Posts from the “Finance” Category

The Financial Swim

Posted on September 4, 2015


As summer comes to an end, I was asked to provide advice to departing interns. Alongside the professional development discussions, I always recommend mastering personal finances. While it may take time to gain experiences and chart an individual financial path, here are my basic ‘SWIM’ recommendations to get started. Save Aggressively Save at least half of your income. You probably can’t do this with a high debt load, so get out of debt. Why save fifty percent plus? Traditional lower savings guidelines assume you’ll have consistent salaried income over your career, and you may not. You’ll also want to avoid dependence on individual work income or social support in the long run. If financial independence is a priority, push your savings rate to 80-90%.…

Lessons from Maersk CFO

Posted on February 14, 2014


Maersk CFO Trond Westlie outlines his rules for success in Issue 9 of EY’s Capital Insights: Use what’s already in the business but improve upon it. Even though you may have different views on how things should be done, the business has evolved over many years. You need to optimize what is already in the business. You have to make sure the processes that drive the finance and performance management functions are structured and transparent. Everyone in the organization needs to know about them. Get rid of budgets. They are a waste of time. The world is changing so much, so the only thing budgets are good for is cost control. And most businesses know how many cars, offices and people they need, so…

Facebook and Shareholder Value

Posted on August 19, 2013


Over a year after its initial public offering, Facebook’s stock closed above the $38 per share IPO price for the first time. So is the CFO finally doing his job? Perhaps he is, if his role is to maintain Facebook’s market value…a perspective The New York Times’ Andrew Sorkin alluded to when he suggested that the IPO had been botched. One may have a different view if the CFO’s job does not include managing investor portfolios…a perspective neatly summarized by Mark Cuban last year. Much of the debate may hinge on how we view the production of shareholder value. “On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world. Shareholder value is a result, not a strategy…your main constituencies are your employees,…