jerryking + cfos   33

Silicon Valley Needs a Few Good CFOs
May 24, 2019 | WSJ | By Kristin Broughton and Ezequiel Minaya.
CFOs  compensation  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  unicorns 
may 2019 by jerryking
Former Google CFO Patrick Pichette sets his sights on keeping Canadian tech talent at home - The Globe and Mail
TAMSIN MCMAHON U.S. CORRESPONDENT
PALO ALTO, CALIF.
PUBLISHED MAY 13, 2018

As the chief financial officer of Google, Montreal native Patrick Pichette would often make the trip home from Silicon Valley with the message that Canadian companies were too slow in fully embracing the digital economy. These days, he’s offering a different message for Canadian startups: Stay home.

Nearly three years ago, Mr. Pichette quit his US$20-million-a-year job as a senior executive at one of the world’s most powerful internet companies with plans to explore the world.

Now, after almost two years of steady travel, Mr. Pichette, 55, is focusing on the next chapter of his post-Google career. For that, he has set his sights on Canada, where he hopes to invest in building the next generation of entrepreneurial talent.

Earlier this year, he joined Canadian venture firm iNovia as a general partner, attracted by both its strategy to fund Canadian startups in order to keep them at home, but also by the firm’s global ambitions. Mr. Pichette is in the process of moving to Britain for the next several years, where he will establish a London office for iNovia and help steer the firm’s European expansion.

Persistent fears over a brain drain to the United States flared up again this month when researchers at the University of Toronto and Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont., published a study showing that as many as two-thirds of software-engineering graduates from the top Canadian schools were heading abroad to work, often to established firms in Silicon Valley, where they can earn significantly higher salaries.

Mr. Pichette argues that Canada has other advantages for its homegrown tech talent: an expanding tech ecosystem to support entrepreneurs, a more affordable work force for growing startups to tap into and a drastically lower cost of living than the San Francisco Bay Area.
Patrick_Pichette  Google  alumni  iNovia  venture_capital  vc  talent  heritage_migration  software_developers  brain_drain  Silicon_Valley  CFOs  crossborder 
may 2018 by jerryking
Stop Using Excel, Finance Chiefs Tell Staffs
Nov. 22, 2017 | WSJ | By Tatyana Shumsky.

“I don’t want financial planning people spending their time importing and exporting and manipulating data, I want them to focus on what is the data telling us (jk: i.e. "interpretation") ,” Mr. Garrett said. He is working on cutting Excel out of this process... for financial planning, analysis and reporting.

Finance chiefs say the ubiquitous spreadsheet software that revolutionized accounting in the 1980s hasn’t kept up with the demands of contemporary corporate finance units. Errors can bloom because data in Excel is separated from other systems and isn’t automatically updated. Older versions of Excel don’t allow multiple users to work together in one document, hampering collaboration. There is also a limit to how much data can be pulled into a single document, which can slow down analysis....Instead, companies are turning to new, cloud-based technologies from Anaplan Inc., Workiva Inc., Adaptive Insights and their competitors....The newer software connects with existing accounting and enterprise resource management systems, including those made by Oracle Corp. or SAP SE . This lets accountants aggregate, analyze and report data on one unified platform, often without additional training.
CFOs  errors  Excel  interpretation  financial_planning  spreadsheets 
november 2017 by jerryking
Marty Chavez Muses on Rocky Times and the Road Ahead
NOV. 14, 2017 | - The New York Times | By WILLIAM D. COHAN.

Mr. Chavez is about as far from the stereotypical Wall Street senior executive as you can imagine, and that is one reason his musings about the future direction of Wall Street are listened to carefully.

He grew up in Albuquerque, one of five children, who all went to Harvard. He got a doctorate in medical information sciences from Stanford University. (At that time, he was known by his full name Ramon Martin Chavez.)

