November 6, 2018 | By Wisconsin School of Business | Back to blog

Julie Beck

Julie Beck, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, at NOVA Chemicals (a ~$5Bn+ revenue petrochemical company) spoke to the Nicholas Center in November as part of our Applied Learning Series.  Julie discussed the chemicals industry (including the petrochemical value chain), how her company creates value for shareholders, a Decision and Risk Analysis framework that NOVA utilizes throughout the organization (including the Board of Directors) to improve the quality of decision-making with respect to major capital investments and her advice for students starting out their careers.

The Decision and Risk Analysis framework is designed to prepare realistic business cases that reflect the uncertainty, upside and downside, of each strategy decision.  We discussed a specific application of the framework where over 15 variables were identified, flexed and ultimately combined to develop an internal rate of return probability curve.  Our students enjoyed asking questions about how real-world investment decisions are made at the Board-level in a sophisticated organization.