Can Finance Really Become a Strategic Partner to the Business?

Much has been written about how to finance businesses can turn out to be strategic companions with the companies they support. Simultaneously, purported specialists point to an expansion of frameworks, scorecards and key overall performance signs, and many others. As the keys to bridging the space between finance and business, those trite ‘answers’ have done little to make finance the strategic enterprise partner it seeks to be. Worse yet, pursuing these ideas has placed finance companies on a treadmill in which they use up energy and resources (e.G., time and money) in the end to get nowhere even as the difficulty persists. So in case you are nonetheless searching out a silver bullet or short restoration to this apparently incurable hassle, prevent studying now.


Given the time, money, and effort spent, you will be a bit demoralized and even speculate that the finance-commercial enterprise chasm cannot be crossed. Paradoxically, the link between finance and the commercial enterprise has been beneath finance’s proverbial nose for a while – useful resource allocation. A critical concerted attempt to optimize a company’s useful resource allocation, in the end, enables finance to increase the bridge between finance and method.

This field called corporate portfolio control works to manipulate the company’s resource allocation as a discretionary investment portfolio. All companies allocate their assets – only a few optimize their useful resource allocation. Finance is uniquely located to permit this because they sit down at the nexus of information and information required to undertake a corporate portfolio management attempt. (Note:

Corporate portfolio management is regularly stated by different terms in order a point of reference, terms which include IT portfolio control, corporation portfolio control, product portfolio management, venture portfolio management, aid allocation, and funding optimization are similar. In fact, these all are slices or subsets of corporate portfolio control.)

From Resource Allocation to Strategy

First, it’s miles worth know-how the tie among useful resource allocation and method – they are equal. Where you allocate your sources is your approach. PowerPoint presentations, speeches using senior leadership, method bullets nicely framed on a wall, and so on. They are all interesting and doubtlessly useful, but they are now not your agency’s method. For instance, if your said company strategy is to have the maximum engaged and loyal customers (this sounds suitable, proper?), however, you allocate all of your funding bucks to acquiring new customers, your method is certainly around customer acquisition. This is a straightforward example but, in reality, demonstrates the dichotomy that could and frequently exists between a said an actual approach.

A notable article entitled “How Managers’ Everyday Decisions Create – or Destroy – Your Company’s Strategy” that recently appeared within the Harvard Business Review (February 2007) properly articulated the connection among resource allocation and method and also pointed to the want for a corporate portfolio management subject. “How business genuinely gets completed has little connection to the approach advanced at corporate headquarters. Rather, a method is crafted, grade by grade, as managers in any organization’s respect ranges – be it a small firm or a large multinational – commit sources to rules, packages, humans, and facilities. Because that is real, senior control might remember focusing less interest on questioning thru the corporation’s formal approach and extra interest in the processes with the aid of which the corporation allocates resources.”

The upshot of that is that if finance can permit the system to allow better aid allocation (which is approach), they’ll have succeeded in becoming a de facto strategic accomplice to the enterprise.

* Investment valuation – This consists of defining what funding is. It is worthwhile to take an expansive definition of what contains an investment because this isn’t just capital expenses (CapEx). However, it also must consist of working costs (OPEX). In widespread, 25-forty% of an employer’s charges are discretionary and therefore are investments. Investment valuation additionally requires consistency of valuation method which necessitates the use of driving force-primarily based models to create projections and additionally looking at beyond NPVs and ROIs to consider the approach and different qualitative factors that pressure investment ‘fee.’


* Portfolio allocation – This requires determining investment areas/subject matters and the related allocations. Basically, what are my strategic priorities for funding, and how much will I visit each region? For instance, 25% in purchaser acquisition, 20% in IT, fifty-five % in consumer retention. Additionally, the allocation needs to don’t forget the threat profile of investments, e.G., 60% in low risk, 30% in medium danger, and 10% in excessive threat.

* Portfolio optimization – This calls for selecting the satisfactory investments to help the portfolio allocation and periodically rebalancing the portfolio to ensure consistency with desired portfolio allocations. The purpose is to maximize strategic and financial go back in keeping with a unit of hazard.

* Performance size – A key detail of a hit corporate portfolio management is taking pictures of real investment results to enable promise vs. Performance. In the long run, doing this lets a business enterprise improve ongoing investment valuation primarily based on actual effects and allows it to rebalance the portfolio based totally on overall performance achieved.


Most humans with a finance history will understand the above tenets of the portfolio concept. The problem with most of corporate portfolio management’s dialogue is that it assumes that humans behave consistently with a theoretical/rational assemble. While various experts like to provide platitudes saying such things as “Just manipulate your business enterprise’s investments such as you manipulate your own investments,” they fail to comprehend that many people may not even manage their very own non-public portfolios as they need to.

They may additionally realize what they need to do; however, emotions, intuition, and other outside influences take them off this rational direction. What often leads us astray in our private portfolio leads us astray in an organizational putting – behavior. The task in an organization is magnifiedbecauset it’s far loads or hundreds of humans whose behavior wishes to be taken into consideration. And so that is the second essential lever of corporate portfolio management – organizational behavior.

Jeffery D. Silvers
Love and share my articles, I will be happy to react on it ! Spent 2002-2009 promoting weed whackers in Edison, NJ. Earned praise for importing junk food for fun and profit. Spent 2001-2006 exporting teddy bears in Atlantic City, NJ. Had some great experience investing in tattoos in Fort Walton Beach, FL. Spent 2002-2007 selling action figures in the aftermarket. Enthusiastic about working on basketballs on the black market.