Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 30, 2019

Want to keep up to date with the latest developments in finance, but you are short of time? Don't worry. CFO South Africa weekly collects 10 of the most important articles from international media for your convenience.

1. A case for restructuring before spin-off
Making big operational changes before spinning off assets can be daunting, but our research indicates that doing so can dramatically improve the odds of deal success.

2. Execs Cop to Data Dysfunction
Two-thirds of corporate leaders prefer to rely on others for accessing and using data from their own tools. So, why are corporate executives hesitant to “get their hands dirty” by learning how to manipulate data themselves, as opposed to relying only on data scientists, IT managers, or those team members who do have an affinity for data?

3. Why Regulatory Compliance Can Be Complicated And How AI Can Simplify It
Regulatory technology, referred to simply as Regtech, is an emerging application area of digital technology that aims at making regulatory compliance easier and, eventually, even automatic.

4. Delivering AI ‘explainability’
“Can decisions that materially affect people’s lives be outsourced to a machine?”, asked Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), at a recent London conference on artificial intelligence (AI) ethics in the financial sector — according to the written text for his speech. The question, he suggested, had a “particular resonance in finance”.

5. Instead of 'What Do You Do?' Science Says Ask 1 of These 5 Questions Whenever You Meet Someone New
Everyone wants to make a good first impression. But if you're even remotely shy and introverted, making small talk with people you don't know feels incredibly awkward. Struggling to come up with something to talk about, agonizing over what you should say first... it's no wonder that most people default to, "Um... what do you do?"

6. New Top Emerging Risk: Pace of Change
Companies are, of course, concerned about their ability to keep up with a rapidly changing business landscape. But driving that, in part, are concerns about their own lagging and misconceived digitalization strategies. So says Gartner in its latest Emerging Risks Monitor Report. In a second-quarter survey of 133 senior executives across industries and geographies, “pace of change” showed up as the top emerging risk.

7. How Blockchain Can Win the War Against Plastic Waste
Start-ups are making incremental use of blockchain to reduce plastic waste, but the technology’s power to drive real change is yet to be realised. The ability to assign and transfer unique value to specific assets has proven particularly useful for helping new markets to emerge (e.g. Bitcoin and Ether) and is now being used to solve some of the most pressing global challenges.

8. Getting started with post-merger integration
It’s not uncommon, especially for inexperienced acquirers, to get caught up in the transaction process and the exhilaration of closing the deal. Finance personnel who get entangled in the deal-making whirlwind then lose sight of what comes next for the entire company: post-merger integration, possible divestitures, and attempting to realise both cost and revenue synergies.

9. How finance leaders can deliver successful change projects
Major solution change projects, as typified by the classic ERP programme that most CFOs will be expected to sponsor at some point, have the potential to be career defining moments. Tony Riches, an experienced consultant, reveals some of the key areas finance professionals should focus on to deliver change projects successfully.

10. 10 Books Stanford Business School Professors Think You Should Read This Summer`
Attending Stanford's Graduate School of Business to learn from the school's celebrated professors will cost you more than $50,000 a year. Don't have that kind of cash? Fear not--you can still learn at least a little from these top minds in the world of business.