In 1990, Mr. Chavez came out, the day after he defended his doctoral dissertation. – “Architectures and Approximation Algorithms for Probabilistic Expert Systems.” He is one of the few openly gay executives on Wall Street. ......In his current role as Goldman's CFO, Marty views his job as a simple one that is hard to get right: “I’m not paid or evaluated on the accuracy of my crystal-ball predictions,” he said. “I’m paid to enumerate every possible outcome and do something about every possible outcome well in advance, when it’s still possible to do something, because once it’s happened it’s too late.”....Unlike many of his peers on Wall Street, Mr. Chavez does not complain about the extent of the regulation that hit the financial industry as a result of Dodd-Frank. Generally speaking, he says, the regulations have helped banks “confront their problems and capitalize and bolster their liquidity,” making them “stronger as a result,” and the financial system safer and more profitable.....Instead of complaining about the extra expense and manpower required to comply with the mountain of new regulations, Mr. Chavez chooses instead to think about it differently. “If you approach the regulations as ‘Oh, we’ve got to comply,’ you’ll get one result,” he said. He prefers thinking about the regulations as, “This makes us and the system and our clients safer and sounder, and yes it’s a lot of work, but what can we learn from this work and how can we use this work in other ways to make a better result for our shareholders and our clients? Everywhere we look we’re finding these opportunities and they’re very much in keeping with the spirit of the times.”

Like any good senior Goldman executive, he does worry. (Lloyd Blankfein, the Goldman chief executive, once told me he spent 98 percent of his time worrying about things with a 2 percent probability.)

His biggest concern at the moment is the risk of “single points of failure” in the vast world of cybersecurity. He worries about any individual “repository of information” that does not have a backup and that can “be hacked.”

He does not even trust Goldman’s own computer system; he treats it as a potential enemy.

.....What also makes Goldman different from its peers is the firm’s love affair with engineers. At the moment, he said, engineers comprise around 30 percent of Goldman’s work force of about 35,000. It’s what drew him to Goldman in the first place — to work on Goldman’s in-house software, “SecDB,” short for “Securities Database,” an internal, proprietary computer system that tracks all the trades that Goldman makes and their prices, and regularly monitors the risk that the firm faces as a result.

He said the system generates some million and a half points of data that were used to calculate, for the first time, the firm’s “liquidity coverage ratio” — now 128 percent — and that were shared with regulators every day. He’s been busy trying to figure out how the newly generated data can be used to help him understand what the firm’s liquidity will be a year from now.

That way, he said, in his principal role as Goldman’s chief financial officer, he can perceive a problem in plenty of time to do something about it. “We’re able to get much better actionable insights that make the firm a less risky business because we’re able to go much further out into the future,” he said......
actionable_information  CFOs  cyber_security  databases  Dodd-Frank  engineering  financial_system  Goldman_Sachs  improbables  information_sources  jujutsu  low_probability  Martin_Chavez  proprietary  regulation  SecDB  SPOF  think_differently  Wall_Street  William_Cohan  worrying 
november 2017 by jerryking
As Goldman Embraces Automation, Even the Masters of the Universe Are Threatened
February 7, 2017 | MIT Technology Review | by Nanette Byrnes.

Automated trading programs have taken over cash equities trading function at Goldman Sachs. A job that once employed 600 people in 2000, is now in 2017 being done by 2 people, with the rest of the work, supported by 200 computer engineers. Marty Chavez, the company’s deputy chief financial officer and former chief information officer, explained all this to attendees at a symposium on computing’s impact on economic activity held by Harvard’s Institute for Applied Computational Science last month.....Chavez, who will become chief financial officer in April, says areas of trading like currencies and even parts of business lines like investment banking are moving in the same automated direction that equities have already traveled.....Complex trading algorithms, some with machine-learning capabilities, first replaced trades where the price of what’s being sold was easy to determine on the market, including the stocks traded by Goldman’s old 600.

Now areas of trading like currencies and futures, which are not traded on a stock exchange like the New York Stock Exchange but rather have prices that fluctuate, are coming in for more automation as well. To execute these trades, algorithms are being designed to emulate as closely as possible what a human trader would do,.....Goldman’s new consumer lending platform, Marcus, aimed at consolidation of credit card balances, is entirely run by software, with no human intervention, Chavez said. It was nurtured like a small startup within the firm and launched in just 12 months,
automation  Goldman_Sachs  Martin_Chavez  CFOs  CIOs  risk-assessment  platforms  human_intervention  Marcus  software  algorithms  machine_learning  job_displacement 
february 2017 by jerryking
Goldman breaks tradition with unconventional choice
December 17/ December 18, 2016 | Financial Times | Ben McLannahan.

