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Strategic Financial Leadership

Author: Steve Coughran

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In the Strategic Financial Leadership podcast, finance expert and former CFO, Steve Coughran, covers the latest in business strategy, corporate finance, and economics. This weekly podcast is a forum for candid conversations with leading voices to discuss the trends, approaches, and innovations shaping the future of business and the finance function. Increasingly, CFOs are mired in detail and complexity at the risk of neglecting true value creation activities – analysis and strategic improvement. Irrelevant data, complex planning and budgeting systems, and impertinent measures keep finance and operation managers from focusing on the true levers of value. As the engine of an organization, the strategic financial leader is called to shift the organizational mindset, moving a company and its employees towards a culture founded on growth, innovation, and resilience. Through interviews with CFOs, entrepreneurs, and top business executives, Steve takes listeners inside the world of corporate finance to uncover the essential strategies that business leaders can follow to drive successful business transformation and profitability. In this podcast, Steve and guests share stories and steps to help companies shift from transactional to strategic, responsive to proactive, and from setting goals to exceeding them.

53 Episodes
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In this episode of the Strategic Financial Leadership Podcast, host Steve Coughran sits down with Kurt Stein, President of DCT Strategy, Inc, to explore the power of leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) in driving better and faster decisions at scale. Join Steve and Kurt as they delve into the world of AI and its transformative potential for strategic financial leadership.Steve and Kurt begin by discussing how AI technologies can augment decision-making processes within organizations. They...
Get ready for an insightful conversation on the latest episode of Strategic Financial Leadership, as host Steve Coughran sits down with Ben Fraser, Chief Investing Officer at Aspen Funds, to explore how alternative assets can benefit investors, particularly the ultrawealthy. In this exciting episode, Ben shares his expert insights on investing in real estate, a popular choice among high-net-worth individuals. Steve and Ben delve into the specifics of alternative investments and how they diffe...
Tune in to the latest episode of Strategic Financial Leadership, where host Steve Coughran talks with Aneal Vallurupalli, CFO of Airbase, to discuss how technology and data analytics are empowering CFOs and their finops teams to make more informed strategic decisions. In this engaging conversation, you'll learn from an experienced finance leader about how leveraging the right tools and insights can help organizations enhance cash flow, manage costs, and improve efficiencies. Aneal shares his ...
Welcome to the Strategic Financial Leadership podcast! In this episode, host Steve Coughran chats with Vadim Verkhoglyad, Vice President and Head of Research Publication at dv01. Together, they dive into a thought-provoking summary that challenges common media narratives about American households.The summary suggests that many media narratives focus on the constant struggles of American households and miss the substantial income gains and wealth effects experienced by a wide variety of househ...
We’ve all been there, listening to a presentation that just doesn’t drive your interest, or seem to deliver the tools that you need in order to take action. What’s even worse is when you are the person giving that presentation. Our guest today, Nancy Duarte, helps us expound on the idea that the role of a presenter is to mentor, with the main purpose of transferring information to your audience that they did not have before. In order to deliver, she discusses the Duarte Method, where communic...
When you come from a hard-working family, your ambitions are expected to be high. Though many obstacles and struggles will present themselves, you have to remember that where there is determination, there is hope. We must keep persevering and strategically fighting, and in the words of the Reverend Jesse Jackson, 'Keep hope alive.'"Our guest today, J. Derek Penn, author of Diary of a Black Man on Wall St., uses his personal experiences to break down for people of all colors the systemic inequ...
Kids soak up information like sponges. With most schools not teaching financial literacy, our young generations are left to their own devices to filter through all they see and hear, with the majority of it stemming from what they witness at home. Kids see their parents argue over and tiptoe around money, as well as base their expectations and sometimes limitations of their own futures off their parents lives. This all culminates into young adults having little to no knowledge on how to manag...
Globally, there is currently about a half of trillion dollars in dry powder, or capital that has been committed by investors but has not been invested or allocated, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. This means there is a tremendous amount of opportunity for business leaders who are looking to grow their business portfolio or sell their company via the private equity asset class. However, to be effective at maximizing value in the private equity space, business leade...
