5. Oct, 2019

How Sustainability, Happiness and Finance can create a better World

On 17th September I presented at the Finance Annual event in Vilnius. Here my speech:

I am most touched by the kind invite to share with you my thoughts and reflections on how Finance, Sustainability and Happiness can work for the Good of Society. I thank Verslo Zinios for organizing the event, SvedBank for the support, Ieva and Agne who found my articles and experience worth sharing in this important conference.

One of the most recent articles was written after a Global Finance Forum in Novartis, one of the world largest pharmaceutical companies, where I have been working in the last 28 years, covering positions in Finance, Operations and Business, in Italy, Globally and in Europe. Currently I am the Country CFO of the Italian 1.7 B $ operation with 2,600 employees.

During the Forum, together with other passionate colleagues, we spoke about ‘Co-creating Social Impact’, debating about the way Finance can be Sustainable and Social. It was impressive to see how many Finance associates were already engaged into considering Sustainability part of the decision making process. The wealth of best practices, experiences, material and exchanges was huge.

Every time I share my thoughts, I find Finance and non-Finance people agreeing that the matter requires attention and action. I presented and shared my philosophy at conferences in Milan, Paris, Basel and Oxford; via a blog and with about 30 articles on LinkedIn.Then I am thrilled to start as a Key note speaker in this prestigious Lithuanian Financial community. Unfortunately I cannot speak your language but coming here encouraged me to learn more about Lithuania, and helped me to discover an exciting story of Happiness that I will share in a few minutes.In the next 20 min, I will reflect on the role of Finance today in economy. When I use the word CFO I do not refer only to that group but I include all the leaders in Finance, Tax and Accounting that can work as well for the Good of Society, leveraging Sustainability and Happiness.

More: It is undisputed today that the CFO is a relevant leader, in each mid to big size corporation. According to EY today the CFO provides not only financial planning and analysis, but information about where the business is going and how quickly it is getting there. CFOs are deeply involved in supporting and enabling strategy and most work side-by-side with the CEO. Involvement in corporate strategy has become an integral part of the job. CFOs now have the ability and the mandate to contribute directly to the direction of the business as well as reviewing and reporting on its performance. According to the Economist, the CFO is, towards the analysts, more credible than the CEO and they define him, the Supremo.In this room, I am sure we all agree, but then if the CFO is so influencial where we should drive our company towards?