Archive for March 2015

How To Kick-Start Your Multi-Country Finance Management Career

wpid-IMAG2654.jpg You are a good country finance director or head of finance. You have a stable department, the knowledge of the local systems and legislations, and you have been very successful in this role for quite a while. Your multinational company is very happy with your financial directorship – the operating income flows are steady, your reporting is on time, subordinates act professionally and are satisfied with their jobs. And then you wonder – what is next for me? How can I do more? What is coming next in my career in multinational finance management?
You of course know the answer: the next natural career step is to take on a role in multi-country financial management. The usual path leads to a cluster or regional controller (or finance director) role. You should be heppy with that, since it gives you the chance to expand your financial management skills at multi-country level, as well as to embark on a path of multic-cultural and complex corporate finance learning.
There are also lots of questions – and the successful country finance directors are usually unsettled by them:

a) What does the new role require from me in terms of skills, experience, interactions?
b) How do I cope with the new role and the pressures associated?
c) How do I manage not one, but multiple legal entities/countries – whilst keeping the same success levels as in the past?
d) When do I start and where do I stop? etc

It is hard to answer all these questions in a short blog post such as this one, however – I will give you here some practical (and theory based) insights on how you can become a successful regional finance manager/director quickly and with little associated stress: Read more

“The Battle of Bretton Woods”, by Benn Steil – A Book Review

To be fair, the complete name of the book is “The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order”. This title kind of raises the expectations, doesn’t it?

Bretton Woods is, for most people outside of the economics field, just one of those expressions that specialists use to drive others away. It is the kind of expression mentioned when somebody needs to describe the redefinition of the economical order – or even more, the redesign of a financial system. Sounds like a big thing – and it actually is – Bretton Woods represented, in the aftermath of the 2nd world war, the place were the winning nations redesigned the monetary system and shaped what we have today in terms of financial flows globalization.

But don’t get me wrong – “The Battle of Bretton Woods” tells the story of the story, not of the technicalities behind. In retrospective, most historical decisions look usually logical and inevitable. The best history books, such as this one, do justice to the topic and show how intrigues and rivalries between the leading nations shaped the history at that moment. And boy, this was history – in this middle town of new Hampshire the dollar would become, after many strenuous battles, the currency of choice for international trade. This choice propelled US at the nexus of the modern economy, making it noit only the most powerful economy in the world, but also its guardian of choice. “The Battle of Bretton Woods”  how US became the biggest creditor nation, how the US banks started to do deals with other governments, why the international trade still takes place mostly in dollars – and so on. Many reasons just to read it, right? Read more