His promotion to chief information officer in 2013 ― after a stint at Credit Suisse and Kiodex, an energy trading software company ― meant that he sat atop Goldman’s biggest division, accounting for about one-third of global headcount.

A big part of that job has been bringing down the amount the bank spends on maintaining old systems, which consume about one-third of Goldman’s annual $3bn tech budgets, according to estimates by Credit Suisse analysts.

He has also taken a page out of Google and Facebook’s playbook and started giving away some of the bank’s trading technology to clients via open-source software, inviting them to use it and improve it.

What sets Mr Chavez apart is “his ability to take decisive action based on what the world will look like in five to 10 years”, says Tom Farley, president of the New York Stock Exchange, who worked with him at Kiodex. “Other people may have a view of the future but they’re afraid to act on it.”

In an address to Goldman interns this summer, Mr Chavez told them that as a new graduate, he wanted to “get busy and do a bunch of things”. When he landed on Wall Street, he learnt that people called that attitude “optionality”.

“You don’t know that these options are going to be worth something, but if you do the work, pay the premium, own a whole bunch of these options on a lot of different outcomes and you’re diversified enough, probably something will work out,” he said.
Goldman_Sachs  Martin_Chavez  CFOs  appointments  Wall_Street  unconventional  SecDB  databases  generating_strategic_options  forward_looking  CIOs  Hispanics  optionality  new_graduates  legacy_tech  playbooks 
december 2016 by jerryking
The value shift: Why CFOs should lead the charge in the digital age | Deloitte US | CFO Program
William (Bill)J. Ribaudo, a partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP

Given CFOs’ fiduciary responsibility to deliver shareholder value, it makes sense that they should be leaders in digital business model innovation. When the evidence shows that each marginal dollar can be spent to generate value at a multiplier of 1, 2, 4, or 8 times revenue.

Four business models driving value

The rise of intangibles as a part of total market and corporate value has occurred in conjunction with the proliferation of new business models. Our research, in fact, shows that almost every company fits into one of four types business models, regardless of industry or function—and each one corresponds to a shift in technology and asset structure. Specifically, companies predominantly fall into one of the following categories, based on the way they create value:

Asset Builders. These companies build, develop, and lease physical assets to make, market, distribute, and sell physical things. Examples include everything from automakers to chemical manufacturers, big box retailers, and distribution and delivery businesses.
Service Providers. These companies hire employees who provide services to customers or produce billable hours for which they charge. Examples include consulting firms and financial institutions.
Technology Creators. These companies develop and sell intellectual property such as software, analytics, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology. Examples include software, big-data tools, and medical-device companies.
Network Orchestrators. These companies create a network of peers in which the participants interact and share in the value creation. They may sell products or services, build relationships, share advice, give reviews, collaborate, co-create, and more. Examples include online financial exchanges, social media businesses, and credit card companies.
Deloitte  business_models  CFOs  digital_economy  orchestration  information_flows  networks  platforms  multiplier_effect  physical_assets  intangibles  valuations  multiples  ecosystems  value_creation  shareholder_value  value_migration 
september 2016 by jerryking
From employee blunders to data breaches, CFOs can help stave off headaches - The Globe and Mail
JONATHAN STOLLER
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Apr. 13 2015
CFOs 
april 2015 by jerryking
Google Should Feel Lucky in Its Finance Chief Hire - NYTimes.com
MARCH 24, 2015 | NYT | Robert Cyran is a columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. For more independent commentary and analysis, visit breakingviews.com.

Google should feel lucky about its search for a new chief financial officer.

There’s a dearth of executives with the financial, technology and government know-how needed to help run a $400 billion company. Even fewer women fit the bill. Silicon Valley and Wall Street just can’t find people like Morgan Stanley’s chief financial officer, Ruth Porat, fast enough. The challenge is to create more like her.

