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The Evolving Role of the CFO: 2018
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The Evolving Role of the CFO: 2018

When: Thursday, September 20, 2018
6:00-8:30 pm
Where: The Paley Center for Media
25 West 52nd Street
New York, New York  10019
United States
Contact: Administrator

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The Evolving Role of the CFO: 2018

The role of the CFO has expanded beyond the narrow purview of reporting the numbers and ensuring compliance. The CFO of today operates around the globe, regularly interacts with operational areas, and has become a partner to the CEO and the board in making strategic decisions.

Prominent CFOs who are alumni of Columbia Business School have played an outsized role as changes have occurred due to increased globalization and regulation, technology transformation, and the financial crisis. The CBS New York Alumni Club is pleased to present the 2018 Worldwide Alumni Club Event (WACE), featuring a panel of four outstanding CFOs from different industries to discuss the changing role of the CFO:

Robert Falzon, '83, CFO Prudential
Howard Hochhauser, '04, CFO Ancestry
Karen McLoughlin, '88, CFO Cognizant
Tracey Travis, '86, CFO Estee Lauder
Kimberly Johnson, Professional Products Editor, The Wall Street Journal (Moderator)


• What makes a good CFO? How has the role broadened to include more of an operational role?

• How has increased globalization impacted the role?

• New areas of CFO responsibility and reporting, such as Sustainability and Data Security

• The CFO’s role in setting strategy with the CEO and Board

• Managing through the financial crisis

Date and Time: September 20, 2018, 6:00-8:30 pm (a detailed schedule is listed below)

Location: The Paley Center for Media, 25 West 52nd Street, NY, NY (bet. Fifth and Sixth Avenues)

Registration:  $35 CBSACNY Members; $50 Non-members and guests

Evening Schedule:
• 6:00-Registration and networking reception with drinks and passed hors d'oeuvres
• 6:45-Panel discussion with Q&A
• 7:45-Additional networking

SPECIAL OFFER:  Columbia Business School Alumni Club of New York offers ONE FREE EVENT for new members who sign up for the first time ($85 or more). Click here to join now and then contact us to receive your promotional code before you register for the event of your choice (sports events, holiday parties and mixers are excluded.


Effective December 1, 2018, Robert Falzon will assume the role of Vice Chairman for Prudential Financial. Currently, he is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Prudential Financial, Inc., with oversight of global financial management matters, including financial reporting, treasury, tax, and mergers and acquisitions. He joined Prudential in 1983 and has served in various positions, including Senior Vice President and Treasurer; Managing Director at Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI); head of PREI's Global Merchant Banking Group and CEO of its European business. Mr. Falzon holds an M.B.A. degree from Columbia University and earned a B.A. degree in Economics from Rutgers University. He is a CFA charter holder and a Certified Public Accountant. Mr. Falzon is the chair of the Advisory Boards for the New Jersey Salvation Army and the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Ironbound in Newark. He is also a member of the Rutgers Business School Advisory Board.

Howard Hochhauser joined Ancestry in 2009 as Chief Financial Officer and in February 2012 added the position of Chief Operating Officer. Howard also served as interim CEO of Ancestry from October 2017 to May 2018 while the Board conducted a comprehensive search for a permanent CEO. During his tenure, Howard has helped lead the Company’s initial 2009 public offering, its go-private transaction in 2012, seven acquisitions and all of its public equity and debt financings. He was part of the team that helped grow the company from approximately $200 million in revenue in 2008, to more than $1 billion in revenue in 2017, a compound annual growth rate of over 21%. Prior to joining Ancestry, Howard served as Chief Financial Officer of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and earlier in his career was a Vice President of Equity Research at Bear Stearns & Co. and a Staff Accountant at KPMG Peat Marwick. Howard has received numerous awards, including #1 Internet industry CFO of 2012 by Institutional Investor magazine and CFO of the year in 2012 by Utah Business Magazine. Howard was also recently named Best CEO of 2018 by the Utah Technology Council. He is a Certified Public Accountant and holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University and a B.S. from Boston University. He also serves as a Director of OpenX.

Karen McLoughlin is the Chief Financial Officer of Cognizant overseeing the financial strategy and operations, including real estate and procurement, as well as Corporate Development of this global professional services firm. Prior to being named CFO in 2012, Karen was Senior Vice-President, Enterprise Transformation and Financial Planning & Analysis – leading teams that she architected and built during her time at Cognizant. Prior to joining Cognizant in 2003, Karen spent six years at Spherion Corporation (acquired by Randstad in 2011) and three years at Ryder System Inc. where she held key financial management positions. Prior to joining Ryder, she spent six years in the South Florida Practice of Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers). Karen is a member of the Board of Directors of Best Buy Co., Inc. Karen obtained her Bachelor's degree in Economics from Wellesley College and her MBA from Columbia University.

As Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Tracey Travis is responsible for Global Finance, Accounting, Investor Relations, Information Technology, and Strategy and New Business Development for Estee Lauder. She co-leads the Global Value Council and is a member of the Executive Leadership Team and the Investment Development Committee. Before joining the Company in 2012, she was Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer at Ralph Lauren and also held financial and information technology leadership roles at Limited Brands, American National Can and PepsiCo/Pepsi Bottling Group. Ms. Travis began her career at General Motors as an engineer. She has been recognized by Treasury and Risk magazine as one of the Top 25 women and one of the 100 most influential people in finance, has been honored with a Best CFO award by Institutional Investor magazine and was named one of the Top 100 African-Americans in corporate America by Black Enterprise magazine.

Kimberly S. Johnson is the Professional Products Editor, responsible for The Wall Street Journals specialized content as well as setting strategy for new professional productions. She leads a dozen professional publications, including the suite of WSJ Pro Products, Cybersecurity, Private Equity, Bankruptcy, Venture Capital, as well as CFO Journal, CIO Journal, CMO Today, Risk & Compliance Journal and Logistics Report. Ms. Johnson was formerly editor of CFO Journal. Prior to joining The Wall Street Journal in 2014, Ms. Johnson spent five years covering business in sub-Saharan Africa. She previously held reporting positions at The Associated Press, the Denver Post, and the New Haven Register. Ms. Johnson holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Boston University’s College of Communication.

This event is a collaboration between the Columbia Business School Alumni Club of New York and the CBS Office of Alumni Relations. Special thanks to Marjorie Churgin ’86 and Aziza Jamgerchinova ‘13 for organizing the event, and to Beth Brown and the Office of Alumni Relations for underwriting the event.

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