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Advanced Corporate Credit Analysis

Learn advanced analytical & structuring techniques for credit risks
  • The Covid pandemic has brought back many of the credit problems that were experienced during the financial crisis of 2008/09 and many banks and other financial institutions continue to lose billions of dollars due to their failure to analyse credit risks correctly. This course builds on the 4-day “Fundamentals of Credit Analysis” course and introduces delegates to more complex accounts and situations, using more advanced analytical and structuring techniques for assessing, limiting and offsetting credit risks. We also review distressed credits – how to spot deterioration and restructure firms worth saving.


    The course combines formal theoretical instruction with frequent use of exercises and case studies. These are based on real situations and are designed to help delegates implement new practices and to learn from empirical experience. Delegates are expected to know how to use Excel. The course is practical and inter-active, with delegates encouraged to ask questions. The techniques taught are intended to be of immediate practical use in the workplace. The lecturer will be available throughout the duration of the course to offer additional help if required.

    All delegates must bring their laptops to facilitate in-class studies and exercises.

    Principal topics include:

    • Advanced financial analysis, with case studies based on complex accounts
    • Parent and subsidiary rating linkage; related party risks
    • Overview of a wide range of traditional and new debt products
    • Debt structuring - creating an optimal capital structure for a client, including debt layering, subject to minimizing WACC and market constraints
    • Credit enhancement methods; creating cashflow ring-fencing structures; CLNs
    • Deteriorating credits, potential and actual NPLs: warning signs and strategies for restructuring the firm and minimizing loss

    Course objectives

    The course aims to:

    • teach delegates how to analyse more complex financial statements and make advanced adjustments to reported numbers to work out underlying trends and ratios
    • help delegates understand the main considerations for establishing parent/subsidiary/affiliate ratings
    • introduce delegates to specific credit products including hybrids, supplier finance, green loans/bonds, social loans/bonds and commodity bonds
    • help delegates understand how to advise corporate clients on more complex debt structures, in the context of creating an optimal capital structure
    • teach delegates how to analyse the statements of distressed firms and how to spot early warning signs
    • teach delegates how to restructure the operations and capital of distressed firms that are worth rescuing

    During the course, we reference and analyse a range of case studies including Casino, Bayer/Monsanto, EliLilley/Loxo, Campbell, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Pizza Express, Power Solutions, PureGym, Refinitiv.

    Who should attend?

    • Bank credit officers
    • Investment bankers
    • Management consultants
    • Bond credit analysts
    • Fixed income/credit traders
    • Fixed income/credit sales people
    • Fund managers
    • Treasurers
    • Compliance officers
    • Financial decision makers in corporations

  • Session 1


    Section 1: Advanced financial analysis for complex credits

    1.1 Income statement forecasts and adjustments
    • How do income statement entries affect the credit analysis and what adjustments should we make?
    • Revenues and costs
      • Considerations for forecasting growth
      • Key drivers and risks
      • The impacts of macro factors, disruption, ESG and technology
      • The impact of operating leverage
    • Segmental analysis
    • IFRS reported numbers versus management adjustments
    • Adjusted EBITDA versus underlying EBITDA; EBITDA add-backs
    • Key adjustments to reported numbers
      • Exceptional, non-underlying, non-core and non-recurring items
      • Capitalised expenses – operating, development and interest
      • Amounts relating to discontinued items
      • Accretion expense
      • Leases
      • Defined benefit pensions
      • Hybrid securities
      • Off balance sheet items
    • Can losses be hidden in off-balance sheet vehicles?
    • Understanding lease expense post IFRS 16
    • Taxation – effective, statutory and marginal rates
    • Items in the statement of other comprehensive income

    Case studies: using complex accounts to calculate and interpret the gross margin, EBITDA(R) margin, EBIT margin, pre-tax margin, net margin, productivity ratios, interest cover ratios, dividend cover and enhanced dividend cover ratios

