ModelOff 2017 and it’s Top-104: By The Numbers

Congratulations to everyone who competed in this year’s Financial Modeling World Championships! Here’s a look at some of the numbers throughout the competition.

ModelOff 2017, Overall:

  • 3,000+ registered participants
  • 45% Students, 55% Professionals
  • Of the students, 62% are Postgraduate
  • 73% Male, 27% Female

Top 15 Most Represented Countries, Overall

  1. United States
  2. India
  3. Australia
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Canada
  6. Pakistan
  7. Hong Kong
  8. Singapore
  9. New Zealand
  10. Russia
  11. Germany
  12. China
  13. United Arab Emirates
  14. South Africa
  15. Latvia

The Top 100

We have compiled some stats from the top-100 performers from the two Online Rounds. With 5 competitors in equal-100th spot, we actually have 104 in this year’s top-100!
  • 4 Students, 100 Professionals
  • Mean score 159.7/230, 68.1%
  • Median score 154.5/230
  • Only 9 people scored 200 marks or more (83%)
  • The top score was 236/240
    • Including 7 bonus marks gained!
Mean Scores for the Top-104
Round 1
  • Overall – 86.7/120
  • Section 1 – 13.2/15
  • Section 2 – 25.2/30
  • Section 3 – 27.9/45
  • Section 4 – 20.2/30
Round 2
  • Overall – 72.9/120
  • Section 1 – 30.1/40
  • Section 2 – 24.1/45
  • Section 3 – 18.5/35

The ModelOff Finals event in New York will be taking place in just over 3 weeks time as a part of the ModelOff Global Training Camp. There, we will find out who will take home the title of ModelOff Financial Modeling World Champion for 2017.


Tickets to attend the ModelOff Financial Modeling Global Training Camp and Live Finals in New York is available at If you only wish to attend the Live Finals, you can register here and attend for free!


ModelOff & Ansarada Partnership

ModelOff is delighted to welcome ansarada as a new major Partner across the Financial Modeling World Championships and World Series of ModelOff Global Training Camps (GTC). The new Partnership celebrates ModelOff and ansarada’s commitment to nurturing the Finance community and growing tomorrow’s leaders.

“ansarada’s innovative nature pairs nicely with the forward-thinking nature ModelOff participants embody. They have used their data and insight from 20,000 deals to model out and build the world’s first deal AI engine that predicts bidder outcomes early in deals and are soon to launch a whole new material information platform to help advisors and companies get ready and prepared for success in all types of material events.” said ansarada founder Sam Riley.

ModelOff is extremely proud of ansarada’s achievements and rapidly growing presence around the world as a leading provider of software to support M&A and deal making professionals. Established in Australia, with offices in London, Frankfurt, The Netherlands, Johannesburg, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Singapore, ansarada adopts a customer-centric approach to product development.

“We respect and admire the focus ansarada has for innovation and finance” commented ModelOff founder Johann Odou. “Their willingness to go beyond the current thinking and in search of where the industry in going next is one of the things that makes ansarada such an exciting organisation”, says Odou.

ModelOff looks forward to working with ansarada’s dynamic team to deliver the World Series of ModelOff GTCs as well as the 2017 Financial Modeling World Championship. The World Series of GTCs for 2017 will be held in the following cities: Sydney, London, San Francisco, New York, Hong Kong and Toronto. ModelOff also welcomes back New York to host the finals for the 2017 ModelOff Financial ModelOff World Championship.

ModelOff Round 1 kicks off September 23rd 2017 and registrations are still open at


Johann Odou

Founder – ModelOff


Sam Riley

Chief Executive Officer – ansarada


ModelOff 2016 Analysis: Round 2 Section 3


As ModelOff continually strives to improve competitor experience, in 2016 we have decided to release answer analysis for the Online Rounds. The answer analysis outlines the percentage of correct answers amongst the competition as a whole, GoldClass (top 10% competitors) and the 20 Finalists.
(*Note: Non-attempts at the question are considered incorrect answers)

So far, we have released three Case Study Questions from the 2016 Online Rounds; Chip Off The Old Block and Roll The Dice from Round 1, as well as Tally Up from Round 2.
Download the Case Study Questions here >>

Below is the answer analysis for Tally Up, we hope that this gives valuable insight into the performances of various groups within ModelOff, and a standard for which to measure your improvement against. We will be releasing further answer analysis in the coming days along with other Case Study Questions from the 2016 Competition.

