Using Derivatives: What Senior Managers Must Know

Weinberger, David, Tufano, Peter, Francis, Cheryl, Sodhani, Arvind, Yeres, David, Smith, John T., Isaac, Paul J. and Becker, Brandon (1995) Using Derivatives: What Senior Managers Must Know. Harvard Business Review, 73 (1). pp. 33-41.


The use of derivatives--a broad term referring to such diverse instruments as futures, swaps, and options--has become increasingly popular in recent years as corporations look for new and better ways to manage risk. The high-profile losses of Procter & Gamble, Metallgesellschaft, and other companies are sending an important signal to senior managers: financial decisions that were previously designed and implemented by specialists need to be monitored more closely from the very top of organizations. In "A Framework for Risk Management" (November-December 1994), Kenneth A. Froot, David S. Scharfstein, and Jeremy C. Stein present a guide for helping managers develop a coherent risk-management strategy. This issue's Perspectives section opens up the discussion on derivatives to a group of experts. "For a company to manage its exposures effectively, it must first know that it has them." - Cheryl Francis, FMC Corporation. "Derivatives are simply the building blocks of financial instruments--and whether they are destructive or beneficial depends on context." - Arvind Sodhani, Intel Corporation. "Derivative instruments are no more than tactical tools--albeit very valuable ones--for implementing risk-management strategies." - David B. Weinberger, Swiss Bank Corporation.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: financial management; risk; hedging
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2011 15:52
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2015 13:05

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