CFO Corner: Golde on Supporting Strategic Goals
As Chief Financial Officer of Integra Realty Resources, Michael Golde is responsible for establishing standard processes and systems and integrating financial operations. He also assists the Board of Directors in developing long-term strategic plans and identification of short, medium and long-term operational objectives in support of those plans. He recently shared his thoughts with Sageworks on the importance of implementing action plans that support strategic goals and the importance of working well with the CEO.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned in your position? Implementing action plans that support the strategic objectives of the company requires persistence and flexibility on a daily basis. Things that look straightforward on paper often entail considerable thought and effort in their application, and while the action plans may need to be adjusted, the strategic goals should not be questioned as a result. They should remain constant as a guidepost.
What was the biggest challenge your company faced over the last 12 months and how were you able to overcome it with financial leadership? With 60 local offices and close to 1,000 professionals nationwide, Integra Realty Resources is continuously focused on quality control. We regularly evaluate our processes, and over the past twelve months have undertaken several initiatives to further enhance the quality of the services we deliver to our clients. From a finance perspective, we have been heavily involved in supporting these efforts, including implementing a new standardized accounting platform and rolling it out to all of our local offices. We expect the new systems and processes to provide us with much greater visibility over our operations and allow us to enhance our performance management capabilities.
What has made your company stand out and be successful financially? Unrivaled expertise regarding the local commercial real estate markets we serve and a commitment to quality have helped us build lasting relationships with our clients and give us a competitive advantage in an increasingly commoditized environment.
How do you prepare for board meetings and what information is most important for you to present? Presenting the financial results and the financial position of the Company is the most important information the board expects from me. How the results compare to prior periods, how they are trending and how they compare to budgeted amounts all provide measurement of the company’s progress towards its strategic goals. In addition to knowing this information and how to convey it with clarity, I prepare for board meetings by reviewing the other items on the agenda and considering how they may impact or be supported by the finance function. I also come ready to discuss current conditions in the capital markets and how they may affect the Company’s plans.
What advice do you have for other CFOs? Develop a strong working relationship with your CEO, and approach board meetings as a team effort. Also get to know your board members on a one-to-one basis and learn what perspectives they bring to their membership, and ask how you can support them. Sharing your insight with the CEO can provide him or her with another set of eyes and ears, can mitigate what can otherwise be the lonely position of having to manage a diverse set of opinions among the board, and can help make board meetings more effective. In the end, effective boards help build effective companies.
Integra Realty Resources, New York, NY, is the largest independent commercial real estate valuation and consulting firm in North America, with 60 offices throughout the United States and Mexico. The firm specializes in real estate appraisals, feasibility studies, market studies, expert testimony and related property consulting services.