Howard Atkins, the immediate past CFO of Wells Fargo, spoke on challenges facing the financial services industry Sept. 30 as the guest speaker of the Haas School's quarterly CFO Round Table.
Atkins talked with six Bay Area CFOs and business leaders about everything from innovation challenges to the impact of global regulation on economic growth. Attendees included Haas alumni Sabrina Simmons, BS 85, CFO, Gap Inc.; Chris Cook, CFO, Bank of Marin; and Pramod John, VP, strategy and Innovation, McKesson.
The CFO Round Table, sponsored by the Haas School's Center for Executive Education, was started by former Dean Tom Campbell when he returned from a one-year sabbatical serving as director of the California Department of Finance under then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Campbell wanted to share the insights he gained in that role as well as academic research with the CFO community, explains moderator Solomon Darwin, associate director of the Open Innovation Program at Haas.
"The roundtable is a way for Berkeley-Haas to connect with the business community at a very high level and to understand its needs to better design our executive education curriculum," Darwin says.
“Most of our CFO forums are not spent talking about analyzing financial statements or looking at the rules and regulations," he adds. "They’re larger in scope, with discussions on topics like business model innovation. CFOs attend to meet their peers and learn about their business models and the challenges they face.”