Expert in Retail Products, Luxury Goods, Corporate Communications, Valuation, Finance, Start Ups, E-commerce
Expert has experience in M&A and participated and contributed small portions of the S-1/prospectus for her then employer's IPO (spin-off) road show and has consistently been exposed to all segments of M&A processes including research, underwriting, roadshow, greenshoe calculation, and expected market reactions. Her work within financial services as well as her responsibility for industry and market information has given her an in-depth understanding and the ability to work with capital markets including derivatives and OTC products. Many analyses regarding volatility, variance, market performance, and expected performance results depends on statistical analysis of market factors and therefore she is well-versed and experienced in utilizing volatility and other statistical calculations in order to identify the important factors and possible opportunities or concerns regarding investments for advisory purposes.
Expert has worked within the strategic planning arena for many years. Her yearly goal was always to create a 3-, 5- and 10-year plan with goal and "stretch goal" figures and qualitative details that explains (1) where we are now and (2) where we want to be. The idea is not small steps but big ideas: JFK said "we'll be on the moon in 10 years;" he didn't lay out step by step instructions. The main work is to reconcile the big ideas with realistic, reasonable, reachable and quantifiable strategies, objectives, and goals. It begins with analyzing all aspects of the business, all financial statements, forecasting forward in a status-quo environment with industry and economic impacts included and applying a SWOT analysis: Strengths (internal), Weaknesses (internal), Opportunities (external) and Threats (external), including understanding the long-term needs (CapEx for physical items, IT) that will enable success and what has changed and become obsolete. When planning down, then creating a profit and loss statement by department to surface issues, needs, and goals. After creating strategic plans on a go-forward status quo basis, create sensitivity analyses with different "unexpected" events to establish the impact of different external or internal pressures such as a recession, a significant change in interest rates, a shift in cultural tastes, implementation of more stringent regulations (e.g., import/export), and political changes. It's imperative that the company understands how different events will affect its profitability, leverage, liquidity, and opportunities in the future.
Competitive benchmarking analysis includes analyzing financial statements and making the necessary adjustments for a fair comparison, industry-specific data points (e.g., same-store sales in retail), earnings release information, and both debt and equity analyst reports to mentally position each in the marketplace and better identify the strategic advantages and white space that exists. Most importantly, it's imperative to understand how each component of the business may be more or less important across companies within the same industry and how those differences impact the bottom line. Namely, identifying where the pressure comes from for the subject company as well as the other companies in the industry, if there are any scenarios where a possible occurrence will significantly affect some companies but not others? Do any companies have strategic advantages that simply can't be competed against (e.g., brand value/reputation, rent way above/below market, locations/lack of a necessary location, etc.) This ongoing benchmarking and comparison compilation creates the opportunity to forecast, with insight and justification, what competitors will likely do next and why so that the subject company can proactively prepare for it to its own benefit.
Expert is highly adept at analyzing and identifying the signals presented in the four basic financial statements that relate a company's strengths, weaknesses, and future possible trends. This analysis is utilized to make decisions or make well-educated estimates of capital investments, significant changes that will occur when regulations are implemented (e.g., changes to allowance of off balance sheet items, depreciation methods, and gross and operating margins. Trend information reflects the best as-is basis for future expectations with these additional items in mind for adjustments. The statements can be used to compare guideline companies, create sensitivity analyses around different parameters, and make adjustments in order to reconcile line items for fair comparisons (e.g., what items belong in Cost of Goods Sold versus SG&A expenses).
The result of all of these analyses are important inputs in the parameter-setting for a new product/business/location trial because they give insight into so many detailed aspects of the business that could become significant impacts in a business as it grows, shrinks, expands in scope, or is changed in any way. Some include inefficiencies in operations, the optimal fixed versus variable cost breakdown, the need for additional or different training, adjusted scheduling to optimize sales/service, the effectiveness of programs and standards currently in place, the quality of the workforce, and the opportunity to revisit the vendor marketplace in order to achieve cost savings. Each of these may or may not result in requiring significant changes, but even just one could possibly materially eat into earnings and therefore this type of analysis, where variables are isolated, is needed before trials or large project management tasks are taken on.
Expert knows that the basis, and heart, of any in-depth financial analysis begins by identifying the relevant data to be included in the analysis, namely, the data points that are the true levers of change in the specific situation, deciding which analysis technique can be utilized best and most effectively in order to achieve outcomes, and an in-depth knowledge, comfort, and years of experience with almost all available software including Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access, Project) as well as Hyperion, Capital IQ, Visual Basic, Cognos, CRM, SQL and SAP. Additionally, Expert has several years of corporate accounting-based experience in portfolio management and for equities in overall accounting and controller roles. The familiarity and correct usage of GAAP and non-GAAP accounting standards is imperative in order to get a true holistic vision of the project at hand.
