Robert Barton


Diploma in Financial Strategy


United Kingdom





By Robert Barton

April 2018

I am a director with an SME called Cornerstone, a real estate investment and development company based in the City of London. We invest in and redevelop public and private sector land assets in the UK. My first degree is in engineering and I’ve previously held senior technical posts with some of the UK’s largest house builders so joining an SME, stepping out of ‘planet FTSE’ and being exposed to the cut-and-thrust of cash flow and finance conundrums in a small organisation was a big step for me. However, I did an MBA many years ago so felt well equipped to take on the challenge.

Last year we were faced the familiar task of how to finance growth in an environment where rich opportunities to generate cash flow outweighed our financial firepower. What surprised me most was how much the world of finance has changed since I completed my MBA. I was intrigued to find out more about what crowd funding, artificial intelligence and blockchain actually meant in today’s rapidly evolving market. I researched the postgraduate education market thoroughly and the Oxford Diploma in Financial Strategy was the perfect fit.

So far I have completed two modules (Strategy and Business Finance) and one exam (Strategy). I’m currently preparing for the Business Finance exam in July and I’m delighted to say the content is not only fascinating but also right up-to-date. Perhaps the best thing about Oxford is that you get to study and socialise with such amazing people in an historic location.

After the next exam we move onto Financial Strategies for Growth and then finally Corporate Valuation. I’m thoroughly looking forward to it and would recommend the course to anyone that wants to improve their knowledge of finance.

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