitious. It requires that the depth is sufficient to allow one to work competently in the areas covered, but without attempting to deal with every nuance or specific challenge that may arise when doing so. Thus, the CinFM aims to create a professional qualification that is both useful and practical, interesting and challenging, but which is also achievable. The advantages of creating a professional qualification are many. First, its defined scope and depth provides a basis for comparison, innovation, and improvement. Second, it highlights the richness and complexity of the topic in aggregate, thereby promoting the need for (and investment in) adequate training and professional development. Third, it requires that the subject be treated both from an academic as well as a practical perspective, so developing knowledge and problem-solving skills that support modellers in their advancement into more general management roles.

In addition to his role in the CinFM, Michael continues his activities as a consultant, trainer and author.