Expert has both the education and experience in taking in the entire economy and both the micro- and macroeconomic forces that shift the elasticity of demand, change GDP and GNP, and the warning signs that regulatory or legal changes may become serious impacts on the market and the demand and ability or scarcity of inputs that will ultimately create barriers or opportunities for both a specific company and for the industry and US market as a whole. Additionally, Expert has a diverse background that spans multiple industries and therefore knows how these economic factors affect different industries in specific ways based on their specific characteristics.
Expert has managed and led many cross-functional teams in successfully implementing corporate initiatives. Her leadership of these teams allowed her to
gain experience and confidence in decision-making in sometimes ambiguous situations. These experiences also significantly improved her leadership in
terms of her ability to manage diverse teams with different priorities. She can successfully engage associates from all functions and groups and gain
investment and buy-in for projects so the results are as successful and effective as possible. Additionally, as the head of corporate strategy, her
responsibilities included monitoring capital markets, trends, and other patterns in the marketplace in order to identify internal and external opportunities to
expand corporate scope, secure exclusivity contracts, improve brand value, and introduce and plan new businesses. She successfully planned an entirely
new business channel for a corporation that would increase revenues, margins, and profits with minimal cannibalization. The business development and
management had the added benefits of reaching new target audiences and increasing loyalty.
VALUATION for bankruptcy litigation: consulted legal firm through valuating its client's solvency on two different dates utilizing three approaches (all five methods) to prove solvency; included cash flow analysis, asset pricing, NPV with terminal value; industry-specific critical multiples, and transaction multiples. Worked with team of two to write expert witness report and followed same valuation practices using adversary's expert witness report data in order to write response report.VALUATION for private companies and intangibles: created valuations for private companies utilizing comparable company set based on industry-specific critical multiples / metrics, price of a share of voting and non-voting stock for an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) of a closely-held company; performed industry and demographic analysis in order to clarify and adjust salary for NPV income approach; valuated intangibles such as human capital, IT, customer lists, brand names, brand equity and positioning, key person, intellectual property, natural resources and other time-restricted assets in order to arrive at the most accurate valuation possible.ENTREPRENEURIAL CONSULTING: Three private clients, single person entrepreneurs with product ideas but little to no business skills and limited time. Began with creating business plan, mission statement, business objectives by time segment, identified vendor sources, companion/peer set and positioning in relation to each, SWOT analysis, brand and logo creation following parameters of optimizing brand equity, wrote and analyzed survey results to estimate demand, utilized process flow and resource allocation to simulate business needs in time, resources, and money, and forecasted sales, inventory, margin, EBIT, EBITDA, ROIC, ROE, and Net Income for years 1-5 and terminal valueSTRATEGIC / MANAGEMENT CONSULTING: Appointed to create P&L from sales through Net Income as well as sales/square foot for bridal business within larger store and average store sales/square foot in order to identify which businesses were making money, should be kept, or should be closed. Included industry analyses due to specifics of business: trained (i.e. higher-paid) staff, larger fitting rooms, sunk costs in samples versus no sunk costs in other apparel, and each location's other segment P&Ls in order to find alternative uses for space. Additionally required NPV and time of construction costs if floor "real estate" were to change as well as legal research and due diligence regarding precedence of bridal companies' ability to keep rather than return deposits (emotional aspects of broken engagements have swayed court decisions). Ultimately proposed three different options: keep two flagship locations in order to maintain brand equity, keep seven locations that actually made money, and close business and lease space to bridal atelier (e.g. Kleinfeld's) and just receive royalty and rent (similar to Louis Vuitton business model).STRATEGIC / MANAGEMENT CONSULTING: Seasonal products and short-time windows. Products have particular issues of timing for reorder if popular or over-inventory past window if not; first step was to create gift card program for holiday season and new packaging for it so that the purchase and wrap was more efficient and closer at hand along with incentive program for associates. This exploited the market trend towards increasing gift card sales, included an associate's business card so recipient could receive personal attention when shopping, and the then-current industry estimate of a 2.1x return (i.e. a recipient spends 2.1 times the value of the gift card). Decreased seasonal buy using historical data and focused on goods that had possibilities: hold and flow (keep 10% of order in warehouse), JIT in case of reorder, vendor agreements, and seasonal - but not identifiably specific (year, trend item) - products that, without other options, could be held if necessary for following year.
