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CFO-Talk with the Chief Financial Officer at the voestalpine AG

voestalpine CFO Robert Ottel held a presentation for JKU employees and students, providing exciting insight into the company’s business practices.

von links: voestalpine-Finanzvorstand Robert Ottel, Dekan Helmut Pernsteiner
von links: voestalpine-Finanzvorstand Robert Ottel, Dekan Helmut Pernsteiner

The duties of a Chief Financial Officer, particularly at an international company such as voestalpine AG, are numerous and diverse. During a “CFO Talk” presentation on October 28, 2019, CFO DI Robert Ottel, MBA spoke with professionals, JKU employees, and JKU students about issues and problems he deals with on a daily basis.

A CFO’s key task is to ensure sufficient liquidity. The finance costs associated with raising capital depend on a company’s creditworthiness. During his presentation, Robert Ottel stated that the creditworthiness (manifested in a company’s rating) cannot be determined objectively/scientifically, but depends on the rating. Qualitative information, especially the company’s reputation and the qualities of decision-makers, play just as important a role as conventional financial risk indicators.

According to Robert Ottel, the management qualities are also influenced by behavior-oriented aspects: The longer someone holds a decision-making position, the greater the danger of excessive self-confidence and overestimation of one's own capabilities that go along with it. Management must recognize the problem and counteract it early on. Investors can distinguish themselves if they can take these aspects into account in their rating.

During the subsequent discussion and conversation afterwards, guests were able to acquire interesting insight into a top manager’s decision-making process. Robert Ottel studied business administration and mechanical engineering in Vienna and completed an executive education program in Linz. He has been with the voestalpine AG since 1997 and has been Chief Financial Officer since 2005. The CFO-Talk is an annual event organized by the Institute of Finance under Prof. Helmut Pernsteiner and designed to support and strengthen the exchange with local and national companies.