    1.2 Balance sheet forecasts and adjustments
    • How do balance sheet entries affect the credit analysis and what adjustments should we make?
    • Non-current tangible assets
      • Valuation basis, impairments, replacement cycle
    • Intangible assets
      • Recognition, valuation basis, impairments
      • How much of the firm’s cashflow is dependent on intangible assets?
    • Shareholdings in equity accounted entities
    • Deferred tax assets
    • Current assets
      • How inventory valuations impact earnings
      • Receivables – collection trends, accruals, retentions
      • Bad debt provisions and write-offs
      • Liquidity analysis
      • Restricted cash, returnable cash and other financial assets
    • Discontinued items
    • Current liabilities
      • Dealing with excessive trade payables and over-due tax
      • Overdrafts, RCF, supplier finance, undrawn facilities
      • Deferred income and accrued expenses
    • Net working capital – seasonality; how NWC can be manipulated
    • Provisions, current and non-current
    • Deferred revenues – impact on liquidity of unwinds
    • Deferred tax liabilities
    • Analysing lease liabilities post IFRS 16
    • IFRS 16 exceptions – dealing with leases that are still off-balance sheet
    • Differences between a service contract and a lease
    • Unfunded retiree liabilities
    • Non-recourse debt of subsidiaries and non-consolidated entities
    • Dealing with “other creditors”
    • Off balance sheet liabilities – contingent liabilities, receivables securitisation
    • Defining gross and net debt, including hybrids
    • Liquidity – sources, measurement, forecasting
    • Does the BV of equity matter? Does negative equity affect the credit profile?

    Case studies: using complex accounts to calculate and interpret key ratios - leverage ratios, liquidity, current ratio, quick ratio, cash ratio, asset coverage, working capital ratios (inventory turnover, accounts receivable turnover, accounts payable turnover), ROIC, ROE, asset turnover

    Session 2

    1.3 Cashflow statement forecasts and adjustments
    • How do cashflow statement entries affect the credit analysis and what adjustments should we make?
    • Are operating earnings turning into operating cashflow?
    • What is the impact on cashflow of NWC changes, provisions, equity accounted entities and other non-cash items?
    • Is the firm under or over-investing in maintenance and expansionary capex?
    • Are investment forecasts consistent with growth forecasts?
    • How are leases dealt with in the cashflow statement, post IFRS 16?
    • Can the firm cover debt service, tax and investment spending?
    • How are dividends funded? Are they sustainable?
    • What is the scope for dividend increases and share buybacks?
    • Is the firm reliant on external funding?

    Case studies: using complex accounts to calculate and interpret interest cover, debt service cover (DSCR), years to repay gross debt, investment cover, dividend cover, cash conversion ratios, dependence on external funding

    Section 2: Parent and subsidiary rating linkage

    • Credit assessment of groups, the importance of ownership, analysing a group
    • Proportional debt, earnings and cash flow of entities that are not wholly-owned
    • Non-recourse projects e.g. associates and joint-ventures
    • Non-guaranteed subsidiaries
    • Captive finance subsidiaries
    • Fitch criteria for associates, j/vs, subsidiaries
    • S&P criteria for associates, j/vs, subsidiaries, captive finance subs

    Case study: working out relative ratings for group structures

    Session 3

    Section 3: Analysing and understanding various debt products

    3.1 Overview of debt products – short term
    • Overdrafts
    • Revolving credit facilities
    • Working capital facilities
    • Supplier finance
    • Receivables funding
    • Floorplan funding
    • Commercial paper

    3.2 Overview of debt products – long term
    • Bi-lateral term loans
    • Syndicated term loans
    • Private placements
    • Listed bond issues
    • Asset-backed loans
    • Leases (IFRS 16)
    • Special features – coupon step-ups/downs, PIK, Toggles, PIYC, PIYW

    3.3 Green loans/bonds, social loans/bonds and commodity bonds
    • Key features and benefits
    • Recent transactions and pricing