Expert may consult nationally and internationally, and is also local to the following cities: New York, New York - Yonkers, New York - Newark, New Jersey - Jersey City, New Jersey - Paterson, New Jersey - Elizabeth, New Jersey - Bridgeport, Connecticut - New Haven, Connecticut - Hartford, Connecticut - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
|Year: 2010||Degree: MBA||Subject: Finance and Strategy||Institution: New York University - Stern School of Business|
|Year: 1999||Degree: BS||Subject: Business, English Literature||Institution: Rutgers College|
|Years: 2012 to 2013||Employer: The CollegeBoard||Title: Director, Strategy||Department: Strategy||Responsibilities: Developed inaugural enterprise-wide goals, framework for assessment, phased communications, and implementation plan. Chosen to pilot and assess a potential new capital investment governance process.
• Partnered with group presidents across organization to communicate and translate goals into business-specific initiatives and metrics; created presentation for COO to introduce to BOD
• Developed innovative strategic plans for multiple product groups; participation was specifically requested by group leadership consistently
‐ Utilized advanced analytic methods to surface impactful variables and trends from enormous data sets
• Built framework for valuation and prioritization of potential CapEx investment projects based on identified requirements; planned long-term portfolio management of mix of investment types
‐ Assessed business plans and projected FCFs as part of establishment of newly created governance policies
‐ As pilot partner, assisted project team to build valuation, quantify tangible and intangible metrics, identify risks and plan contingencies
• Coached support units on translating specialized concepts into effective value propositions for executives
|Years: 2011 to 2012||Employer: Cognizant Technology Solutions||Title: Senior Business Consultant||Department: Consulting||Responsibilities: Chosen to build strategic business plan for new niche group to expand corporate scope. Consulting as assigned.
• Collaborated with IT consulting segment leadership to leverage existing client relationships
• Led consulting team on project to prepare client for potential near-term IPO
‐ Supervised team, assigned tasks for creation of flexible procurement, planning, and allocation systems
‐ Modeled what-if scenarios of forecasts, budgets, headcount, GM, and EBIT in multi-variate analyses
‐ Presented, instructed, and coached client team on the creation of public filings (SEC)
|Years: 2009 to 2011||Employer: Independent Consultant / Contractor||Title: Consultant / Contractor||Department: Business start-ups, Valuation||Responsibilities: Consulted private clients, valuation firms, private equity, and venture capital firms across diverse industries.
• Built comprehensive business plans including essential processes and inputs for 3-5yr horizons
‐ Created templates for P&L, financial budgets, capital T-T-R, and risk assessment scenario modeling
• Created multi-approach valuations of public and private companies for multiple purposes
‐ Advised for M&A, performed regulatory reviews, tested solvency for bankruptcy litigation
|Years: 2005 to 2009||Employer: Saks Fifth Avenue||Title: Director of Strategic Planning, Manager of Profit Improvement||Department: Strategy, Finance||Responsibilities: Director of Strategic Planning (2007-2009)
Named proxy for Chief Strategic Officer (CSO), assuming all corporate strategic responsibilities. Created communications and presentations for CEO, President, and Executive Council; expanded IR role.
• Selected and distinguished as CSO surrogate to assist, support, and collaborate with Executive Council; maintained continuous direct contact with CEO and President
• Created annual long-term strategic plan top-down, based on corporate sales, margin, and EBIT targets
‐ Illustrated brand’s current and forecasted state, externalities, positioning, and projected shift
‐ Built financials through iterative process of allocating each target by channel, periods, and door
‐ Collaborated with business unit presidents to translate top-line goals into area-specific initiatives
• Drafted, generated, and produced public regulatory filings: SEC 10-Qs, 10-Ks, 8-Ks, 11-Ks
• Responsible for monitoring market for M&A; accompanied CEO at 1:1 financial analyst meetings
‐ Proposed new strategies to management including M&A, spin-offs, new channels, and divestitures
‐ Drafted chosen correspondence for CEO, President, and CSO; drafted quarterly earnings scripts
• Co-led numerous strategy projects with Marketing and IT to improve outreach, loyalty, and retention
‐ Identified and improved analytical methodologies, processes, tools, and systems in order to optimize outputs
Manager of Profit Improvement (2005-2007)
Identified and implemented company-wide profit and cost management projects based on GAAP and financial statement analyses to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Increased EBIT by $5M+/yr across several concurrent targets and multiple business units. Performed various investor relations functions.
• Automated associate discounts; achieved a goal named a decade earlier; realized $6M in year 1, $2M/yr
‐ Effectively led diverse cross-functional team with overlapping, sometimes conflicting priorities
‐ Developed a multi-phased plan to satisfy member responsibilities, dependencies, and resources
• Participated in creation of public filings (SEC 10-Qs, 10-Ks, etc.)
