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"After finishing the program, I am even better at challenging our CFO, Head of Services and business controllers.”

Tommi Sova
Managing Director, Intrum Finland

Intrum Finland's Managing Director Tommi Sova says that the Aalto Financial Executive program exceeded his expectations. I already knew lecturers from the Aalto Financial Executive program from elsewhere. Consequently I started the program with very high hopes: after all the lecturers are among the very best in Finland. Even so, the program was a positive surprise for me, Sova thanks.

”I have two degrees in business, an MBA and a BBA. I wanted to participate in a program that would offer the very newest information in finance. It is a field that is developing fast and I have been running an organization for a fair amount of years now. I wanted a challenging program where financial issues are looked at specifically from an executive perspective. I chose the Aalto Financial Executive program.”

”After finishing the program, I am even better at challenging our CFO, Head of Services and business controllers–which means I got exactly what I was looking for from the program. I am very satisfied; I think the program was a good investment.”

Financial skills are beneficial throughout the organization

Sova says he is happy to recommend the program to all experienced professionals, financial experts and top management.  In a company that competes with its exceptional customer service, the importance of financial competence is heightened in the entire organization.

Aalto Financial Executive program reminded me of the versatility of financial tools. They are useful throughout the organization. After the program I have reminded many people in our company about making the most of them. Take for example the margin-to-income-calculation.  It’s beneficial in almost any task. You can use it to steer sales strategy, service levels–or simply to question or crystallize your own processes.”

”When the program ended, I remember thinking it would be a good experience for many people from all over our organization. Of course our line of business is one reason to why I find financial knowledge so important, but the strategic significance of financial competence has increased during the past few years for all industries.”

”If you allow a slight exaggeration, a financial department’s responsibility used to be limited to looking in the review mirror. Those days are gone. Now the financial department works close to business development. It is their job to interpret the figures so they can offer relevant information to top management and help steer the company in the right direction. All experienced financial professionals should know how to deliver this kind of insight and top management should demand that they do,” Sova points out. 

Renew yourself bravely – or your strengths will turn into your comfort zone

The other participants of the Aalto Financial Executive program, the spirit of comradeship and group discussions receive a great deal of praise from Sova.

”Our group spirit was extremely good, which was important as the days were long and demanding. I met great people during the program: remarkable personalities and extremely knowledgeable professionals.”

”Approximately 80% had a background in finance and the rest of us were in charge of running a business. In our discussions the finance people started from the margin and moved on to the income statement whereas CEOs started from strategy and then moved from the income statement to the margin. The dialogues were highly interesting. It was fruitful talking with people from completely different industries, especially when we had top lecturers with us whom we could challenge! In many ways the experience was like a Board of Director’s work: we approached issues from different perspectives and had very beneficial conversations.”

After Aalto Financial Executive, Sova has already participated in another Aalto program: the Leading Change module of Aalto’s Global Leader program. Sova says it is very likely that he will find room in his schedule for a new executive program at Aalto EE this year as well.

”When you are running a business you must keep in mind the company’s culture and strengths, and at the same time have  it crystal clear in your head how quickly  a company’s strengths turn into its comfort zone, if an organization does not renew itself. It is essential to occasionally move away from the familiar and question the existing mode of operation. I attempt to bravely take this way of thinking to my own personal development as well. I try to challenge myself on a regular basis. In my experience it is always a good idea.”

Aalto Financial Executive