Ms. Porat grew up in Palo Alto, Calif., and graduated from Stanford before embarking on an almost three-decade career in investment banking.
CFOs  Google  Silicon_Valley  Wall_Street  women  Stanford  alumni  Andrew_Sorkin 
march 2015 by jerryking
CFOs today: Is a bean-counting background optional? - The Globe and Mail
JONATHAN STOLLER
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Mar. 23 2015
CFOs  career_paths 
march 2015 by jerryking
Capital Markets 'Impediment' to Innovation - The CFO Report - WSJ
June 20, 2011, 10:05 PM ET

By MICHAEL HICKINS

Glenn Hutchins, the co-founder and co-CEO of private equity firm Silver Lake, believes the expectations of shareholders and analysts often prevent companies from investing in new businesses or technologies. “One of the largest impediments to getting all of this done is in fact the capital markets,” he said during the opening panel discussion of The Wall Street Journal’s CFO Network Conference.
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CFOs often find it tough to make aggressive, long-term investments because explaining the reason for “making a short-term diminution for the purpose of a long-term gain [to the equity markets] is very difficult to do.”

Still, companies need to be willing to overhaul their entire businesses, if necessary, to avoid being overtaken by aggressive innovators...He lauded Apple for being willing to promote something like the iPad despite the fact that the tablet may in fact destroy the computer maker’s iMac franchise. “Business model innovation is underrated,”.....Also speaking on the panel, HBS professor Clayton Christensen blamed a corporate culture born, ironically, of business school formulas that separate strategy and finance. “The business schools decided to teach strategy and finance [separately] and this got carried over into companies. [But] a lot of things that make sense financially make no sense strategically.”
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With the finance function certainly in mind, Christensen wrote that, “Managing innovation is the complexity of managing the resource allocation process.”
Silver_Lake  Clayton_Christensen  innovation  short-sightedness  strategy  finance  CFOs  long-term  impediments  capital_markets  business_models  Glenn_Hutchins  resource_allocation  expectations  new_businesses  new_products  investors'_expectations 
february 2015 by jerryking
The evolution of the chief financial officer - The Globe and Mail
BRENDA BOUW
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 09 2014
CFOs 
may 2014 by jerryking
Executive search firm rebuilds after staff defections - The Globe and Mail
RICHARD BLACKWELL

The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Jan. 09 2014

The shift to specialization in the executive-search business has partly been spurred by social media, Mr. Lovas said. Using sites such as LinkedIn, it is easy for anyone to come up with a list of chief financial officers, for example, but only a recruiter with a specialization in CFOs will have the knowledge and relationships necessary to determine who is truly qualified for a position and get them to consider a job change.

Another major shift in the head-hunting business, he said, is the increasing need to find interim managers to run a client company until a permanent employee can be found.

Indeed, the “interim management” business could be a bigger business than the basic executive search business within a decade, Mr. Lovas said. “It is one of the great trends in recruiting going forward.”
executive_search  professional_service_firms  relationships  LinkedIn  CFOs  interim  executive_management  defections 
january 2014 by jerryking
Lessons I learned from SNC-Lavalin’s woes
Jul. 26 2013 | - The Globe and Mail | by GWYN MORGAN.

Information is key

Because directors get most of their information from people within the company, they need to do everything they can to build and diversify their sources. There should be a robust whistle-blower system, independent of management, so employees can pass on information to directors without fear of reprisal.

Financial reporting structures matter. Internal auditors should report directly – and only – to the chair of the audit committee, not to management. The chief financial officer should have a direct reporting relationship to the audit committee chair. Operating division comptrollers should report to the CFO, not to the division leader or the business-unit head.

Focus on leadership

It’s important to have strong financial controls and ethical codes, but they will fail unless all people in leadership roles, from the CEO on down, follow them diligently and consistently.

