Technology has changed how the capital and financial markets operate. It is easy to identify some of these changes under the banner of Fintech (Financial Technology) including electronic trading, blockchain, peer to peer lending, robo-advisors, and crowdfunding. But what about capital markets and financial training? Technology has also made extensive inroads versus the traditional classroom model. Today, live virtual instructor-led training (VILT) has many of the same capabilities found in the physical classroom. In addition, employees appreciate spending less time away from their desks and companies save money via live virtual instructor-led training.

Between these two benefits, less drain on employee time and reducing company expenditures, the latter has been advertised as a major benefit. Although this is true, GFMI would also argue that saving employees’ time is just, if not more, important than actual dollar savings. To this point, we have received feedback from our Live VILT course attendees that specifically references the advantage of attending a class for a portion of the day, which affords them the time to manage their work responsibilities the remaining portion of the day – versus spending an entire day on-site in the classroom. This is true whether the employee is working onsite or virtually!

To be more specific, GFMI has a variety of clients that now offer their employees training via Live VILT in 2- to 4-hour-long increments. Some of the courses are delivered over several days. For example, one client offers the following courses in this format: Fixed Income, Compliance, Bitcoin, ETFs, Derivatives, Structured Products, and Financial Statement Analysis, to name a few.

Another client wanted Live VILT for their new hires, including analysts and associates, as well as summer interns. The course curriculum included an Overview of Capital Markets, Economics and the Fed, Bond Pricing, Interest Rate Risk Metrics, and Securitization. This was delivered over a one-week period each day from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. As you can see, there was plenty of time left over for participants to attend to their other job responsibilities …

When I explain to a client what Live VILT is, they inevitably ask, “Is it a webinar?” Simply put, “No!” Unlike a webinar, Live VILT is instructor-led and not speaker-led. A webinar is informational, whereas virtual instructor-led courses have interactions, including exercises, breakout rooms (yes virtually!), knowledge checks, and polls. The exercises include a variety of formats such as fill in the blanks, time value of money calculations, or matching definitions with terms. The breakout rooms can be case study-based with the instructor assisting in the breakout rooms. There are white boards for the instructor when addressing the entire class and in the breakout rooms for groups to write their answers and share with the other course participants at the appropriate time. These interactions are frequent enough as to maintain the participant’s focus, i.e., there is little chance for multitasking (which is a fallacy anyway as it is a known fact that the brain can only focus on one task at a time). There is also a chat function and a direct phone line for each participant to ask questions or for the instructor to ask questions of the participants.

Technology is clearly interrupting the traditional classroom model. This is not to say that there is no place for the physical on-site classroom, as there clearly is. However, given the benefits of saving time and costs, as well as the ability to meet adult learning protocols in these live virtual sessions, Live VILT has a high probability of replacing not only a good portion of traditional classroom sessions but also asynchronous (online) self-study learning.

Here are some comments from our VLILT course evaluations:

What was the most useful part of the course?

  • The instructor answering questions over the phone and via chat
  • Hands on exercises
  • Case studies
  • Any time the topics were applied to real-world examples. That really put into frame the impact of whatever the subject was.

What would you add or change to make the course more useful?

  • Nothing
  • Not applicable

Additional Comments:

  • Great course! Learned a lot
  • Overall, this was fantastic. Thank you again for your time!
  • Thanks for a good course and an excellent instructor!

If you’d like to learn more about GFMI’s Live VILT offerings, give us a shout at consult@gfmi.com. We look forward to helping you.