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The uproar over "offshoring" a few years ago has calmed considerably, but the fact remains that many outsourced activities continue to go overseas; the logic is just too compelling. Business process outsourcing (BPO) is no exception. In our cover story, we look at the market and its growth, get expert opinion on its linkage to technology and its future and profile several BPO initiatives in countries like India and Costa Rica.

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Just how badly are U.S. capital markets being hamstrung by over-regulation and the American propensity for litigation? A lot of people, including Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, are trying to sort that out. Writer Glenn Alan Cheney reports on recent efforts to better understand the perception-versus-reality assessment of the regulatory burden, and examines a number of commissions and groups formed to study U.S. competitiveness.

The $20 billion initiative on climate change launched in March by Bank of America Corp. signals a new level of environmental-related commitment on the part of major commercial banks. Others have been trumpeting their own messages and initiatives. It's all part of an effort by banks to get out front on the issue with consumers and other customers and help build and support green technologies and programs--clearly, an evolving role for the financial services industry.

Derivatives remain a thorny issue for companies, and their importance continues to mount as exchange-traded derivative volume zooms upward. Progressive Insurance Co. Treasurer Tom King traces the evolving showdown with standard-setters and looks back to earlier confrontations between preparers and the accounting bodies, battles over topics like foreign currency accounting, pension accounting (still an issue today) and the valuation of financial securities.

There's a vital distinction between a private company and a public one, and employees need to understand how their roles and their goals may need to change when a company does a public offering. Consultant Penn Post examines the various elements of a public-company approach and argues that targeted workshops can help executives and other employees get a better grasp on priorities and strategic concerns.

With big tech-company transactions in the headlines, like Oracle buying Hyperion, recent years have witnessed a spate of technology acquisitions. Consolidation is a challenge not just for the buyers, but for their customers. Company executives in finance and technology are trying to keep up with the changes and adjust to the new roster of players, and get a handle on how their own relationships with vendors may change.

CFO turnover remains high, though it may be waning statistically. William Sinnett, Director of Research for Financial Executives Research Foundation, spoke to several executive recruiters about issues surrounding finance chief skills and the position's changing mandates. A separate sidebar summarizes the results of a new FEI/FERF survey on CFO compensation at public and private companies.

One CFO who has his hands full but is evidently excelling is Marvin Romanow, finance chief at Nexcen Inc., a Canadian-based oil and gas producer. Romanow, named this spring as FEI Canada's CFO of the Year, talks with writer Ramona Dzinkowski about the global energy industry, the company's exploration initiatives and his belief that financial executives need to diversify their experiences to be more effective leaders.
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Copyright 2007, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Marshall, Jeffrey
Publication:Financial Executive
Date:Jun 1, 2007
Words:530
Previous Article:Competitiveness, complexity and financial executives ... intertwined.
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