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consultants should listen.

Many do not--and for understandable reasons. It wasn't too long ago that corporate America dismissed the connection between cash flow, risk and share value as unproven theory, and a few lone practitioners wandered executive offices in search of converts. Those lone practitioners didn't listen, they preached. They had to.

Fortunately, the need for bible-pounding has passed. The debt-driven 1980's did as much as any missionary to spread awareness of the importance of cash-flow and share value. And that awareness has ballooned in the 1990's, as growing numbers of investors pressure for reform from within. Across America, directors and managers are being asked to evaluate strategic decisions and performance in light of their impact on share value, and to certify their evaluation with objective, outside counsel. Far from being controversial, the so-called value-planning framework has become mainstream, gaining a legitimacy rivaling, say, the life cycle hypothesis of the 1970's or the total quality phenomenon of the 1980's.

What managers and directors need now are corporate finance practitioners — seasoned professionals who can help apply value planning's principles to meaningful dollars-and-cents issues, professionals who are willing to roll up their sleeves and fathom the precise connection between a manager's decision on the shop floor and its likely impact on share value.

Unfortunately, many consultants still promote their frameworks as if they were proprietary. They are not. Consequently, the firms exaggerate nuances to distinguish their methodologies from competitors', yet ignore the preponderance of similarities. The result, too often, is to posture about semantics rather than listen to a client's specific needs.

Worse, the industry suffers from calcification. Because so many consultancies began publishing their thoughts 15 years ago, assembled them in definitive manifestos and software programs, and belittled competing approaches, they are now bound to defend their age-old prescriptions — no matter how outdated or imperfect.

We founded Finegan & Company because we believed it was time to redefine corporate finance — to build an eclectic, nuts-and-bolts consultancy which cherry picked the best the profession had to offer, listened intently to clients and others, utilized state-of-the-art technology, and infused the profession with top-flight multidisciplinary experience. We are confident we have created such a practice.

If the services we offer seem more focused than the many one-stop shops promising to reform your management system, there is good reason.

Our goal — plain and simple — is to make your financial and strategic planning departments look brilliant.  No showmanship, no swagger. Just experience, responsiveness, and the most formidable intellectual and analytical firepower in the industry.

Top of PageGuiding Principles

  1. There are stakeholders and stockholders. Accountability to stockholders must be first and foremost. True value-based management holds responsibilities to shareholders above all else and recognizes opportunities for value creation and growth in all areas of the business. If stockholders' interests are championed zealously, we believe stakeholders' interests will follow.
  2. Measures of performance must be balance-sheet oriented and reflect the true cost of investment in your business.  Size per se' is irrelevant.  Generating growth opportunities which earn their cost of capital is not.
  3. Successful share value creation is a marriage of global vision and attention to detail.  Creating inspiring models is a good start, but we go further. We thoroughly test each value-creating option we propose, carefully following its effects down to the smallest detail. The result: a well-honed machine that won't be shut down by an errant spring.
  4. Value creation is everyone's responsibility — so you need a team that really works like a team, across the boundaries of discipline and department.  Building support within and among diverse groups is standard practice for Finegan & Company. From finance to human resources, operations to marketing, we'll make sure all members of your team have a common understanding of how value creation works within your company and a common language for sharing new ideas and insights.
  5. You probably have several value-creating elements already at work within your company. Rather than reinventing the wheel, we look for what is already working well, helping you recognize and build from your business success stories.
  6. Although your company may share challenges with others in your industry, the resources you have to meet those challenges — and the way you employ them — will be unique. We stay away from out-of-the-box answers for creating value. Instead, we look for the best way to take advantage of distinctive competencies within your company.
  7. Share value creation is serious business. Our managing directors takes an active role in managing assignments. This personal interest guarantees our clients the day-to-day benefits of the best thinking in the value-creation business.

Illustrations: Warren Gebert
Photography: Wayne Takenaka

All text and illustrations on this page are the property of Finegan & Company LLC and may not be reproduced without prior written consent.

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