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What an amazing response to our first newsletter in September. Read on to learn what’s happening at Marquee, and for more helpful articles and tips.

What’s in a Name?

We received a lot of great entries to our newsletter name contest.  In fact, there were so many good ideas that it was hard for us to choose.  However, after much discussion we landed on “The BenchMarq”. Playing off our company name, we felt that “The BenchMarq” captures the essence of who we are and our constant goal to set a high standard in everything we do. Congratulations to our winner, Morty Hoffman, who commented that The Marquee Group is “the Marq of Excellence in Financial Modeling”. Morty has won a great prize pack which includes gift certificates and unlimited access to one of the Marquee Principals for a year.

Marquee in the Media

We were recently featured in a profile piece by the University of Manitoba magazine that summarizes the history of Marquee and the evolution of our business. Click here to read the article.

Over the past year, we have also presented at conferences and business group events on modeling best practices and efficiency tips. Yes, we love modeling and we love to talk. Please let us know if you have an event where you would like a speaker that can bring real world best practices on subjects like budgeting, forecasting, valuation and data management.

New Classroom On-site

We recently hosted a course in our new on-site training room that can comfortably hold 12 participants. The room is great and we would be happy to show it off to any of our clients who would like to use it for a course. Most importantly, the room has been equipped with a professional ping pong table. Feel free to challenge one of us to a match!

Welcome Aboard

Our team continues to grow and we want to welcome Brendan Stephenson to our Marquee family. Brendan has joined as a full-time Associate to work on modeling projects in our consulting practice. Prior to joining Marquee, he spent four years in the M&A group at BMO Capital Markets.

Congratulations to our new AFMs

Congratulations to the nine people who passed our Accredited Financial Modeler ("AFM") exam in November. Click here to see the full list of graduates. Passing this challenging exam is a significant accomplishment and a testament to their great modeling skills.

A recent encounter with one of our earlier AFM grads was truly gratifying - he attributed a big portion of his success in landing a new banking job to the AFM and the confidence that it gave to his new employer. That’s what it’s all about for us. To all of our AFMs, keep up the good work! 

The November AFM exam was completely sold out and our January 28th sitting is already filling up fast. Click here to register or contact us if you’re interested in more information.

Articles in this edition

This newsletter includes two articles: the first is about finding and removing workbook bloat, and the second provides some great keyboard shortcuts that will help you increase speed when building formulas.

We were very pleased that so many of you found the tips in our first newsletter helpful. Following our first edition, a number of people sent us Excel and modeling questions on issues that have stumped them, and we are always happy to help. In fact, our article on workbook bloat originated with several models we received that suffered from this problem.

Finally, we want to wish all of our friends, colleagues, clients and their families a great holiday (filled with lots of modeling) and a happy new year. 

Ian Schnoor, Principal and Founder

Modeling Tips – Reducing File Bloat

Did you ever wonder why your seemingly simple Excel file is so large (in terms of KB or MB) or why it seems “sluggish”? We recently received a file from a client who was frustrated because it was taking Excel way too long to open the file or process any changes (i.e. a few seconds each time – how annoying!). The file size was over 20 MB, despite the fact that it didn’t contain a lot of data or any complex calculations. It turns out the cause was something we call “Excel bloat”. Bloat means there are likely “hidden” issues with the file that cause performance problems. These issues can easily be corrected if you know where to look and what to do. With a couple of simple techniques we reduced the file size to less than 2 MB.  

This article is the first in a series that will help you put some of your Excel files on a diet and get them in tip-top shape. 

Click here to read more

Keyboard Shortcut – Copy & Paste Using CTRL + ENTER and SHIFT + F8

When you’re working in Excel, one of the most common sequences is to fill in one cell (with say a link or a formula) and then copy and paste the same thing into adjacent cells. How many ways are there in Excel to copy and paste cells?  Lots.  There’s of course dragging the bottom right corner with the mouse.  OK, let’s not go there, if only because that previous sentence contained the word “mouse”. Moving on, here are two great ways to speed up your copy and pasting using some lesser known shortcuts on the keyboard. 

Click here to read more

Course Profile – Automating Excel with VBA Macros

Take your Excel skills to the next level by learning to automate work processes and data analysis through the use of coding in VBA (Visual Basic for Applications – the programming language for Excel). Participants will learn the building blocks of coding automation, repetition and decision making and put them together to solve problems and gain efficiency. Topics also include file management, user interfaces and creating custom Excel functions. The course will focus on best practices and the construction of error-free, transferable macros.  

Our next 2-day open enrollment session is on January 25-26. Check the calendar page of our website for more information. 

Please contact Glen Bastedo at if you have any questions.

Upcoming Open Enrollment Events


Training Courses

Jan 12, Toronto, ON
Building a Financial Model (of a Company)
Register Now

Jan 25-26, Toronto, ON
VBA for Finance Professionals
Register Now

Feb 1, Toronto, ON
Data Manipulation with Excel - Part 1
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Feb 2, Toronto, ON
Data Manipulation with Excel - Part 2
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Mar 8, Toronto, ON
Building a Financial Model (of a Company)
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Mar 21, Vancouver, BC
Data Manipulation with Excel - Part 1
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Mar 22, Vancouver, BC
Building a Financial Model (of a Company)
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Mar 23, Vancouver, BC
Merger Modeling
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Next Accreditation Exam

Jan 28, Toronto, ON
Register Now

For a complete list of all upcoming public courses, click here.

Contact us for more information:

The Marquee Group
56 Temperance Street, Suite 200, Toronto, Ontario, M5H 3V5
P: (416) 583-1802
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