“Create shareholder value through maximizing cash flows, providing appropriate funding and treasury services, and being due diligence ready.”
The most common measure of shareholder value creation is the business’ ability to generate cash. Most companies and operational management are comfortable developing new products and services, selling and delivering them, and with a bit of luck making a profit. Many have pretty much mastered working capital management and a good number control project capital allocation and payback. Few are good at managing for net cash flows after tax and financing costs. The finance function has a key role to play in this area.
Some specific successes in this area have included:
- Managing a business for cash and covenant compliance in a highly leveraged environment over the course of several years through both structural working capital and investment initiatives as well as ad hoc measures
- Conducted a bottom-up cost saving project, in particular a redesign of printed guide layout and design and tendering of printing and distribution contracts which yielded a further 10% per annum savings from an already tightly controlled cost base
- Championing the cancellation of an inappropriate, mismanaged and over-scaled enterprise Oracle Financials enterprise software project, saving €30 million over 5 years
- Identified and implemented a series of structural and transfer pricing measures, including Swiss tax ruling renegotiations, which reduced the group tax rate by half without any need for significant business model changes
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