• Improved business unit plans and budgets by analyzing historical variances; increased plan accuracy
• Quantified item-level EBIT for 700+ SKUs at request of CFO
• Modeled alternative strategic FX scenarios to hedge exposure at request of Treasurer and CFO
• Hired, developed, and managed one analyst and one intern
|Years: 2004 to 2005||Employer: Goldman Sachs||Title: Associate, Controller||Department: Controllers||Responsibilities: Released daily GAAP P&Ls for IB client and proprietary accounts and monitored M&A. Named team leader.
• Priced equities, FI, derivatives, and FX, adjusted for M&A, dividends; performed GAAP, SOX requirements
|Years: 2002 to 2004||Employer: BlackRock||Title: Analyst||Department: Accounting ("Portfolio Administration")||Responsibilities: Performed month-end analyses and released returns for micro-mid-cap asset management portfolio accounts.
• Adjusted investment mix by product, yield curve, and comfort with risk; increased cash liquidity by 40%
• Managed and developed team of four; automated reporting to reduce errors, task duration by 50%
|Years: 2000 to 2002||Employer: Coach||Title: Analyst, M&A IPO participant||Department: Finance||Responsibilities: Responsible for FP&A of all components of $500M global handbag business and multiple licensed products.
• Planned, budgeted, and analyzed variances for multiple product lines across diverse channels
• Contributed to the SEC S1/prospectus for M&A IPO roadshow, reported investor relations metrics
|Years: 1999 to 2000||Employer: Lord & Taylor||Title: Executive Trainee||Department: Executive Training Program||Responsibilities: Executive Training Program: recruited in college. Established multi-year program to become a buyer.|
|Years||Country / Region||Summary|
|Years: 2005 to 2009||Country / Region: Mexico, UAE, China||Summary: Working from the US, analyzed RoyaltySource for specific expectations for licensing and royalties from international businesses. Reviewed legal contracts and wrote internal "rules of engagement" detailing which areas of business (vendors, assortments, individual shops for designer accessories, scope of business) required corporate sign-off. Researched local demographics and psychographics in order to create detailed portrait of target market and average customer in order to incorporate into building plans (e.g. cultural separation of sexes), favored design aspects (i.e. logos versus no logo), suggestions for buys, and floor real estate.|
|Associations / Societies|
|Stern NYU Alumni, Stern Women in Business, 85 Broads (women in business), Society of Finance Professionals, Association for Corporate Growth, Stern LuxuryRetail Group, NY Junior League (volunteerism), Step Up (professional women's association), identified Mentor for high-potential employees|
|Licenses / Certifications|
|Awards / Recognition|
|2006 CFO Excellence Award, speaker at Columbia Business School on panel regarding women in business and luxury retail (2 separate times)|
|Expert Witness Experience|
|Three months of valuation work on a litigation regarding solvency for the expert witness; creating five valuations (each method for all three approaches), identifying guideline companies, writing deposition questions for adversary expert witness, research and collation of valuation standards and methodologies ignored by adversary expert. Studied the subject at graduate school under Professor Aswath Damodaran, a world expert in the field.|
|Training / Seminars|
|Ongoing mentor at every company she has been with and excellent at training and guiding best-in-class behaviors. Completed BV201, the first of four classes towards becoming a certified business appraiser by the American Society of Appraisers.|
|Assisted in sourcing and researching manufacturers and producers while at Coach; asked to join the committee to choose a corporate travel agent (a significant and meaningful relationship for a luxury retailer because of the complexity of travel). Created scenario questions and gauged applicants to identify the most appropriate vendor for the company's needs.|
|Significant retail/consumer goods/luxury goods (she has worked on the industry and finance sides), financial services, emerging markets: cost and profit drivers, organizational effectiveness, impacts to margin, white space, strategies and protocol to implement in order to increase efficiency, training needed for diverse array of employees.|
|Other Relevant Experience|
|Sarbanes-Oxley, P&L, financial statement analysis, valuation, market volatility, customer research, investor relations, education, Ed Tech, start-ups, e-commerce, disruptive businesses, business development, entrepreneurial / management / strategic consulting beginning with writing a business plan, identifying vendors, brand positioning, brand equity, forecasting sales and margin / spread, ROI, ROE, EBITDA expectations, process flow analyses, optimizing resource allocation, organizational restructuring, project management, identification of cross-functional team members, excellent written and presentation skills.|
|Spanish||Was fluent, now quite advanced|
|Italian||Beginner to intermediate|