Washington-Area CFOs React to Federal Reserve Policies, Discuss Acquisition Strategy at U.Va. Darden Event


Chief financial officers from publicly traded companies are less upbeat about the economy than their counterparts in private companies.

Read the ReportA new report, "Views From the C-Suite," reveals clear differences in optimism about the economy between publicly traded and private company CFOs. The September survey included in the report sees public company CFOs forecasting a longer time for employment recovery than the private company CFOs. Nevertheless, the averages reveal that Washington-area CFOs view the economy more positively than their counterparts in the rest of the country.

"Given the situation with the federal government and the number of stakeholders that publicly traded companies must engage with, it is understandable to see this dip in optimism from public CFOs," said Kenneth M. Eades, Paul Tudor Jones Research Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

This sentiment surfaced when CFOs from leading companies in the Washington, D.C., region gathered to discuss, debate and share best practices on enhancing the strategic role of the CFO at the 12th Strategic CFO Roundtable held recently at the offices of Sands Capital Management in Arlington, Virginia.

U.Va. Darden Professor Kenneth M. EadesThe session was convened on 26 September 2013, shortly after Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke announced the continuation of the quantitative easing (QE) program, specifically the purchasing of $85 billion in Treasury and mortgage bonds each month. The influence of the Federal Reserve upon the economy was frequently touched upon during the roundtable. Most CFOs in attendance agreed that the return of the QE program is good for the current market.

Innovation and talent management through acquisitions was a strong point of discussion. The role of acquisitions as a way to add talent as well as physical assets and customers spurred a number of stories around the table regarding good and bad experiences with the management of acquired companies.

In 2009, Eades and Jane-Scott Cantus, principal member, ILEX Leadership Associates LLC established the Strategic CFO Roundtable. In 2013, the Strategic CFO Roundtable was adopted as an important initiative of a newly launched Darden Institute for Business in Society (IBiS).

The roundtable members are CFOs at leading publicly traded and private companies representative of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan regional industries, including aerospace/defense, financial services, media, professional services and technology. The Strategic CFO Roundtable meets quarterly to discuss their responsibilities in asserting influence in the C-Suite and board room and on corporate strategy, as well as the impact of financial and corporate strategies on the workforce, shareholders, the national economy and society as a whole.

About the Darden School of Business
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business is one of the world's leading business schools, offering MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. The unique Darden experience combines the case study method, top-ranked faculty whose research advances global managerial practice and business education, and a tight-knit learning environment to develop responsible and complete leaders who are ready to make an impact.

About the Darden IBiS Strategic CFO Roundtable
The Strategic CFO Roundtable is a quarterly convening of leading chief financial officers in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area to discuss, debate, and share best practices for enhancing the strategic role of the CFO. With over 300 years of collective strategic financial and leadership experience, the roundtable members share their views on the challenges and opportunities facing their companies and the overall economy. The Strategic CFO Roundtable is organized by the Institute for Business in Society at the Darden School of Business of the University of Virginia

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