When it comes to shaking old habits, we quickly remember the reasons why they became habits in the first place. Whether it’s always been done this way or the risk is low and it leads to a shortcut, marketing is truly it’s own dimension of truths and fallacies. Our guest today, Atul Minocha, author of Lies, Damned Lies and Marketing, backs the notion that while marketing data will certainly show the disappointments of oversold performances, the quality of finesse at which you conduct your mark...
Taking risks, especially when it involves money, is not for the faint of heart. As a society, we are taught to save up our money dollar by dollar until we need it for a rainy day or retirement. However, our guest today, Yusef Alexander, disproves this notion. With inflation and the constant of change, sitting on money is only a disservice to your future self. Rather, that money should be working for you to further invest in yourself by diversifying your assets, feeding into your curiosities a...
In this day and age, we are bombarded with to do’s, to haves, and a ton of noise that distracts us from what truly matters most. In life, it's not that we don't know what's good for us to pursue, rather it’s knowing what to cut in order to focus on the most essential activities. However, once we strip our lives down to the most essential things, the demands on our time and energy can still be overwhelming. That’s why I’m excited to have today's guest on the show, Greg McKeown. What you’l...
We hear it time and time again: having the right attitude will take you far. Definitely an easy lesson to roll your eyes at when times get tough, but when you find yourself starting a new business or looking for a new career or job, having the right mindset is what sets apart the successful from the missed opportunities. Our guest today, Bryan Cressey, discusses how he has wired his brain after years of experience in the world of investing. He’ll delve into the times he uses intuition ve...
Unlike 30 years ago, business today doesn’t take place behind closed doors. Or at least it shouldn’t. As the workplace becomes more of a community rather than a monetized entity, your team and customers are becoming your most important attributes as a leader. Our guest today, Jeff Cobourn, tells us how the company he works with, Gusto, takes this idea and goes all in. Setting the playing field straight with no titles, running extensive peer reviews twice a year and operating in full tran...
Life is becoming a lot less predictable, meaning businesses need to start evolving their preparation for the future by turning unforeseen circumstances into something they already saw coming. However, with Excel spreadsheets really requiring a master of both the program and finance to undertake such a project, many are deterred away from including uncertainty in their number crunching. Our guest today, Taimur Abdaal, introduces his product, Causal, a clearer way to tackle those frustrati...
Technology and business over the past 20 years have seen such a quantum leap in innovation, that it’s about time we changed our strategies to match the present and future. No longer can we just focus on mastering one discipline, but rather find a way to weave topics like technology, science and finance, together.Dr. Vinay Nair discusses with us today how through complex and creative contemplation, putting the customers needs and your employees growth ahead of the product is the new wave of th...
One could argue that entrepreneurship is the purest form of business: Building the idea, team and strategy from the ground up, all while having the freedom of being your own boss and setting your own expectations. But this freedom doesn’t come without major roadblocks. The odds of a start up getting past the early stages is slim, and maneuvering around all the unforeseen tribulations makes the odds of a long-term success story slimmer. That’s why today’s guest, Tom Eisenmann, is a much n...
We are all given 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But when it comes to leadership, how we prioritize that time is what separates the innovative from the disoriented. With each decision triggering a domino effect, everyone, from your team behind you, all the way to your customers, feels the aftershocks.Our guest today, Aaron Sallade, tells us how by looking through the windshield, rather than the rear view mirror, your choices will prove both strategic and constructive to your employees, mission...
Be it the cost of living continuing to climb while salaries remain stagnant, or the hope of owning a house and retiring becoming more far fetched, managing our personal finances feels like an incredibly daunting task. We are told we need to prepare for the future with its abundance of confusing options while trying to also account for unforeseen circumstances. But with the lack of early education, few of us actually come into this system knowing anything about it.That’s why our guest today is...
Nothing in life is strictly black and white, and the same goes for the world of business. No more are profits just ‘good’ and loss is ‘bad’, or does higher salary equal a happy employee. Our guest today, Ragu Bhargava, explains how success can reach a higher magnitude in your organization AND personal life by practicing empathy and balancing your focus on quality rather than just quantity. Ragu is an experienced, award-winning entrepreneur, financial executive, and leader. He helps clie...
In the past 10 years, the work place and expected ‘work ethic’ has seen many alterations from what our parents had ingrained in them. No more is it the norm to grin and bear it in an unhealthy work environment in order to rack up the years, nor is it acceptable for leadership to cut corners. With Millennials and Generation Z entering the workforce, they don’t care about title and office size, but rather who you are and what makes you credible as a manager. Our guest today, Vince Molinaro...
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