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Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management: Aligning Investment Proposals with Organizational Strategy 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470126882
ISBN-10: 0470126884
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Editorial Reviews


"Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management is a refreshing treatise of an age-old problem—how to allocate the resources across the firm.  It makes a very coherent argument for aligning the allocation decisions across financial, strategic and risk objectives.  The reader is guaranteed to be given a fresh look and a broader perspective on how to tackle this very challenging organization.  A must read at the top of the organization!!!"
—David J. Reibstein Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School-University of Pennsylvania

"Finally a book that delivers against an ambitious corporate portfolio management premise. A compelling solution backed by an unparalleled framework, pragmatic implementation steps and case studies. A must have for all organizational leaders trying to maximize the value of their corporate investments."
—San Retna Chair, Enterprise Portfolio Management Council Principal, TransformAction

"Pragmatic and full of real-life examples...a must-read for anyone involved with or practicing portfolio management."
—Piyush Sanghani Director, Portfolio Management, Trans Union LLC

"This book will be very helpful to any executive who wants to improve their organization's resource allocation processes and make smarter investment decisions. Sanwal writes with the perspective of someone who has been 'in the trenches' and provides clear guidance on the realities of implementing rigorous processes in the real world."
—Don N. Kleinmuntz, PhD Research Professor of Policy and Management, University of Southern California Executive Vice President and CFO, Strata Decision Technology, LLC

"Progressive thinking on a staid business problem. A well-thought, useful framework for corporate investment managers everywhere—the professed mountain is not insurmountable."
—Ronald D. Balzan Vice President - Business Analysis & Treasurer, AIG Consumer Finance Group, Inc.

"Allocating capital to new projects and opportunities has a greater effect on strategy than perhaps any other process in an organization. And still, it remains one of the least understood processes in management. Anand Sanwal's in-depth examination surfaces insights on how to link capital allocation to strategic planning. His book provides not only a detailed description of the complexities of the problem, but practitioner oriented advice for what to do about it."
—Clark Gilbert Former Harvard Business School Professor and Co-author of From Resource Allocation to Strategy

"Anand Sanwal's new book does a great job of developing and explaining new approaches to portfolio management. I especially value the emphasis on the need for good metrics to close the learning loop on portfolio decisions."
—Paul Farris Landmark Communications Professor of Business Administration, Darden School, University of Virginia

"Portfolio Management was one of the breakthroughs of modern finance and it's application to the Corporations activities shows much promise—however today it is much more art than science. Anand Sanwal's book is a significant contribution to turning CPM into a science."
—Martin Curley Senior Principal Engineer and Global Director IT Innovation and Research, Intel Corporation

"Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management articulates a discipline and strategy that will significantly benefit large—and middle-market companies alike. Anand Sanwal avoids simplistic one size fits all approaches which have become commonplace in discussions of portfolio management to deliver keen, no-nonsense insights that will strengthen your organization."
—Rajesh Shah Executive Vice President, MS International, Inc.

"This is a must read for executives, managers, and staff; and beginners as well as seasoned practitioners of portfolio management. Portfolio management is not about IT. It is about the 'business-of-the-business;' organizational efficiency, effectiveness, and investment, resource and operational optimization and differentiation. Anand demonstrates a gifted talent to clearly and succinctly articulate why portfolio management is both so difficult and yet so simplistic. Read it, understand it, embrace the journey—the challenges, the opportunities, the value, the benefits."
—Dennis E. Wells,Information Services Policy and Planning Manager, Oregon Department of Human Services

"Regardless of a company's size, it is very critical to have a compass for investment decisions especially in uncertain business environments. With data driven corporate portfolio management, I am able to lead my company in the right direction in a more effective and efficient way."
—Toshi Sakuma CEO Sakuma International S.A.

