Strategic Finance Summit


Thursday, February 25, 2021

10:30-10:40 am ET


10:40-11:20 am ET

Leading Beyond the Numbers

CEOs increasingly are looking for finance chiefs willing to step up and be strategic partners, helping to guide the company toward sustainable success—and there’s no better example than the dynamic duo who lead Marriott. Marriott’s CFO Leeny Olberg will talk about her unique partnership with CEO Arne Sorenson running one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated companies through the most challenging time in its history—together. From day-to-day operations to how her CFO role has evolved over time, this will be an extraordinary session on strategic finance leadership with invaluable insights and advice on how you can become an indispensable asset to your CEO and board.

Featured Speaker:

  • Leeny Oberg, EVP and Chief Financial Officer, Marriott International

11:20-11:25 am ET


11:25 am-12:05 pm ET

Economic Outlook and Scenario Planning

CFOs know that business performance is intrinsically linked to the broader global economy. While much is known about the future—interest rates are low, taxes are likely to increase, there are also large uncertainties—when will the Covid-19 threat dissipate, what will be the impact of the U.S. Elections, how will the global balance of power shift. Leaders need to make decisions in the face of uncertainty and develop plans for most likely scenarios with contingency plans in place. We’ll look at how the global economy is faring and what the leading indicators say for the future. Gain insights to help you plan for 2021 and beyond and take advantage of economic opportunities to best position your company for the future.

Featured Speakers:

  • Devin O’Connor, Deputy Director, Economic Research; Committee for Economic Development, The Conference Board
  • Erik Lundh, Principal Economist, The Conference Board

12:05-12:15 pm ET


12:15-12:55 pm ET

The Future of the Finance Function

As finance teams look to scale their financial systems and improve their forecasting abilities, progressive CFOs are redefining their data analytics agenda. This evolution positions the finance team to play a more strategic role throughout the organization. We’ll look at the other elements that play into forecasting beyond financial metrics, how to prioritize those metrics and which ones should dictate future business decisions. And, we’ll help you evaluate the technologies that will enable your finance department to move from descriptive to predictive analytics to deliver more value and respond faster to the needs of the business.

Featured Speakers:

  • Tom Kelly, Director, Oracle NetSuite
  • Cari Thomas, Chief Financial Officer, Quatris Healthco

12:55-1:00 pm ET


1:00-1:40 pm ET

Cash and Capital – A Blueprint for Optimizing Long-Term Value

Companies that outperform their industry groups over long periods of time take different approaches in terms of strategy, leadership and innovation but the outlier performers shared one commonality – they are good allocators of capital. Learn the secrets of Warren Buffett and other outstanding CEOs and create a checklist for capital allocation.

Featured Speaker:

  • William Thorndike, Managing Partner, The Cromwell Harbor Partnership; Author, The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success

1:40-1:45 pm ET


1:45-2:15 pm ET

Leading Through Disruption

If you can’t predict what will happen, you can’t plan for it. Perhaps no industry saw as much disruption in 2020 as the hospitality industry. In an industry rocked by the shattering impact of Covid-19, Aimbridge Hospitality was fortunate to have already put in place a scenario planning process, in the aftermath of 9/11, predicting the adverse effects of different crises on revenue, working capital, the balance sheet and liquidity. Although this form of planning didn’t deter the carnage caused by the pandemic, it positioned Aimbridge (the world’s largest hotel management firm whose brands include Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt) to rapidly respond to the crisis. Aimbridge CFO Thomas Song will share how his finance team has driven a centralized approach to scenario planning to find a path towards resilience.

Featured Speaker:

  • Thomas Song, Chief Financial Officer, Aimbridge Hospitality

2:15-3:30 pm ET

Concurrent Roundtable Discussions

Attendees will be divided into small peer group for topical discussions, facilitated by subject matter experts. Topics will include:

How do financial leaders partner with IT to build a stronger culture of innovation in their organization? The pandemic accelerated the rush to digital transformation, and IT’s broad perspective gained from working with every department throughout the organization combined with a deep technology understanding ideally positions it to drive both the transformation and innovation throughout the organization. But, unfortunately, in many companies IT struggles from a lack of trust within the business due to spending the majority of their effort and money just “keeping the lights on” — a position they cannot change on their own. Building the muscle to truly transform—and keep transforming—your company requires a new approach, one that brings the innovation of technology such as hybrid cloud with the business rigor of the CFO. Join this peer-to-peer roundtable with other financial leaders from a range of industries to tackle one of the most critical tasks facing financial leaders: Building a stronger culture of innovation that’s ready to meet both technological—and financial—objectives.

Featured Speaker:

  • Steve Kaplan, Vice President of Customer Success, Finance, Nutanix

Financial transformation has been the talk of CFO roundtables for years – but why are so many skeptical about the subject? Other than lacking time, what’s really standing in the way of that high-performing, highly automated, analytics-driven office of finance? It starts with the definition. Financial transformation should not be synonymous with another giant capital expenditure or large undertaking. Finding the right place to start and starting small is everything. This roundtable will help you take the lead on financial transformation. Join other finance executives to discuss:

  • Where to start (and it’s not the obvious choice)
  • How to continue business resilience throughout financial transformation
  • Strategies to overcome challenges of data accuracy, consistency and transparency
  • How to increase your confidence in what your financial reporting data is telling you

Featured Speaker:

  • Dominick Fatibene, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Workiva

The rapid shift to digital and XaaS business models has had an outsized impact in shaping both company-wide growth initiatives and the CFO transformation agenda.  This roundtable will focus on the issues and implications surrounding this shift, and the CFO’s central role within it.  Join a conversation with your peers to explore how the CFO is now at the forefront of driving customer success and top-line growth via critical digital initiatives. This robust conversation will help you evaluate:   

  • Evolving monetization strategies such as recurring revenue, usage and consumption-based billing, and how to create a customer-centric approach for frictionless selling and buying and faster sales cycles
  • Front and the back-office unification  considerations to help you achieve go-to-market speed, efficiency and enhanced data integrity
  • Best practices for building an integrated lead-to-revenue architecture that supports the rapid and efficient operationalization of customer-centered monetization and revenue strategies across sales, service, finance and delivery

Featured Speaker:

  • Jim Martindale, Chief Executive Officer, Navint

Buying a company is easy – integrating it is an entirely different story. This session will provide information and tools to help company leaders successfully acquire and integrate companies into their organization. Join this peer-to-peer discussion to explore the most common pitfalls and how to avoid them so you can protect your future deals and ROI.

Featured Speaker:

  • Dena Jalbert, Founder and CEO, Align Business Advisory Services

3:30 pm ET

Event Concludes