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.
Below is a chart by Zero Hedge and Caterpillar (CAT)’s filings depicting CAT’s monthly dealer retail sales by region globally since 2010. The good news is market analysts didn’t suggest the downturn in global sales was a result of bad weather.
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
Large scale solar energy projects heated-up in 2013.
According to EcoWatch’s recent blog and Mercom Capital Group’s white paper titled 2013 Fourth Quarter and Annual Solar Funding and M&A Executive Summary, dollar amounts of projects financed increased from $8.7 billion in 2012 to $13.6 billion in 2013, representing a 56% increase year-over-year.
Below is a chart provided by Mercom Capital Group:
And, if you are wanting a little something to show your solar energy enthusiasm, below is a creative product offered by the T-shirt Guy (and, no, we are not getting paid in any way by sharing this link):
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.
Coventry League embraces bicycling as a healthy, sustainable form of transportation, so reading about bicycles’ outselling new cars in practically every European country is encouraging. Small Business Labs wrote a blog today referencing the article at NPR titled In Almost Every European Country, Bikes Are Outselling New Cars.
Small Business Labs also provide some additional statistics and perspectives. For example, it mentioned that even in the U.S. bicycle outsold cars (18 million versus 14.3 million, respectively). Also, last October Coventry League highlighted the Top 20 Bicycle Friendly Cities globally (Portland was ranked #1 in the U.S. and Amsterdam in the Netherlands was the overall #1 city).
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.
Source: Cleveland Scene Magazine
Baseball is a game of skills and probabilities. Baseball is also “six minutes of action crammed into two-and-one-half hours,” as Boston Globe’s Ray Fitzgerald describes it.
So, if you like geeky analysis, economics, or baseball, then you might like the article titled Baseball’s Fiscal Cliff by Pete Kotz of Cleveland Scene Magazine.*
* The story was reprinted with permission of Voice Media Group in this week's issue.
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.