Answer Breakdown Guide – ‘Tally Up’, Round 2 Section 3


Announce ModelOff 2016 Finals Judge – Roger Govier

Roger Govier
We are delighted to announce Roger Govier as a Judge for the ModelOff 2016 Finals:

At ModelOff, we strive to maintain a judging panel that balances technical expertise, leadership and passion for education. As such, ModelOff Finals Judges are leading global practitioners across the disciplines of Financial Analysis & Modeling, Microsoft Excel, Valuations and Investment Banking.

Roger Govier will again be a part of the judging panel. Along with his technical excellence, entrepreneurial spirit and Excel knowledge, Roger’s boundless passion will be invaluable for the judging panel and the competition as a whole.

Roger’s Profile



Position: Senior Partner

Organisation: Technology 4 U

Roger Govier is an Excel MVP based in the UK, and has been an MVP since 2007.

At University his thesis involved Linear Programming, and he went on to become Commercial director of a software company specialising in Accounting, Payroll and Property Management.

Since selling the company in 1996, he has worked independently, exclusively with Excel and VBA, for clients worldwide from small businesses to those with multi-billion $ turnover. Roger claims to be intrinsically lazy, so he always looks for a fast and simple way to provide solid workable solutions.

In addition, Roger carries out training in all aspects of Excel.

Announce ModelOff 2016 Finals Judge – Maria Shevchenko

Maria Shevchenko
We are delighted to announce Maria Shevchenko as a Judge for the ModelOff 2016 Finals:

At ModelOff, we strive to maintain a judging panel that balances technical expertise, leadership and passion for education. As such, ModelOff Finals Judges are leading global practitioners across the disciplines of Financial Analysis & Modeling, Microsoft Excel, Valuations and Investment Banking.

In 2016, we welcome Maria as the newest ModelOff Finals Judge. No stranger to the ModelOff family, we were proud to have Maria present a keynote speech at the 2015 finals, and we’re looking forward to adding her corporate finance expertise to the judging panel.

Maria’s Profile



Position: Vice President, EMEA Investment Banking Product & Market Development

Organization: S&P Capital IQ

Maria is a Vice President of EMEA Investment Banking Product and Market Development for S&P Global Market Intelligence, which offers multi-asset class data and analytics to global market participants. She is responsible for business, market and partnership strategy for the Investment Banking client segment. Maria role is to identify growth opportunities, engage with customers to gather requirements and help to build tools, data or solutions to address those needs.

Prior to that Maria has spent 7 years overseeing Content within S&P Global Market Intelligence across Regions and Key Client Segments serving as a data subject matter expert across variety of delivery mechanisms. Her role was to identify and execute on strategic roadmap for data needs across those geographic or client segments.

Maria joined S&P Global Market Intelligence in 2009 having spent several years at Merrill Lynch Investment Banking in London covering Central Eastern Europe, Middle East and African (CEEMEA) financial institutions working on buy- and sell-side as well as equity, debt and restructuring transactions. Prior to that, she worked for a Private Equity firm in the United States. Maria holds a BS in Finance from Bentley University and has passed CAIA and FIA accreditations. She speaks several languages, loves to travel and read and is a very keen polo player.

Announcing ModelOff 2016 Start Times

In 2016, ModelOff will be taking a new and improved approach for the worldwide start times in Online Rounds 1 and 2. The new strategy has come off the back of feedback from past ModelOff as well as other world championships such as TEXATA (Big Data) and HIQORA (High IQ).

In 2016, ModelOff will again be held simultaneously worldwide based on 9am New York / 2pm London time on Saturday 22nd October.

