Live Case Study

This study sought to examine the effectiveness of a live case methodology for individuals engaged in executive development. In particular, the research examined whether ‘hard’ skills such as strategy could be developed by using a case study approach that is traditionally known for improving transferable or ‘soft’ skills. A three-day live case study was undertaken by 19 participants as part of an executive development programme on strategy. Through completion of both pre and post case study questionnaires, change scores on knowledge and understanding of a range of both ‘hard’ (strategy related) and ‘soft’ (transferable skills) skills and confidence to perform these skills effectively was calculated. The results clearly demonstrated that the use of the live case study was an excellent method for improving knowledge and understanding of strategy. However, the more surprising result was that with middle and senior managers on an executive education programme, the live case study did not significantly improve knowledge, understanding or confidence for transferable skills. The findings are discussed in relation to the current literature on the benefits of live cases, and the specific characteristics of the executive development cohort.

Giddy's "Global Banking and Capital Markets"

Live Case Study: The Project

What is this project?

The project is to write a group paper analyzing a major event or deal involving an international financial insitution. An example: the underwriting of a significant bond or share offering, the restructuring of a loan to a company or country, the negotiation of a merger or divestiture.


This project provides an opportunity to get some hands-on experience applying the principles learned in this course to a real financial institution. In the process, participants will get a chance to

  • evaluate the business of the firm, and its strengths or weaknesses.
  • conduct an in-depth study of a deal that the bank or FI has been involved in.
  • examine the competitive context: who were competing players, and how did your institution stack up against them?
  • evaluate how well the deal has survived, after the fact..
How is the project structured?
  • This is a group project. Each group must have about five individuals in it.
  • Each person in the group will pick one or more aspects of firm and its deal to analyze: for example, corporate strategy, range of businesses, geographical and product policies, and how the deal fits in with these.
  • One person should study the financial institution itself
  • One person should perform a comparative industry analysis, looking at other companies in the same financial services business.
  • One or more people should research the deal
  • At the end of the process, the group will write one report. In this report, the results will be presented as a whole rather than as five separate parts.
What company should we pick?
  • The financial institution may be large or small, domestic or international, a commercial or investment bank or money manager.
  • I'd choose one for which plenty of information is publically available.
  • Examples: Chase; Fidelity; BNP; Morgan Stanley Dean Witter; AIG.
  • Perhaps an interesting "story" can be your guide. You'll find stories daily the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Institutional Investor, among other places.
What is the deliverable?
    • A 5-10 page case study, plus appendices, plus references including websites.
    • The appendices should include relevant backup info including relevant financials, industry tables if appropriate, a table showing the sequence of events if appropriate, and any key articles.
    • The case should conclude with a pithy summary of any major insights gained or lessons learned from the study.
How will the project be graded?
  • Each group will receive one grade and every group member will receive the same grade.
  • No attempt will be made to allow for intra-group differences in effort.
Who polices the group?

Go to Giddy's Web Portal • Contact Ian Giddy at

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