"Thorough, to the point and extremely pragmatic, Anand Sanwal has provided an excellent case and strategy for moving away from currently anemic methods of corporate and strategic planning. He provides a clear framework to help organizations align investments with strategic, financial and risk objectives ultimately enabling them to realize the power of corporate portfolio management."
—Guhan Swaminathan Co-Founder and Managing Director Virgo Capital

"Corporate portfolio management does not have to be a mystery. And it certainly should become a practical guide to putting limited resources to work on the most strategically beneficial work. Anand's approach to enterprise portfolio management is direct, practical, and focused, and is based on proven practices that I have implemented in organizations of all sizes worldwide."
—Ernie Nielsen Managing Director-Enterprise Project Management and Masters' Professor of Project Management-Marriott School of Business, Brigham Young University

"This new book points the way to new methods for transforming your organization through better processes and optimizing portfolio management. Leading edge companies moving beyond budgeting can use it to learn how continuous planning can lead to higher returns."
—By Steve Player Program Director, Beyond Budgeting Round Table (BBRT), North America

From the Inside Flap

Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management
Aligning Investment Proposals with Organizational Strategy

An essential resource for anyone involved with managing or supervising their organization's discretionary investments, Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management provides practical guidance for C-level executives as well as finance, IT, marketing, R&D, and business managers serious about maximizing and realizing their financial and strategic objectives. With comprehensive coverage, author Anand Sanwal—a leading authority on corporate portfolio management (CPM)—shares a pragmatic and proven framework for building a robust CPM capability within an organization.

Written by a practitioner for executives and fellow practitioners, this crucial resource offers a guide to enabling CPM within an organization by focusing on the behavioral and process dimensions vital to making CPM a success. Starting with a Foreword by Gary Crittenden, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of American Express, this book avoids a simplistic "one size fits all" approach to the evaluation of an organization's investments, and instead recognizes that every organization varies its view on investments, priorities, risk tolerance, strategy, and financial goals.

CPM has yielded tremendous results at leading companies, and case studies demonstrating the power of CPM are provided for a diverse array of organizations including American Express, TransUnion, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, and the State of Oregon Department of Human Services.

Keeping corporate and management jargon to a minimum, Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management details a practical capability that works best when organizational behavior and process are aligned. It covers relevant topics including:

  • A description of corporate portfolio management and why it is important to your organization's success

  • Mismanaging your corporate investment portfolio: the Seven (and a half) Deadly Sins of CPM

  • A detailed four-step process to bring CPM to your organization

  • How CPM can be applied to various functional areas including IT, Innovation/R&D, Marketing/A&P, capital expenditure, and sales force

  • Useful tools, frameworks, and practices to enable CPM

Filled with proven strategies and examples, this groundbreaking guide will demonstrate how to capture a more holistic view of your company's investment portfolio while working smarter to deploy its finite resources. An invaluable companion Web site supplies forms, checklists, and useful exhibits that can help organizations on their road to achieving an optimal corporate portfolio.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470126884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470126882
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #988,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am currently Vice President, Investment Optimization & Strategic Business Analysis at a Fortune 50 Diversified Financial Services company. Investment Optimization is more commonly known as corporate portfolio management and in this role, I manage the company's discretionary investment spend (several billion dollars per annum). The company's portfolio management efforts have received numerous awards, are patent-pending and have been chronicled by many organizations. Additionally, I lead CFO's internal strategic planning group.

I am the holder of a corporate portfolio management patent as well as the co-chair of the Corporate Portfolio Management Association (www.corporateportfoliomanagement.org). The corporate portfolio management discipline I have built within my organization has been recognized by the CFO Executive Board, Beyond Budgeting Roundtable, Gartner and the Enterprise Portfolio Management Council. It has also has been recognized by Baseline Magazine with 2 prestigious Baseline ROI Awards as well as by InfoWorld.

Most recently, I've written a book entitled "Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management". I enjoy speaking about this powerful discipline and and have addressed organizations such as the CFO Executive Board, Gartner, Beyond Budgeting Roundtable, Corporate Portfolio Management Association, Enterprise Portfolio Management Council and many corporate management teams.

My author site is at http://www.anandsanwal.com.

Thanks to my team and colleagues at my company as well as peers at many other organizations who've I've had the privilege of learning from.

