Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Does The Name Z/Yen Mean?

Preferred pronunciation “zee-yen" in a single syllable, though with a name like that we deserve what we get, such as “zed-yen" and “zai-yen". Meaning?

  • “Zen and Yen" - "A philosophical desire to make money" … “improve performance"
  • Performance ratios - Z/Y
  • Focus on solution - not A/B
  • Typographic logo on its own, unabbrvbl.
  • Eastern paradox - unified dualism - balance - harmony - desire - enlightenment not fads
  • Not Arthur Aardvark
  • We have fusion food, so why not fusion business
  • Try fusing “Clean Business Cuisine” and “The Price of Fish”
  • Say it very fast and you'll realise this is the last risk/reward firm you'll ever need

... and of course the verb is "to zyen" while documents are "zyeniffied".

2. What Does Z/Yen Actually Do?

"You can know where we are or what we are doing, but you can't know where we are and what we are doing!"

(with thanks to Rupert Stubbs and Werner Karl Heisenberg)

  • Z/Yen......
    • Helps good people solve wicked problems.
    • Helps organisations prosper by making better choices…through risk control, strategic enhancement and systemic management.
    • Improves organisations by helping them make better choices.
    • Works with clients on initiatives which manage risk and enhance reward.
    • Is not just a think-tank, but also a do-tank.
    • For those who understand Z/Yen, then no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, then sadly, no explanation is possible.
    • Are Masters of Measurement - time to measure what you want to be.
  • We ......
    • Undertake special projects for clients in order to help make better choices - which we implement through projects or coaching.
    • Help organisations improve.
    • Reduce complexity, making things as simple as they should be, but no simpler.
    • Manage change.
    • Improve decisions through analysis of risk and rewards.
    • Do people, organisational, strategy, systems and intelligence projects.
    • Work mainly with organisations in financial services, business to business services, high technology and the voluntary sector.
    • Invest in our clients, our partners and ourselves, sharing the rewards from our efforts while retaining and developing innovation and humour.
    • Help people see from new perspectives.
    • Enchance organisations.
    • Design tomorrow's organisation today.
    • Specialise in the eclectic.
    • Change attitudes towards risk and reward.
    • Are applied management scientists.
    • Are very special problem solvers.
    • Give the advice others only talk about.
    • Attempt to measure the unmeasurable.
    • Engineer success.
    • Challenge preconceptions in order to improve performance.
    • Are a think well.
    • Are a think spring.
    • Have a shop window of new ideas.
  • If you don't need to improve, Z/Yen is optional; survival is not mandatory.
  • Some people call in the corporate doctors - we're the vets.
  • All organisations have some tough nuts to crack - we're the nutcrackers.

3. How Did Z/Yen Start?

We have compiled the highlights from more than a decade of Z/Yen to make our own big red book, Z/Yen ... This is your life! Sign up for our Newsletter.

4. Does Z/Yen Specialise In A Particular Sector?

Z/Yen has worked across a huge variety of sectors, but you can't be an expert in everything. We would emphasise our expertise in a few sectors including the Financial Services, Technology, Civil Society, and Business, but we're always interested in new frontiers.

5. What Services Does Z/Yen Provide?

Z/Yen helps organisations prosper by making better choices. We challenge preconceptions in order to improve performance through risk reduction, reward enhancement, and increased certainty. We classify our projects into five categories: Strategy & Policy, Applications & Analytics, People & Skills, Intelligence & Research, and Organisation & Management.

6. What Is The Relationship Between Long Finance, ExtZy, FS Club, & Z/Yen?

Z/Yen has founded several online communities and discussion forums. These communities flourish through online activities via our community websites, blogs and surveys and our seminars, conferences, colloquies, round tables discussions and report launches. Long Finance addresses the question, "when would we know our financial system is working?" and is a significant pro bono publico effort for a small firm. ExtZy is an online community created by Z/Yen that explores prediction markets through web-page popularity. Players can buy shares using our own currency, The Zoint, in the websites that they think will grow in popularity and then trade their dividends in for real prizes. FS Club is a membership group for people interested in finance, technology, and all things in between.

7. I Think I Might Be A Potential Z/Yen Expert; How Do I Apply My Expertise To Z/Yen?

As well as applying to join us by emailing a curriculm vitae with a covering note to, SpecialiZm, Z/Yen's expert resourcing division, provides experts for managerial positions.

8. What Are Z/Yen's Main Publications?

Z/Yen publishes across a variety of journals, magazines and reports, and all of our external content is available for free via the Research and Publications sections of This includes articles from the variety of sectors that we work for, reports, previous projects and our recommended reading list. Some regular publications include:

You are able to download and print PDF’s of our publications for personal, educational and informational purposes. You can also register on our Community to publish your own articles and reference links of interesting finance topics.

We do not authorise the use of our content for promotional, sales, or marketing purposes. Please note that we do not supply customised reprints. To request permission to republish an article or exhibit, online or in print, please write to

9. What's The Crazy 聚圆 In Your Imagery?

Well, you’re clearly an eagle-eyed reader of Clean Business Cuisine: Now & Z/Yen (and who isn’t?). These are 汉字 - ‘hànzì’, i.e. Chinese characters. 聚圆 “chú yuán" translates directly as “unite circle”. However, these are ‘simplified’ characters. In traditional characters, our phrase would be 聚圆. Sadly, the Japanese 汉字 - kanji – aren’t equivalent in this case. Other translations of the same characters might include “gather round” or “bring people together around money”, in Z/Yen terms “commerce”. When we went down this road, we were close to trying to say “eternal circle”. So, what’s the gist? Z/Yen tries to tackle ‘wicked problems’ where finance and technology meet social issues. We believe that by bringing people together in a community we can help to solve wicked problems, particularly if we’re aware that people, as Adam Smith noted, can create social benefits through semi-selfish behaviours.

10. Z/Yen Imagery

Click on the link above to access our various logos and drawings.

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