CFO Summit XXXVI 2019

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  • Get a new challenge

  • The Commercially Attuned CFO


    Craig Omtvedt, a speaker at the marcus evans CFO Summit XXIV Spring 2012, on driving business growth by being commercially in sync.   

    Interview with: Craig Omtvedt, Former Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Fortune Brands, Inc.


    Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) need to be commercially attuned and think like owners in order to enhance the value proposition and help the business achieve sustainable growth with appropriate margins, says Craig Omtvedt, Former Senior Vice President & CFO, Fortune Brands, Inc. “Some CFOs are so focused on IRR that they cause the company to lose market share, which can ultimately be a death spiral,” he adds.

    A speaker at the upcoming marcus evans CFO Summit XXIV Spring 2012 in Hollywood, Florida, May 17-19, Omtvedt talks about risk management and setting up the business for success by being in sync with global markets.

    What is the top CFO challenge today?

    The biggest challenge for CFOs today is dealing with the new normal, the dynamic of the global economy, with slow or no growth in the US and a Eurozone crisis. Companies are also trying to take advantage of opportunities in the emerging markets, which many consider as homogenous when they are the opposite. Dealing with the various challenges - the on again, off again interest of Russia in foreign investment and the demographics of China’s aging population versus India’s youthful population - are creating interesting dynamics. One size does not fit all.

    How can CFOs drive shareholder value in this setting?

    CFOs need to focus on the value proposition for consumers, to ensure that what is being engineered into products and new product initiatives represent features that customers are willing to pay for. Simply building the best product in the world is no longer good enough. There needs to be a dramatic outward-in focus.

    What works well for mitigating risks?

    The most important technique is simply having a hands-on knowledge of the business and industry, and a strong understanding of competitors. That drives good decisions. Rather than operating from the center, getting out and spending time to understand strengths, weaknesses, the risk orientation of various teams, the various global markets in which they operate, and making sure that the right risk attention is placed at the right time is key to a strong risk program. 

    Sometimes we see a bureaucratic or cookie cutter approach where risks are periodically weighed formulaically. That does not serve the organization well. Bureaucratic process can kill a business as fast as too little control. Here again, CFOs need to think like owners and make sure that the mitigation procedures and programs are timely, make sense and are financially viable.

    Contact: Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits Division

    Tel: + 357 22 849 313

    About the CFO Summit XXIV Spring 2012

    This unique forum will take place at The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida, May 17-19, 2012. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on improving profit margins, the evolving role of the CFO, risk management and strategically accessing capital in a turbulent market.

    For more information please send an email to or visit the event website

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    Please note that the Summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

    About marcus evans Summits

    marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-on-one business meetings. For more information, please visit

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