Open Program

Strategic Finance

Deepen your understanding of strategic financial decisions.

This program for senior managers will provide you with practical financial tools for better business decision-making.

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Strategic Finance

Upcoming Dates

16 Nov 2016 - 18 Nov 2016

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Program Overview

Good managers are able to progress through their organizations by virtue of their functional skills and capabilities. But sooner or later they will need to justify their plans and proposals in financial terms and at a higher level. At this point their functional skills will be insufficient to enable them to promote their ideas confidently or to contribute effectively to board-level discussion.

Strategic Finance has been designed to help you develop financial skills in: appraising business ideas, evaluating business performance, identifying potential for improvement and reaching better business decisions. You will learn how to recognise, assess and propose value-creating initiatives in your organization. Above all, you will learn how to communicate your thoughts, ideas and conclusions more confidently and more effectively at executive committee and board level.

Content and Structure


You will receive pre-program reading three weeks before the program starts. You will also be sent a link to the program's online portal, where all material will be posted.

Residential Phase

Day one looks at how to analyse and assess the performance of a company:

  • The link between Strategy and Finance (see the who is it for section if you want to strengthen your strategy skills prior to Strategic Finance)
  • Understanding the company’s basic financial statements
  • Interpreting company accounts
  • Carrying out a systematic financial analysis to assess the underlying performance of a company
  • Using analytical techniques to determine whether reported financial performance is likely to be sustainable

Day two covers how to make investments and create value:

  • Using discounted cash flow techniques to determine whether a company is generating value for its shareholders
  • Understanding and applying the concept of shareholder value creation
  • Applying models and frameworks to assess the value of different strategies, having regard to risk
  • Valuing a business using a variety of techniques

The final day brings strategy and finance together, culminating in an exercise in which many of the skills covered during the week are consolidated in the presentation of a business plan for a new venture, based on a case study:

  • Developing an appropriate financial strategy for a company
  • Using the tools and techniques learned on the program to build a business case
  • Integrate the tools into a structured business decision-making process and presentation

View an example timetable


Tutors will facilitate a virtual follow-up session for the group six weeks after the residential phase. This will allow you and the other participants in the group to review your actions and support you all to make further progress. You will also be able to contact your tutors for ongoing guidance.

You will become a member of the Ashridge Alumni network which is an excellent opportunity to continue your personal development and networking.

You are also given continued access to your online program portal and Virtual Ashridge content for six months after the residential phase. Ongoing support and further learning opportunities are available with Ashridge Momentum.

Related content

View related programs  The Ashridge experience   Customize this program 
All Ashridge Open Programs are taught in English, find out how we can help you to improve your English.

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Participant insights

“A truly insightful course, showing in great detail all of the key elements of corporate finance and strategy.”

Adrian Hughes, Managing Director, Time Inc UK Ltd.

“Excellent introductyion to strategic finance - challenging but in a good way!”

Cordelia Kelly, Senior Legal Councel, DONG Energy

“Excellent teaching style, well structured in a truly amazing location.”

Gary Blythe, Head of Supply Chain, United Biscuits Ltd.

“This was the best finance program I've ever had and David Smith is a great teacher for finance!”

Katharina Rath, Head of HRD, Continental Automotive GmbH

“First class, focused learning which delivered what it promised in the prospectus.”

Kathryn Pennington, MD, Westco Properties Ltd.

Program fee

Price: £3,750.00 + VAT
What is included in your open program fee?

Download our brochure /executive-organisation-development/open-programmes/strategic-finance/sf-form/

Who is it for?

In a smaller company you are at board level, or have the ambition to get there. In a larger company you are the head of a division or business unit, or in a senior functional position. You have a strong track record but need confidence to frame business problems in strategic and financial terms. You have a basic knowledge of balance sheets and profit and loss accounts but need to improve your financial skills.

If you feel you need an update on strategy you could combine this with our two-day program Strategy Tools which will give you a practical foundation of strategy frameworks and tools. Strategy Tools immediately precedes this programme so you can do this five day sequence in one week, or split it over two separate weeks.

Benefits to you and your organization

  • Makes your decision-making more effective by increasing your grasp of strategic and financial considerations
  • Provides a rigorous but readily graspable approach to finance
  • Gives you the ability to evaluate a business idea from a financial and strategic perspective to produce a robust case for presentation at a senior level
  • Allows you to develop important skills and build confidence to be effective at Board level.

Faculty Team

David Smith

David Smith


Read more about David