NAW Billion Dollar CFO Roundtable, Spring 2017

June 6-7, 2017 at the O’Hare Hilton

“What I like about the group is that we set the agenda, so it is meaningful to us, and we get high quality participation from the members and outside experts we bring in to address specific topics. There is rarely a meeting I go to that I don’t leave with a number of new ideas and opportunities that have been of value to me and my organization. The meetings are quick, convenient and a manageable size which makes the best use of our limited time.”
Mark Joslin, Vice President and CFO, POOLCORP

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Eligibility: Companies with $1B+ in annual revenue.

The NAW Billion Dollar Roundtable is the only opportunity that provides networking and benchmarking exclusively with other top executives of non competing, like-sized Wholesale-Distribution companies.

Grant Thornton is a valued NAW sponsor
Oliver Wyman is a valued NAW sponsor

The NAW Billion Dollar Company CFO Roundtable for direct members was created as a new mechanism for the CFO of large distribution enterprises to network with non-competing peers in multiple lines of trade on key finance issues.

Similar to other billion dollar roundtables NAW has created for the CIO, Operations, Human Resource executives, and Chief Legal Officers this by invitation roundtable is composed of executives from billion dollar companies that meet in Chicago two times per year. This highly interactive group consists of the SENIOR-MOST financial executives or CFOs. The annual fee is $1,800 per member, which covers meeting costs for two events in a twelve month cycle. Participants are expected to cover the cost of their hotel and travel. Once the annual fee is paid, there are no additional fees to attend the meetings, which will last one day beginning with a reception and dinner the evening before.

The participating companies can also name an alternate who can take the place of the CFO, should that person be unable to attend the scheduled meeting.

Become a Billion Dollar Company CFO Roundtable member. Click here.

If you would like to learn more, please contact John Peter or Tamela Blalock at 202.872.0885.

NAW Billion Dollar CFO Roundtable Preliminary Agenda

June 6th, 2017 – Day 1

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Drinks & Dialogue Reception
Come prepared to meet and mingle with your fellow participants from the largest firms in the industry.

7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Billion Dollar Executive Dinner

Speaker: Jade West, NAW

As a bonus, the dinner session will also feature Jade West, NAW’s Senior Vice President-Government Relations and Executive Director of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors Political Action Committee (NAW-PAC) who was named the 2015 Lobbyist of the Year by CEO Update.

Make sure to attend the most exclusive executive supper club in Chicago this evening! This dinner is your opportunity to pick the brains of the senior executives for the top wholesale distribution companies in the industry. This is a joint dinner that will include the CFO and CIO executives attending the spring Roundtable.

June 7th, 2017 – Day 2

7:00 AM – 7:45 AM

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
Opening Session & Discussion
“The Role of the CFO & Variable/Fixed Costs in Achieving Profitable Growth”

Jonathan Byrnes, Senior Lecturer at MIT & Harry Katz, Retired CFO & Chief Profitability Officer at Bunzl

The economic climate of the past few years have left the finance functions in affected sectors to focus sharply on reducing costs in an attempt to protect profits in the face of stagnating or decreasing revenues. Without a clear understanding of the cost drivers, many CFOs have found it difficult to ascertain where and how to make savings beyond the obvious discretionary expenses. Some of this cost cutting may have alleviated the short-term pressures, but it may have had a damaging impact on the company’s underlying capabilities. These are the exact same capabilities that will be required to take advantage of current and impending resurgences in economic conditions. The problem often stems from having a myopic understanding of the nature of costs in terms of how they contribute to revenue, and a structural bias toward fixed costs rather than variable ones. Thus, most cost-reduction programs are constrained to focus on making arbitrary quick wins by attacking the more obvious discretionary variable costs. With the increasing levels of confidence and data supporting the emergence and appearance of an economy in recovery, businesses are still focused on costs, but they are increasingly showing a level of sophistication that has moved away from an unsustainable approach to one that can be characterized as “cost optimization,” to achieve long-term, sustainable goals.

This session will focus on two trends as they relate to cost optimization:

  • Transparency of the true cost base – how organizations have leveraged existing data to create processes that allow for an informed transparency of the true cost base, and a clear understanding of how costs correlate to value-creating activities within the business.
  • Benefits of a variable cost base – how leading organizations have proven that switching away from fixed costs to a more variable cost base is an effective way of becoming agile enough to de-risk unpredictability in demand and vulnerability in supply.


9:30 AM – 9:45 AM

9:45 AM – 11:00 AM
General Session & Discussion
“Incentive Compensation Strategies for Billion Dollar CFOs”

Eric J. Gonzaga, JD – Partner, Human Capital Services at Grant Thornton

In an ideal world, every billion dollar distribution company’s compensation strategy would reflect its business strategy and support clearly defined goals. But in today’s business world, many companies have created/or inherited incentive compensation plans that neither motivate their sales reps nor support their business strategies. Because the billion dollar CFO is charged to defend the bottom line, it is imperative to make sure that sales reps are properly incentivized to support strategy, and making sure they are correctly paid in accordance with a clear compensation strategy, to represent substantial financial risks, and opportunities, to the company. In addition, the CFO cares that a correctly incentivized sales team creates deals that better support efficient working capital management.

A consultant will review case studies where billion dollar CFOs have successfully utilized incentive compensation solutions to improve the processes of managing incentive compensation and provide senior finance and sales leadership with the tools they need to motivate the sales team strategically – via a streamlined, simplified, and strategic incentive compensation process.


11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Open Discussion

Treehouse Discussion Special Feature:
“Org Chart Comparison Review”

 All CFO attendees will bring in copies of their organization chart to share with all attendees to the CFO Roundtable (18-20 attendees). Each CFO will have 2-3 minutes to review the logic behind their organizational structure.  

This session is set aside for you to raise any issue you would like and have the group provide their thoughts. This is an open forum to further discuss any item on the agenda or to bring up topics that are not on the agenda. Make sure to take notes during this session, you may find a perfect topic to suggest for the next NAW Roundtable.


12:00 PM – 12:45 PM
Joint Lunch & Networking Discussion with CIO Roundtable
This is the “halftime” period where you meet up with all of the Billion Dollar Company senior executives at this week’s Roundtable to compare ideas and benchmark across disciplines. Both groups: CFO and CIO executives will attend this joint lunch.


1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Closing Session & Discussion
“The Value of Value Based Pricing”

Colin Carroll, Director, PwC Pricing and Profitability
Matt Meade, Director-Pricing Practice at Experis-Manpower Group

Research has found that the concept of value-based pricing to be the most commonly discussed concept that’s also the most misunderstood one. It creates more confusion among operations executives, marketers, even many pricing experts, than any other pricing concept. What is more, these misconceptions often lead companies to shy away from using it, instead settling for cost-based or other pricing methods that leave money on the table.

This session will discuss and present the following:

  • While most distributors default to ‘cost plus’, value pricing can deliver significant, quick margin wins. The most profitable distributors segment both customers and products, and use differential margin, turns, and earns targets to optimize results.

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Set Agenda for Next Meeting Scheduled for December 5-6, 2017

2:30 PM

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