"I gained new ideas on how corporate finance can create more value as a strategic tool.”

Satu Helamo
Director of Group Finance, F-Secure

​​​​​​F-Secure is known as a global cyber security pioneer with over 100,000 corporate customers and tens of millions of consumer customers. At present, F-Secure’s Board of Directors is reviewing and evaluating a possible listing of the company’s consumer security business separately on the Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd Stock Exchange. F-Secure is also advancing a brand renewal for its corporate security business.

“If realized, changes of this magnitude will obviously have an impact also on the finance operations at F-Secure,” says Director of Group Finance at F-Secure, Satu Helamo

Helamo has a versatile, global role at F-Secure. One of her responsibilities is exploring how the finance function can better serve the business. F-Secure’s finance function is already quite far in digitalization and automation, which frees up resources for providing added value to the business. 

The program broadened my perspective, and I gained a great deal of new insight.

Helamo is currently on maternity leave. She decided to make the most of her time away from work in 2021. 

“I wanted to participate in executive education that would allow me to take a step back and look at what else we should be concentrating on, in addition to digitalization, automation and data management – and also learn what other companies are doing. Aalto EE’s Aalto CFO program seemed to be the perfect fit,” she explains.

A strong toolkit

Helamo affirms that the program delivered exactly what was promised: a fresh perspective on the digitalizing business environment and emerging opportunities.

Helamo also learned new leadership skills that she plans on sharing in her organization.

“The program broadened my perspective, and I gained a great deal of new insight. For example, very concrete, analytical methods for scenario-based strategy development, and new ideas on how corporate finance can create more value as a strategic tool,” Helamo says.

“I also got great ideas for example for developing treasury, which I plan on implementing soon – and if F-Secure decides to continue growing through acquisitions, I have new practical skills and a stronger theoretical understanding of mergers and acquisitions that I can put to use,” she adds. 

Helamo also learned new leadership skills that she plans on sharing in her organization. 

“The last theme we covered was called Power and influence – personal influencing tools. During this session we gained great tools for self-awareness, which I certainly found beneficial,” she reminisces. 

Rewarding peer support

The program was arranged fully online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For Helamo, this was an advantage, as her baby was just two months old when the program started. 

Sharing experiences with peers was rewarding.

“In normal circumstances, on-site learning has its perks, like the possibility of talking with the instructors and other participants during breaks – but Aalto EE did a very commendable job arranging everything online and the program was highly interactive,” she emphasizes.

Helamo has a great deal of praise for the program’s instructors and their teaching methods. 

“Our instructors were top experts in the field and most of the subjects we covered were easy to link to your own work. You got to know all the other participants quite well and we had excellent discussions throughout the program,” she remarks. 

“Sharing experiences with peers was rewarding. Finance is transforming and most all CFOs are facing similar challenges: digitalization, automation, finding the right talent. Hearing about these issues from other participants, instructors, and keynote speakers were tremendously valuable,” she continues.

A good balance of theory and practical examples

The Aalto CFO program includes two training modules taught across six days. Both modules also include pre-readings, a pre-assignment, and a take-home assignment. 

“The content was current and interesting. I especially liked the way that theory was linked to practical examples and applicable tools throughout the program. I sincerely enjoyed refreshing my knowledge of the latest financial concepts and practices and reflecting everything I learned on my own work at F-Secure,” Helamo says. 

“The program as a whole was excellent and well organized, and I am happy to endorse it. I do recommend clearing your calendar so you can focus fully on learning. If you are able to do that, you can look forward to an extremely rewarding experience,” she concludes. 

Aalto CFO Program