Adding a talented full-time CFO to manage a small or medium-sized company’s high-finances such as acquisitions, banking/investor relationships, strategic financial analysis/planning, and financial policy (including oversight of a controller/bookkeeper) is not cheap.
Now, let’s be clear: the important duties of a bookkeeper, accounting manager, and controller are not necessarily interchangeable with the duties of a CFO, as Janine Popick, CEO and co-founder of VerticalResponse can attest. The latter is where big picture strategic insights and analysis, competitive advantages, and proper policies are best formulated. It is where a finance guru seems to "think different," to reference Steve Jobs' statement.
Likewise, a quality CFO or Investment Banking Kiosk should be able to understand business models and value drivers, distill and communicate these concepts, and devise and oversee implementation of improvements (including financial/accounting policy and scalable systems). One alternative objective measurement to assess the latent talent of a potential CFO (or CEO for that matter) is to determine whether that individual is a good investor (this prowess is a direct relation to one’s ability to refine business models, assess competitors, and implement winning strategies/tactics), which is one of the rarest talents in the marketplace (less than 1% of professional investors can perform better than a common index over a 10 year period).
Nevertheless, how do some savvy Silicon Valley emerging growth companies leverage this talent affordably? Answer: Investment Banking Kiosks and Remote Contract CFOs.
Accordingly, here are the Top 4 Questions for owners/operators, boards of directors, and CEOs to ask to decide whether their organization can create value by using a Remote Contract CFO or Investment Banking Kiosk (Coventry League provides both, incidentally):
All this said, Coventry League would gladly provide counsel regarding the use of contract CFOs, investment banks, investment banking kiosks, and other business related initiatives. Of course, we can provide referrals or guidance to other firms and talent–since we may not necessarily be the best fit for each and every potential client.
So, please use the contact form or our direct email addresses (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request more information, receive a quote, and retain our services.
And, as always, Compete Like a Champion.
Here are ten words recently spoken by Joe Kaeser, CEO of Siemens, regarding use of economic sanctions:
"You do not want to sanction anyone you depend on.”
And, below are a couple of illustrations/pictures – since they are often worth a thousand words.
Apparently, one would need more than 200x the amount of U.S. dollars and 6x the amount of gold to buy a ticket for Super Bowl XLVIII versus a ticket for Super Bowl I (1967).
Sources: Coventry League; Bloomberg; Zero Hedge
The food and beverage sector is one in which appeals to Coventry League and we like to share helpful information about healthy dietary choices.
In this instance, below is a basic infographic provided by the Cleveland Clinic concerning oils for cooking and adding flavor to dishes.
Important points for further independent research regarding oils might include smoke point, nutrients, and proportion of fatty acids. Regarding the latter, one could note the distinction among saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats. There are several detailed resources to reference, but one may find a brief overview in the book titled Natural Health, Natural Medicine by Dr. Andrew Weil available at IndieBound.org.
According to the book, the saturation terms refer to the chemistry of fatty acids – basically, whether all available carbon bonds in the molecular chain are occupied, or saturated, with hydrogen atoms.
Determining whether a fat is mostly saturated is simple. For example, coconut oil is mostly comprised of saturated fat. One indication of saturation is a harder texture and opaque appearance when cool (coconut oil actually hardens at room temperatures below 74 degrees Fahrenheit). In contrast, oils that comprise mostly monounsaturated fats such as extra virgin olive oil remain mostly transparent when chilled even in a refrigerator (olive oil becomes a bit thicker and cloudier, but noticeably different from coconut oil or, say, bacon fat when chilled).
The smoke point of oils is important because that’s the temperature in which the oil breaks down into carcinogenic compounds; also, when oils are heated, the points of unsaturation become unstable and vulnerable to attack by oxygen and can damage DNA and components of cells. Therefore, it is important to understand the types of oils one uses for cooking, particularly at high temperatures such as searing in a skillet. As the infographic depicts, canola oil is good for high temperature cooking. There are other oils - such as avocado oil - that meet the criteria of high smoke point and high composition of monounsaturated fats, but are not widely available and can be relatively expensive.
Below is a map with an estimate of regional growth rates in the U.S. You may find a hover-and-click image by referencing the article titled Americas Next Decade at the Forbes' website.
Who doesn't want to strive to be a bit more sustainable nowadays? Some of the most respectable companies that have growth and profitability as goals also factor in externalities (costs on society) and the quality of life (note, this is not synonymous with ‘standard of living’) for employees and stakeholders to achieve said growth and profits. Patagonia (an interview with the founder, Yvon Chouinard) and WL Gore (maker of Gore-Tex fabric) are just two companies that are role models for others.
On a more personal level, citizens can put in place legislators who will put forth progressive policies to help achieve better outcomes for their respective communities. I particularly like to reference the policies instituted in Copenhagen, Denmark regarding bicycling (virtually eliminated vehicle street parking; imposed meaningful taxes on purchase and ownership of cars; relatively expensive gasoline; bike tracks separated by physical barriers – not simply painted lines and sharrows; etc.). Also, individuals may choose to be the change they want to see; for examples, bike to work or to do local errands, plant a garden, eat more foods that require less resources to generate, and – well, as the infographic below illustrates – learn how to compost.
Update - Aug. 02, 2013: Read more about the source data and commentary at the ZeroHedge blog post titled "Ten Times More Waiter And Bartender Than Manufacturing Jobs Added In 2013."
According to Thomson Reuters and the DealBook, edited by Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times, the pace of worldwide M&A during the first quarter of 2013 was relatively slow. The summary, highlighted below, reflects announced transactions and ranks them by value. Goldman Sachs is on top of Thomson’s League Tables in both number and value of announced deals in the quarter.
For those who want a free, interactive graphic regarding investment banking activity, then reference the Investment Banking Scorecard compiled by Dealogic and the Wall Street Journal.
And, lastly, for a comical perspective on League Tables, spend a few minutes to read The iBanker’s blog titled “Lies, Damned Lies and League Tables.” The art of presentation, however, is nothing new to bankers and the most discerning clients.
As Yogi Berra once quipped, "a nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."
Below is a chart from the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News depicting the purchasing power of a dollar using a Starbucks Latte. It's probably easier to find the source link from a related post by ZeroHedge titled The Starbucks Index - Coffee Price Parity (27 Feb 2013).