    3.4 Hybrids instruments
    • Convertible bonds, mandatory convertible bonds, exchangeables
    • How much equity credit should be given?
    • IFRS approach
    • The rating agencies’ approaches
    • Case studies to estimate how much equity credit to assign to hybrids

    Section 3.5 Supplier finance
    • What is it?
    • Different methods of structuring supplier finance
    • How it be used to show lower leverage

    Case studies: working out financing packages for different firms – using the right blend of short-term vs long-term funding, secured versus unsecured, senior versus subordinated

    Section 3.6 High yield grade bonds and leveraged loans
    • Background to HY bonds and leveraged loans
    • Examining the convergence between HY bonds and LL Term B tranches
    • Remaining differences between HY bonds and LL
    • Covenant lite and covenant loose features

    Case study: quiz on the HY bond markets and leveraged loan markets

    Session 4

    Section 4: Debt structuring

    4.1 Financial objectives and achieving an optimal capital structure

    • What are the firm’s financial objectives?
    • Are they realistic?
    • Defining an optimal capital structure
    • Reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of equity and debt
    • Defining enterprise value and equity value
    • Overview of WACC
    • The cost of debt, equity and hybrid instruments
    • Adjusting WACC for multi-national groups
    • Factoring in sovereign risk to the cost of debt and equity

    Case studies: Calculating EV and equity values; practicing ke and WACC calculations

    4.2 Debt capacity and debt tranches
    • What is the firm’s debt capacity?
    • Theoretical debt capacity versus market reality and constraints
    • Sources of debt service and repayment
    • Capital layering – using mezzanine and subordinated debt
    • Factoring in HC debt and double leverage
    • Who should be the borrower – HC, OpCo or other?
    • Using off balance vehicles and products
    • Could the firm benefit from some of the debt products mentioned above?
    • Assessing repayment capacity for amortising debt
    • Managing the capital structure for a cyclical firm
    • How will new financing change the firm’s capital structure, WACC, eps, credit ratings?

    Case studies: Using a financial forecasting model to change the firm’s capital structure and assess the impacts on credit ratios. Undertaking scenario analysis to stress test the cashflow forecasts

    4.3 Factors that could limit credit risk
    • Credit support from third parties
    • Guarantees
    • Maintenance agreements
    • Credit enhancement
    • Shortfall agreements
    • Collateral – value, liquidity, perfection, enforcement

    Case study: working out a financing package for a firm, including most suitable products, amounts, borrwer(s), tranching, risk limitation features

    Session 5

    Section 5: Credit enhancement methods

    5.1 Securitization
    • Typical structure and participants
    • Creating cashflow ring-fencing measures
    • Rating considerations
    • Case study of a ring-fencing structure to give lenders additional protection

    5.2 Insurance and guarantees

    5.3 Credit linked notes
    • Overview of credit linked notes (CLNs)
    • Overview of synthetic CLNs
    • Advantages and disadvantages of CLNs

    Section 6: Analysing distressed firms

    6.1 Early warning signs of distress
    • Overview of recent trends in downgrades, default and distress rates
    • The impact of Covid-19 on different countries, sectors and firms
    • Background and definitions
    • Causes of distress and common early warning signs
    • Macro and sector signals; event risks
    • Analysing the financial statements and notes of distressed corporates
    • Income statement and operational signs
    • Cashflow signs - prospective and actual lliquidity
    • Balance sheet signs