For Round 2, ModelOff will begin at alternate time of 5pm New York / 9pm London to create a better balance for the worldwide audience who participate in ModelOff. For example, competitors in Sydney and Wellington who have a challenging ‘early hours’ starting time in Round 1 will be get the chance to compete at a more conventional time come Round 2.

This is one of many steps that ModelOff is undertaking to make the Financial Modeling World Championships a truly global event.

Round 1 Start Times


Round 2 Start Times

Round 2 Start Times

The Origins of the ModelOff Golden Keyboard Trophy

The Golden Keyboard In only its second year, the Golden Keyboard is already an icon of the ModelOff Finals. Each year, the new Financial Modeling World Champion is presented with the Golden Keyboard, designed by Altrum Honors to celebrate their ascent into modelling greatness.

The Golden Keyboard debuted in 2014 when the ModelOff team decided the flagship trophy needed to be special and unique to this, dare we say it, pretty unique competition. Just as Ice Hockey has the Stanley Cup, Cricket has an urn for The Ashes, Le Tour de France has a yellow jersey and US Masters Golf has its Green Jacket, now the competitive sport of financial modeling has its own special trophy.

In creating the trophy, the ModelOff Team wanted to build something all modelers could relate to. It struck us that every member of the ModelOff community would be all too familiar with the keyboard, the essential tool to navigate the Microsoft Excel minefield.

Joseph Lau But this was no ordinary keyboard. What became pretty obvious at the first ModelOff Finals in New York in 2012 was that the majority of finalists had intentionally removed their F1 key. When asked why, they explained it was because the F1 (Help) key was directly between two of their most popular keys, the Escape and F2 keys, and that they would get frustrated when it was pressed accidentally. In a cut-throat competition like ModelOff where speed was paramount, there was no margin for error. It bemused and astounded even the most seasoned Excel professionals, such as ModelOff Judge Bill Jelen, himself ‘Mr Excel’. And so it was from then on, that the legend of the F1-less keyboard was born.

The Golden Keyboard trophy is depicted with no F1 key, because the rationale is that the ModelOff Champion doesn’t really need its help! More than that though, as Matt Porzio from Intralinks explains, “this award is very meaningful … it shows that the recipient has the dedication, focus and ability to beat a room of champions at one of the hardest things to do, financial modeling”.

Sponsored by Intralinks (whose core team history should remember as part of the brainstorming!), the Golden Keyboard was won in 2015 by Joseph Lau (Australia). The inaugural winner was 2014 World Champion Diarmuid Early (Ireland). They join Alex Gordon (2012, New Zealand) and Hilary Smart (2013, UK) as the four Financial Modeling World Champions.

Four World Champions

Good in Excel? Join the World Championship!

Check out the English translation of Camil Driessen’s write up on the 2015 ModelOff Finals and Willem Gerritsen’s awesome result! For our friends from the Netherlands, you can find the original article in Dutch here.

Good in Excel? Join the World Championship!

Camil Driessen – December 5, 2015

With red hair, a furrowed brow of intense concentration and lightly bent towards the computer screen, Willem Gerritsen from Wijk bij Duurstede goes into battle. Together with an Irishman from Deutsche Bank, a Bank of America Merrill Lynch employee from Hong Kong, a New Zealander from PwC and 12 others.

“Four hours and ten minutes of hammering behind my PC”. This is how Gerritsen describes his battle in the finals of ModelOff: The Financial Modeling World Championship, held this week at Cardinal Place, Microsoft’s London headquarters. The preliminary rounds start with 4,000 contenders from more than 100 different countries, but only sixteen competitors remain in the finals to decide who is the best in the World at financial modeling.

The first version of Excel, the popular spreadsheet software, was marketed by Microsoft in 1985. Nowadays, it’s being used by more than 500 million people worldwide. In the world of finance, it is a crucial tool for private-equity firms, investment banks and consultants.
“Excel is the tool with which you justify paying so many billions of dollars for this takeover, and so many billions of dollars for that company,” according to Matt Porzio, vice president of software firm and ModelOff global sponsor Intralinks. “Many of our clients active in the M&A world live on Excel”.