I hope you enjoy the book and this site and look forward to hearing from you. You can reach me at asanwal@brilliont.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I recently attended a decision analysis conference and that is where I learned about corporate portfolio management after hearing Anand Sanwal speak on this topic. His session was highly informative, and as a result, I purchased the book (despite the price tag) to learn more, and it's been very helpful. I was impressed by the no nonsense approach of the book and the pragmatic advice that is provided. The book avoids consulting and academic jargon and simplistic generalities to provide a very readable book on this very important methodology to optimize resource allocation. I've started to build the business case for portfolio management within my company and am relying heavily on the insights from the book to help in my effort. While our organization is still early in our corporate portfolio management journey, the concepts from the book have already been invaluable.
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Format: Hardcover
As a senior finance professional in a large healthcare system, we continually struggle with deciding amongst the numerous discretionary capital investment proposals we get every year. Although we generally talk about our investments as a portfolio, we've really never managed it as such. Instead, I'd characterize the process typically as highly politicized and much more art than science. There has, however, been a recognition within the system that things need to change.

And so I picked up Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management looking to see whether it might actually help us move towards a real portfolio approach. The book has provided a practical view into making CPM a practice within our organization. I particulary liked and am trying to embrace Sanwal's data-driven theme especially as our organization has tended to be more decibel-driven as he calls it. I've given the book to all my direct reports as required reading and I anticipate the book will be a valuable resource as we move towards enabling CPM.
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Format: Hardcover
Alike most readers who have reviewed the book on these pages, I approached "Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management" with much gusto. Despite the catchy title, I soon discovered that the stake did not match the sizzle.

What is undobtedly the most valuable contribution of the book is its practical approach to managing corporations as portfolios. The book contains a number of proven examples that a pactitioner is sure to find useful. This is also what the author promises to do: to write a book from the point of view of a practitioner for the purposes of enlightening a fellow practitioner. So much so good.

From the perspective of an (customer) portfolio management expert (i.e. advanced level practitioner), I found the book quite "light" on all of the key words in the title: corporate portfolio management, aligning investment proposals, and organizational strategy. In more practical terms, the book does not manage to answer the question stated on the cover: how to align investment proposals with organizational strategy?

All in all, I find the book an OK source if you are an absolute beginner and need to get a first glimpse of the subject matter. For anyone with more ambitious aims, the book may not live up to its promise.
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Format: Hardcover
Sanwal's Seven Deadly Sins are a fantastic guide for anyone responsible for corporate/capital allocation. One of my favorites is Sin #3 - regarding emotion overriding data-driven decision-making. Here, Sanwal references an adage that rings all too true, "What gets measured, gets managed." In his sins, the author takes complex decisions making processes and boils them down to their essence. Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management is an essential part of any manager's library.
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Format: Hardcover
It was a sad realization as I read this book to understand that, in the words of the author, the technology company I work for is unconsciously incompetent when it comes to the way we do our resource allocation. The book thoughtfully outlined a method and strategy to move us out of our current malaise. The case studies were also quite helpful in showing how different companies have done this.
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Format: Hardcover
A great resource on corporate portfolio management filled with practical ideas and no nonsense advice. Our company has been struggling with this concept for some time and Mr. Sanwal's clear insights on this topic gives us hope that we can eventually achieve the promise of portfolio management. Highly recommend.
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Format: Hardcover
I heard about this book at a CFO Magazine conference recently when a speaker mentioned it and decided to pick it up as resource allocation is an issue my company struggles with. I approached the book with a healthy skepticism expecting more consultant-speak and theory which is what I've become accustomed to with books on similar topics. But to my surprise, I came away with not only a great understanding of corporate portfolio management and its power but a realization that this discipline is something that I can bring to my company.

The author's writing and tone is almost conversational which makes it a very easy read. And it is obvious that he is speaking from experience enabling corporate portfolio management within an organization aka he is not a consultant preaching generalities. The book is not about why you should optimize your resource allocation as the answer to that is obvious. Rather, the author details how to do it, the organizational behavior required which is often overlooked and the pitfalls that organizations fall into. I also liked the assessments/checklists that were provided as they helped me gauge where my company currently stands and identify what were the critical areas deserving attention. The case studies were for the most part quite good as well. American Express' work in this area is quite groundbreaking, and it was eye-opening to see their embracing of portfolio management and the patience they have displayed in making it a reality (spanning years, not months).

Overall, for those who see and understand the importance of resource allocation, this is a thought-provoking, pragmatic and very useful reference.
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