    Case studies: spotting early warning signs and analysing distressed credits

    Session 6

    Section 6: Analysing distressed firms continued

    6.2 What to do in the event of distress and potential restructuring solutions

    • Is it a liquidity problem, a leverage problem or a viability problem?
    • Speculative grade liquidity ratings
    • Acting on early warning signs if there is no covenant breach
    • Amendments and waivers
    • Advantages and disadvantages of calling an event of default
    • Options for restructuring and recovery
    • Does the firm have any residual equity value?
    • Could it have a positive equity value in future?
    • Is it worth saving? Should the lenders advance additional funding?
    • Operational restructurings
    • Restructuring the borrowing base without debt write-offs
    • DIP funding and the use of the super-senior RCF
    • PIK and extended maturities; cashflow sweeps
    • Equity issuance, shareholder loans and equity cures
    • Restructuring the borrowing base with debt write-offs
    • Debt for equity swaps, debt for debt swaps, debt forgiveness, discounted debt buybacks
    • PIK, PIYC
    • Modelling debt restructuring options for distressed firms
    • Review of models for PD and LGD from Moody’s, KMV and CreditMetrics

    Case studies: modelling new borrowing facilities and debt restructuring solutions for distressed firms

    Course summary and close

  • Our Tailored Learning Offering

    Do you have five or more people interested in attending this course? Do you want to tailor it to meet your company’s exact requirements? If you’d like to do either of these, we can bring this course to your company’s office. You could even save up to 50% on the cost of sending delegates to a public course and dramatically increase your ROI.

    If you want to run this course at a location convenient to you or if you want a completely customised learning solution, we can help.

    We produce learning solutions that are completely unique to your business. We’ll guide you through the whole process, from the initial consultancy to evaluating the success of the full learning experience. Our learning specialists ensure you get the maximum return on your training investment.

  • We have a combined experience of over 60 years providing learning solutions to the world’s major organisations and are privileged to have contributed to their success. We view our clients as partners and focus on understanding the needs of each organisation we work with to tailor learning solutions to specific requirements.

    We are proud of our record of customer satisfaction. Here is why you should choose us to help you achieve your goals and accelerate your career:

    • Quality – our clients consistently rate our performance ‘excellent’ or ‘outstanding’. Our average overall score awarded to us by our clients is nine out of ten.
    • Track record – 10/10 of the world’s largest banks have chosen us as there training provider and we have delivered training across the largest banks and have trained over 25,000 professionals.
    • Knowledge – our 100+ strong team of industry specialist trainers are world leading financial leaders and commentators, ensuring our knowledge base is second to none.
    • Reliability – if we promise it, we deliver it. We have delivered over 25,000 events both in person and online, using simultaneous translation to delegates from over 99 countries.
    • Recognition – we are accredited by the British Accreditation Council and the CPD Certification Service. In an independent review by Feefo we scored 4.2/5 on service and 4.7/5 on Coursecheck
This course can be run as an In-house or Tailored Learning programme


  • Sarah Martin

    Banks and other financial institutions can lose billions of dollars annually due to their failure to analyse and anticipate risks correctly. That's where my training course comes in.


    Sarah Martin has worked as a financial trainer for over ten years for many major financial institutions in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Recent clients include: The EBRD, The EIB, BBVA, Gibbs Business School in Johannesburg, Bahrain Institute of Business Finance, Bank of China, Erste Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, Standard Bank and Mizuho Bank. The delegate profile ranges from graduates to board members. She trains in financial analysis, basic and advanced credit analysis, LBOs, company valuation, financial modelling and distressed debt. The training involves classroom learning and also blended training using videos, webinars and other forms of e-learning. Sarah Martin has a degree in economics from the London School of Economics and stock exchange qualifications from London and New York. A former Executive Director of CSFB and Lehman Brothers, the trainer has spent seventeen years working as an investment banker in Europe and the US. She has principally worked in the credit markets and has experience of the US and European high grade, high yield and mezzanine markets, the European new issue markets, the Asian convertible bond markets and of corporate restructurings of distressed credits. She specialised in the telecoms sector and was closely involved in the structuring, raising and/or trading of bank and public debt for telecoms companies in many countries, including Europe, South Africa, Asia and Latin America. She also has extensive experience of corporate finance transactions, including mergers, disposals, privatisations, IPOs and capital raisings. She has also worked as an expertise witness in financial lawsuits.