A scientific correlation hasn’t yet been proven, but the rise of Excel mid-way through the 1980s coincided with an enormous rise in the worldwide value of mergers and acquisitions. This year’s total value is around $4.570 billion, almost as much as the record year of 2007. Porzio suspects that without Excel an amount like this would be unthinkable. “If you didn’t have Excel, you wouldn’t do deals like that, and you won’t get any financing for it. Takeovers are all being calculated through and through with financial models built in Excel”.

However, ModelOff is not just focused on praising Excel, but celebrating the “intellectual athletes”, says Australian co-founder Johann Odou. “The participants have a fantastic quality that is often not recognised by others. If we honour people who shoot a ball into a net, why not people who deliver an intellectual achievement?”

When Odou was working for a Melbourne-based investment bank in 2011, the idea for ModelOff came to them whilst sitting in a bar with a friend. A year later they organised the first edition with the help of – amongst others – Microsoft.

Nowadays, ModelOff has a broader range of sponsors including Intralinks, S&P Capital IQ, AMT Training and KPMG. And Odou has a company called PSCL, the Professional Services Champions League, which acts kind of like an International Olympic Committee for professionals in the financial and business world. It also organises World Championships for actuaries and data analysts. And next year in Hawaii there will be a 24-hour multidisciplinary intellectual championship based on the Ironman.

However, in London the contenders had much less time: just over four hours for four tasks. According to the Judging team, in this short period of time the competitors were able to make extremely good financial models, and find answers to complicated questions. For example, how a company can optimally allocate and depreciate machinery and what the chance is of selecting a certain combination of chips from a big pot.

“I really hope that clients won’t see this, as it will be hard to justify our rates,” jokes Judge Luca Blasi, who works as the head of Risk Valuation at Deutsche Bank.
And, as football players are really attached to their own football shoes, the sixteen finalists all took their own computers to London: HP, Lenovo, Toshiba, but an Apple was nowhere to be found.

“I even bought a monitor at PC World in Kensington this week,” says Gerritsen about his match day setup. The Excel consultant also brought his own keyboard and wireless mouse with him. Gerritsen found out about ModelOff one and a half years ago through Googling whether there was an Excel World Championships somewhere. He then participated in the two online preliminary rounds, and was promptly invited to the finals in New York. “Only then I didn’t bring a monitor, so I had to work on a screen that was far too small”.

So he could improve on that performance this year. There was definitely something at stake: the best three of the world will receive, besides the eternal fame, cash prizes of respectively 10,000, 5,000 and 3,000 British Pounds. The World Champion additionally receives the Golden Keyboard trophy. A keyboard with one crucial detail: the F1-key is missing. This key tends to make hardcore Excel users go completely nuts, as it triggers a help screen which takes a couple of seconds to click away.

The F1 key is next to the F2 key: one of the most important keys in Excel with which you edit formulas. The Excel experts frequently use the F2 key (and often accidentally miss it and end up with F1). “A lot of Excel users like me removed the F1 key from their keyboard,” says Porzio who handed out first prize.

After Gerritsen finished all the tasks, he was certain that he wouldn’t take the Golden Keyboard back to The Netherlands. Is a podium finish possible? A small chance, he says, “25% at max”. And after Alvin Woon of Bank of America wins the third prize (and 3,000 pounds), Gerritsen is pretty sure he’s going to end up winning nothing.
With a smile from ear to ear he’s at the podium one minute later, when his name comes out of the envelope and the 150 attendees in the room are cheering loudly. “Really unexpected”, a beaming Gerritsen says after a congratulatory kiss from his wife, Inge.
Australian Joseph Lau from Commonwealth Bank was crowned the overall winner. At 43 years, he is the oldest finalist and was full of praise for everyone present at the final. Lau joked that, “The final of the World Championships is good for our career and ModelOff shows we’re not freaks!”

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