Culture, culture, culture

It is said that corporate culture is defined by how people act when no one is looking. But it is also defined by how employees react when they see behaviour that is inconsistent with the values of the organization. When their reaction is, “We’re not going to let this happen in our company,” the organization is built upon a solid ethical foundation.
Gwyn_Morgan  boards_&_directors_&_governance  lessons_learned  SNC-Lavalin  scandals  engineering  information  information_flows  financial_reporting  financial_controls  auditors  CFOs  leadership  organizational_culture  whistleblowing  ethics  information_sources  reprisals 
july 2013 by jerryking
Small Company Finance
November 1, 1987 | HBS |
What may be appropriate for management of large public corporations doesn't necessarily (or often) fit private companies. Standard financial statements are unreliable when money moves freely between the business and owner. And rules of thumb for investment decision making and growth aren't useful either. When a company is largely operated as a vehicle for a family--to provide jobs, security, flexibility, and access to opportunities that suit the family as much as me market--conventional protocols don't always matter.
Subjects Covered: Entrepreneurial finance, Family-owned businesses, Financial management,
small_business  finance  start_ups  HBS  case_studies  CFOs 
august 2012 by jerryking
Kit and Caboodle
April 1, 1999 | CFO Magazine | by Russ Banham.
ERM  risk-management  CFOs 
june 2012 by jerryking
Be Data Literate -- Know What to Know - WSJ.com
November 15, 2005 | WSJ |By PETER F. DRUCKER. (This article originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal on Dec. 3, 1992).

Few executives yet know how to ask: What information do I need to do my job? When do I need it? In what form? And from whom should I be getting it? Fewer still ask: What new tasks can I tackle now that I get all these data? Which old tasks should I abandon? Which tasks should I do differently? Practically no one asks: What information do I owe? To whom? When? In what form?...A "database," no matter how copious, is not information. It is information's ore. For raw material to become information, it must be organized for a task, directed toward specific performance, applied to a decision. Raw material cannot do that itself. Nor can information specialists. They can cajole their customers, the data users. They can advise, demonstrate, teach. But they can no more manage data for users than a personnel department can take over the management of the people who work with an executive.

Information specialists are toolmakers. The data users, whether executive or professional, have to decide what information to use, what to use it for and how to use it. They have to make themselves information-literate. This is the first challenge facing information users now that executives have become computer-literate.

But the organization also has to become information-literate. It also needs to learn to ask: What information do we need in this company? When do we need it? In what form? And where do we get it?
CFOs  CIOs  critical_thinking  data  databases  data_driven  decision_making  digital_savvy  incisiveness  information-literate  information-savvy  insights  interpretative  managerial_preferences  metacognition  organizing_data  Peter_Drucker  questions 
may 2012 by jerryking
Pitting Costs Against Control - The CFO Report - WSJ
FEBRUARY 28, 2012, 12:27 AM ET
Pitting Costs Against Control
Article
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Maxwell Murphy
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shipping  retailers  CFOs 
february 2012 by jerryking
Leading His Troops by Example - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 7, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By DUNCAN MAVIN.
NYSE-listed China Security & Surveillance Technology Inc., based in
Shenzhen, China, manufactures and installs surveillance and security
equipment—cameras, alarm systems, thermal-imaging equipment, for
example—for corporate clients in China and Chinese government
organizations. It also offers a range of security support services, such
as monitoring and training services.

The private security industry is growing fast in China and is already
worth tens of billions of dollars by most estimates. CSST's revenue has
risen from $32.7 million in 2005 to $580.9 million last year. The
company estimates that 2010 will see the top line increase by as much as
30%. Founded in 2001, CSST has also gone through 16 acquisitions in the
past five years.
Asian  security_&_intelligence  security  Singapore  China  Lee_Kuan_Yew  surveillance  CFOs 
november 2010 by jerryking
PART-TIME EXECUTIVE, FULL-TIME VALUE
June-July 2007 | Canadian Treasurer | by Ken Goodwin and Jane
Matthews. Small and mid-market firms can turn to seasoned CFOs as
interim executives
executive_management  leadership  Outsourcing  staffing  interim  filetype:pdf  media:document  CFOs 
may 2009 by jerryking

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