CFO Survey: Uncertainty Concerns Cause Cutbacks

Almost 70 percent of United States chief financial officers are scaling back business plans or hoarding cash in the face of uncertainty over government economic policies.

Photo of Fuqua Professor Cam Harvey

Fuqua Professor Cam Harvey

And uncertainty is also a top concern of other CFOs worldwide, according to the latest findings of the Duke/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey, which polled more than 900 CFOs from around the world.

Fuqua Professor Campbell R. Harvey, founding director of the survey, said uncertainty among U.S. CFOs is leading to cutbacks in business plans.

“More than two-thirds of CFOs are telling us loud and clear that uncertainty due to government economic policies is causing them to hold back on hiring or capital investment, or to increase their cash hoard,” Harvey said. ”We are facing a nexus of regulatory interventions, ranging from the ACA implementation to the drumbeat of minimum wage increases. Most CFOs (67 percent) point their finger at the regulatory environment as the reason they are throttling back their business expansion.”


The Riddle of Marketing in Russia

This post was written by Christine Moorman, a marketing professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. It was co-authored with Fuqua MBA students Evgenia Barkanova, Irina Kudryashova, and Irina Melnik. The post references The CMO Survey which polls chief U.S. marketing officers twice a year. Moorman is director of the survey. 

Winston Churchill said, “Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” This becomes clear when thinking about U.S. companies marketing in Russia (more properly called the Russian Federation). Results from the last CMO Survey indicate that Russia is the international market with the highest sales growth rate. Sales are reported to have grown an average of 57% for U.S. companies that designate Russia as their largest international market. This compares with India at 38%, China at 26%, and Brazil with 19% growth.


The Value of an International Education

155408_breeden017What is the benefit of studying abroad? Wouldn’t it be easier and more convenient for me to stay put here in Russia and study global business?  After all, can’t I just go online to hear global perspectives?

French native Bertrand Guillotin, director of the international programs office at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, shares his point of view in the following Q&A.

Q) What does international experience do for one’s resume?

Going to America still has a cachet associated with it.  Just look at the lists of global companies, largest banks or billionaires and see how many are American.  Making it in America implies higher performance, success and prestige.


Praise It and They’ll Come

Have you ever wondered why foreign firms coming to Russia are concentrated in Moscow and St. Petersburg, while domestic companies are spread much more evenly around the country? Are these two cities so much more attractive than the rest of Russia? Russian Professor Elena Kulchina answers this question in her Op Ed for the Moscow Times.


Ernst and Young Top Executive Talks Leadership in Russia

Stuart Lawson

Stuart Lawson

Stuart Lawson knows a thing or two about business. He has 36 years of banking experience, 16 of them as CEO/Chairman of banks in Russia. During the past two years, he has established a strong position in consulting. Lawson is Ernst and Young’s Executive Director for Russia and the CIS.

He recently led a session for Fuqua’s Global Executive MBA students during their residency in Russia.  He discussed everything from management challenges to how Russia’s business climate is different from other places.

Lawson elaborates on some of those topics in a Fuqua Q&A.

Q) What do you want people to know about doing business in Russia?

Russia is full of contradictions. On the one hand, it is an ancient land, full of tradition, culture and history. On the other hand, it has been formed in its current iteration since the fall of communism over only 20 years. Inevitably this leads to a fascinating business landscape that provides tremendous possibilities but with concomitant risk. The trick is to equip yourself with sufficient local knowledge to be able to make the judgment calls on when to act and with whom in what sector.