THE ACADEMY OF BUSINESS STRATEGY - UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
VINCENT LEFEBVRE (EGP) MBA BS
EXECUTIVE GLOBAL PARTNER (EGP)
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: Chicago IL (United States of America)
Chicago’s name was derived from the native Indian’s word describing the area. The first permanent settlement was founded in 1781 by Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, an African American from Santo Domingo. The location was chosen for its strategic value for a trading post. Later the area was occupied by a military base that was regularly attacked by Native Americans, until Chief Black Hawk was defeated in 1832. With the arrival of the railroads, the city expanded quickly to a population surpassing 300,000 by 1871 when it was nearly completely destroyed by the Great Chicago fire. At the end of the 19th century, a new city was reconstructed with the help of leading architects such as Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright. Land prices had risen dramatically leading to the construction of higher buildings. The Home Insurance Building built by in 1885 is known as the first skyscraper in the world, marking the start of Chicago as a pioneering architectural city. Some people attribute Chicago’s “windy city” nickname to the unforeseen effect of the wind on the tall buildings being sucked down into the street. But in reality it is unknown and other theories exist. Amongst them; the braggart reputation of its people, the late 19th century blustering rivalry with Cincinnati or even the turbulences caused by Al Capone during the prohibition era.
Close to 10 million people live in the third largest metropolitan area in the country after New York and Los Angeles. Chicago is famous tourist destination for its skyline, museums, sports teams and restaurants. It is also the Business Center of the Midwest, named the fourth most important business center in the world in the MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index. Its central location and transportation infrastructure provides easy access to the world. O’Hare airport is one of the busiest airports in the world with 2,900 daily flights serving more than 200 direct cities worldwide. With a Gross Regional Product exceeded 500 billion dollars the city has been rated the most balanced economy in the United States by Moody’s Investor Services due to its diversity. It is key players in every economic sector and home to more than 400 major corporate headquarters, including 27 Fortune 500 Headquarters including Baxter International, Boeing, Abbott Laboratories, Mac Donald’s, Allstate, Kraft Foods, Motorola, United Continental and Walgreens. It is also a major financial center specializing in Future Exchanges. It is home of the Chicago Stock Exchange, The Chicago Board of Options Exchanges and the CME group which owns the Mercantile Exchange, the Chicago Board of Trade, The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), the Commodity Exchange (COMEX) and the Dow Jones indexes. Recognized as having a Top Direct Investment Strategy among the major cities, Chicago is hosting well over 1,500 foreign based companies drawing over 40 billion in direct foreign investments. Among the 28 sister cities are Paris, Moscow, Mexico City and Shanghai to name a few.
Unfortunately there is no crystal ball telling us the future. What we know about Chicago’s ability to overcome present and future challenges is that its location, its economic and people diversity are clear strengths. We also know that the risks of devastations caused by natural disasters are low. But still, alike all large international business centers, its future development relies on a long-to-come global economic recovery. Because its product primarily comes from large and mature industries, Chicago has been harder hit by the recession than other places. Its 11.2 % unemployment rate is higher than the national average and its 1.2% Annual growth rate is less than the National average. In an attempt to balance its budget, the State of Illinois recently hiked tax rates, contributing to a loss of attractiveness for future investments in the region. According to Moody’s Analytics, the cost of doing business is higher than the cost of living; a 108 index against a 104 index compared to the national average. Adding to existing threats are the facts that Chicago’s infrastructure is in need of repairs and that the Convention business is declining due to the McCormick place high maintenance costs. After all, it seems clear that Chicago’s future prosperity will have to come from its people’s abilities to break through and find a new path. Chicagoans are well educated and newly elected mayor Rahm Emmanuel (ex Chief of Staff under Obama’s presidency) is largely emphasizing on improving education. So glory might well come to Chicago. Let’s just hope that we will not have to wait until the new generation grows up or until the Cubs World Championship.
