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May 20

Foster risk-aware culture to reduce risk

Posted by SherylNash01 in riskk managementRiskcorporate culturecareer/management


Culture is one of those corporate intangibles. You can't wrap your arms around it, but it is powerful and of increasing importance--especially as M&A grows and risk management tops the corporate agenda.

"The continuing increase in merger and acquisition activity is heightening the importance of cultural analysis (both for due diligence and post-merger integration purposes). Culture is also an issue in large-scale outsourcing partnerships, which are becoming more prevalent, not to mention more strategically significant," Mark Clemente, president of consulting firm Clemente Communications Group, told CFOZone.

May 19

Building global skill-sets with international assignments

Posted by SherylNash01 in relocation, international assignments, career/managementcareer advancement


Executives are willing to do what it takes to get that next great gig - be it moving out of state, region or country. So said 82 percent of those who recently took the Executive Quiz, commissioned by The Korn/Ferry Institute.

What's driving executives to pack their bags? Career acceleration is the primary reason to move, according to 78 percent of those surveyed. However, compensation is not necessarily the number one motivating factor. Nearly half of global executives say the "quality of life" in a new location would most motivate them, while only 20 percent chose "job title or promotion", or "salary", as the top motivator. Eighteen percent of executives cite "the reputation of the company" as the primary motivating factor.

May 16

Time to rethink capex

Posted by SherylNash01 in Cashcareer/managementcapex


With companies holding cash rather than putting it into property, plant and equipment, it's becoming more important that they prioritize their opportunities for deploying it. If they fail to exploit them, sooner or later investors will start demanding their capital back. And the more cash on the balance sheet swells, as it has of late, the sooner that time will be.

Sam Silvers, author, Finance Transformation: Think a la carte, not overhaul, and Deloitte Finance Transformation Practice Leader, offers some fresh insight into how to get enough out of capital investment to be worth the risk.

May 13

The brave new world of temporary workers

Posted by SherylNash01 in Untagged 


Temporary workers have been a godsend for companies facing uncertainty. They give employers the muscle they need to get work done with the flexibility to hire and fire as needed. Plus employers needn't pay such employees the same health-care and retirement benefits they provide full timers. But the presence of part timers in an organization can be a tricky proposition. They're not on staff, but they're there - how best to integrate?

According to research from the University of Arizona, employers may not be doing such a good job of that. Joseph Broschak, associate professor of management and organizations at the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management and Alison Davis-Blake of the University of Minnesota, found that full-time employees in workgroups of larger proportions of temporary workers are less satisfied with their colleagues and supervisors.

May 11

Do CFOs add or subtract value as board members?

Posted by SherylNash01 in Sarbanes-Oxleycorporate governancecorporate boardscareer/management


While shareholders and Sarbanes-Oxley demand more independent directors on boards, a new study shows companies with boards that have at least one key insider, the CFO, are better at financial reporting than those without that executive on their boards. But that doesn't necessarily mean that all companies should appoint their CFOs to their boards, not at least without taking other considerations seriously into account. In fact, most companies probably should still look elsewhere for the expertise that CFOs supply.

The study found that companies with CFOs on their boards have more effective internal controls over financial reporting, higher accrual quality and a lower likelihood of restatements.

The study measured the quality of financial reporting by examining the incidence of material weaknesses reported under Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley. The provisions require companies to document and test internal control over financial reporting, and the company's independent auditor to independently test those controls and opine on internal control effectiveness.

May 11

Intellectual property increasingly at risk

Posted by SherylNash01 in risk managementRisk, intellectual property, corporate governancecorporate boardscareer/management


Patent infringement has reached the point where companies can no longer rely on litigation alone to protect their intellectual property, experts say. And those on the wrong end of such suits have to take them more seriously.

The intellectual property of the world’s 500 largest corporations is now estimated to be worth over $3 trillion, roughly 80 percent of their total market value. Yet some $59 billion of that is stolen in the US each year, because few companies have systems and controls in place to manage and monitor the risk that others are to stealing their intangible assets or that they themselves are in violation of someone else’s patent.

May 05

Golden parachutes only seem to get bigger

Posted by SherylNash01 in severance packagesexecutive perksexecutive compensationcareer/management


After nine months of service, Jeffrey Schwartz resigned in 2008 as chairman and CEO of ProLogis, an operator of distribution and warehouse facilities. He walked away with a $6 million separation agreement, representing two times his annual salary and target bonus and another $7.5 million to replace the equity grant he received only nine months earlier. These were options that were granted with a term of 10 years, but were paid out in cash in less than one year.

Such payments in this economic climate raise the eyebrows of folks like Greg Ruel, research associate for governance research firm, The Corporate Library, who wrote a recent research report on severance payments. The Corporate Library looked at severance packages during proxy years 2008 and 2009. In total, more than $315 million was paid out to CEOs across the 125 severance packages examined for the report. That figure includes only cash paid to settle contractual salary and bonus arrangements, and does not incorporate other monies gained upon termination of employment, such as equity profits or pension and deferred compensation increases. The average severance package for 2009 was $2.62 million, up 9 percent from $2.40 million in 2008.

May 02

Time for companies to get serious about lead directors

Posted by SherylNash01 in corporate governancecorporate boardscareer/management


Despite pressure to improve corporate performance, US companies have been slow to embrace the role of lead director. But critics contend that is a mistake.

Six years after the New York Stock Exchange mandated the presiding director position as a result of the corporate scandals of the last decade, little consensus has emerged regarding the roles presiding or lead directors should undertake and how they can act most effectively to improve the governance and performance of their companies. The reform was created as a compromise between having a board with no leader of its independent directors and mandating that every company have a nonexecutive chairman.

Apr 28

The legal pitfall in following best practices

Posted by SherylNash01 in Untagged 


Many companies cite the fact that they follow generally accepted industry standards, so called "best practices" when it comes to their approach to corporate governance, but experts warn that this is a risky strategy.

To be sure, "best practices" within a given industry may be transparent, out in the open, well vetted, and even acknowledged by regulators. But that isn't an effective means of defense in court, according to these experts.

Apr 26

How to tell good risk from bad?

Posted by SherylNash01 in risk managementRiskcareer/management


When risk is a four-letter word, as it is today, CFOs are damned if they take it and damned if they don't. 

But discouraging the right type of risk taking is a fundamental flaw in conventional risk management, according to Rick Funston, a principal with Deloitte and co-author of the recently published book, Surviving and Thriving in Uncertainty: Creating the Risk Intelligent Enterprise.

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