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Finance Insights for Inward Investor Conversations (Duncan Laird)

Duncan Laird is an Associate within Arup’s (https://www.arup.com/) Integrated City Planning team. He works on and manages the assessment of built environment and transport projects, particularly focusing on project creation and strategic outline business case development.

In September 2018 Duncan attended the IED's Finance Insights for Inward Investor Conversations CPD workshop, which introduced common financial concepts and language used by investors when making investment decisions.

The workshop was designed particularly to develop delegates’ confidence to ask effective financial questions, enabling them to better support their region to match solutions and incentives to attract and retain businesses.

“I wanted to gain an insight into the commercial drivers and language used by the financial market and inward investors, to complement my knowledge of assessment from more of a public-sector outline business case perspective,” said Duncan, who joined Arup in 2015. “The presenter (IED Vice-Chair Paul Webster) was very good as he has ‘lived’ the advice given rather than stating things from a theoretical or academic perspective.”

Having developed his awareness and knowledge of finance methods used by investors to select projects, Duncan is already utilising his learning from the workshop. “I am applying the principles of the workshop in current commissions, particularly an understanding of the financial drivers behind investment decisions,” he said.

With over 15 years' public and private sector experience successfully delivering strategic planning and advisory services under his belt, Duncan added that he would recommended this and similar IED CPD workshop to others in the economic development profession: “The training very much reflected the course summary – it did exactly what it said on the tin.”