Global Partner status (Associate – Executive – Senior): Executive
Country of registration: United States of America
City of registration: Chicago IL
Budgeting and forecasting planning and implementation
Business performance evaluation, planning and implementation
Software application development and implementation
INDUSTRY SECTOR EXPERIENCE:
QUALIFICATIONS AND EDUCATIONAL ESTABLISHMENT:
MBA -Amiens Business School (France)
Finance and Accounting degree – Amiens University
Vincent is a finance executive that has demonstrated over his 18 years career that simplicity is often the solution to complex problem solving. He is an “out-of-the box” thinker, whose common sense approach invariably enabled him to deliver “State of the Art” solutions, incorporating process and workflow re-engineering to address productivity concerns in a multi-cultural, cross functional and fast moving environment. His ability to really understand and re-formulize both the bigger picture of a vision and the practical needs of the tactics is an asset key to his evolution to become a member of the Finance and Business Transformation management team of a large global organization in the manufacturing industry. Because Vincent enjoys helping people out and because his skills set may constructively be applied to resolving common issues of a large variety of companies and organizations, he recently decided to take a turn in his career towards consulting. Vincent obtained an MBA from the Amiens Business School in France and has become an expert in designing system-oriented solutions that brought him a worldwide recognition and reputation at Tetra Pak; a world leader in liquid food packaging and processing, with total sales exceeding 14 billion dollars yearly . His achievements were consistently identified as best practices and inspired further global implementations. As well, he was awarded several times for exceptional contribution to his employer’s financial achievements, personally or the team he was supervising. His approach is no different than his mindset and is clearly focusing on achieving systematic and durable root cause problem eradication. For example, from 1993 to 1994, he created a financial reporting system covering consolidation, inter-company reconciliation and financial analysis that evolved into a group standard. In 2000, he developed and implemented an integrated workstation for the 32 Tetra Laval cash pool participating companies. The results translated into a 65% productivity improvement in the treasury operations, obtained by reducing book closing time from 10 days to one and lowering bank fees by 50% due to a much lighter structure. His workstation was adopted and implemented by 2 other sisters company of the Tetra Laval group in the USA. From 2001 to 2003, he literally rebuilt from scratch the Tetra Pak USA’s analysis capability after SAP implementation. From designing the architecture of a new data warehouse to training groups of users (over a hundred in total) on the reports and functionalities that he had developed. Later his solution inspired the development of a global standard that was awarded “Best in MIS practices” by McKinsey in 2008. The quality of the reported financial information and accompanying analysis made the team he was supervising, the recipient of the Global Excellence Award in Reporting for Best Cluster in 2006. From 2004 to 2006, he further improved the company’s reporting capabilities by leading continuous improvement activities, expanding the scope of his area of influence to other internal customers, such Human Resources, Sales Management and Marketing. He organized additional databases and developed a headcount reporting system for Human Resources, Key Account Management Reports for Sales Management, and statistical volume reports for Marketing. He was also appointed finance responsible of a Key Account Management Team assigned to the Company’s largest customer, on top of his Financial and planning manager responsibilities from 2006 to 2007. He participated in the elaboration of a customer satisfaction improvement strategy and conducted return on investment and value chain analysis leading to the commercial launch of new products. In 2007, he designed a tool for customer profitability analysis that subsequently led to the financial turnaround of the US largest division by enabling account Managers to make informed pricing decision. Other projects that he undertook had flawless implementations and are associated with the Financial and planning activities including trial balances, budget models, rolling financial forecasting simulation tools and balanced scorecards. In his last position as director financial planning and analysis North America, Vincent re-shaped a cross border team of five, achieving 20% productivity gains by redistributing tasks to fully use synergies between the various organizations across the three countries in North America. As well, he led the standardization effort of the financial reporting, budgeting and forecasting activities. As a trusted business partner with superior business acumen and work ethics, he coordinates the Business performance analysis activities of a dozen of business controllers north and south of the US borders. He coaches directors and managers on how to analyze the performance of their respective business areas and assist the CFO and the CEO in making decisions associated with setting goals and targets. Responding to a business need to always do more with less, Vincent embraces innovation and from 2009 to 2011, he led the change management efforts for the Rolling Financial Forecast implementation which constituted a process change from an intensive annual bottom-up budget exercise to a leaner top-down target contracting period based on key value drivers simulation and stakeholder management. By eliminating shadow work and enforcing the use of meaningful value drivers the financial simulation tools and processes he designed resulted in reducing the budget cycle from four months to one, freeing up the finance function workload by 30%. In some non-finance areas, budgeting was completely eliminated without affecting the overall budget quality and the level of commitment needed from the stakeholders to effectively deploy the contracted measures. Besides being computer savvy and an experienced leader who understands the complexity of the people aspect in today’s global corporations, Vincent has been equally respected by his peers, subordinates and supervisors. He held full time positions in France, Mexico and the United States where he has been living for the last 15 years. He is truly fluent in French, English and Spanish and continues to conduct business in all three languages without any preference for one or another.
Global Partner preferred location
City: Chicago IL
Country: United States of America
To contact Vincent Lefebvre (EGP), please forward an email to the Academy of Business Strategy.