Salvatore Cantale

Professor of Finance

Salvatore Cantale is Professor of Finance. His academic and consulting work is divided into two different but complementary streams. First, he works at the intersection between strategy, business models, and financial results. He also sheds light on the relationship between ESG and finance, with the aim of increasing the understanding of how ESG policies impact both sustainability outcomes and financial results, and of helping companies navigate ESG ambitions and regulatory requirements.

In the area of strategy, business models, and financial results, Cantale helps class participants and companies to decipher financial results, determine the financial implications of business initiatives, and develop the business case for courses of action by putting numbers on proposed measures. He insists that a better understanding of the financial implications of a desired course of corporate action is a prerequisite for any aspiring value-enhancing executive at any level. As a certified leadership coach, he also provides guidance on ways to improve the performance of finance functions.

Financial results are the outcome of a wide range of things done by people in companies. When managers appreciate the link between their actions and the results, they feel a greater sense of responsibility.

In the field of ESG and finance, he is interested in sustainable business models, climate tech, investor activism, and how financial tools such as green bonds, sustainability-linked bonds, and derivatives can help address challenges for corporations in financing their investments in this essential area. His work has been presented at the European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) and has had a powerful impact on how to translate regulation and policy directions into implementable actions for companies.

At IMD, his portfolio of activities covers a wide range of topics and participants. He directs the Finance for Boards (FFB) program and the newly designed Sustainability for Boards and Board Banking Program. He also teaches finance in the MBA program, delivers customized sessions on finance and strategy for general management programs such as the Advanced Management Program (AMP) and the flagship program Orchestrating Winning Performance (OWP), and contributes to the Strategic Finance (SF) program.

In addition, he has carried out consultancy services or designed and delivered in-company programs for many organizations, including financial companies such as APG, MUFG, Development Bank of Japan, China Development Bank, China Minsheng Bank, Bank of Communications, UniCredit and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, as well as strategy programs for non-financial companies such as Lacoste, Pernod Ricard, NCC, Bupa Arabia, Barilla, Seadrill, Unilever, Coca-Cola Hellenic, Tata Motors, Pirelli, Sibur, KPN, Honda, Kering and Maersk.

He has been published in a variety of international double-refereed journals on topics such as IPOs, security design, financial engineering, and dual listing. His work has also appeared in practitioner journals such as MIT Sloan Management Review, as well as in the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and other media outlets.

Before joining IMD in 2011, he was a faculty director for the Master’s in finance at the AB Freeman School of Business at Tulane University in the US, where he won numerous teaching awards. Previously, he worked as an analyst with a large investment bank in London, and as a research fellow at New York University.

Selected publications
Solutions to ‘dirty’ bitcoin’s growing sustainability challenge
Article
Solutions to ‘dirty’ bitcoin’s growing sustainability challenge
Cryptocurrencies, the environmental bogeyman, could be a force of good, provided the industry can move to more energy-efficient mining methods and greener power sources.
Published 3 December 2021
ABP’s bold move strengthens the case for divesting fossil fuel stocks
Article
ABP’s bold move strengthens the case for divesting fossil fuel stocks
Dutch pension fund ABP’s decision to withdraw from the fossil fuel sector carries some risks, but it is a courageous move that could have wider repercussions.
Published 29 October 2021
Low cost, high impact: the new ‘Barbarians at the Gate’
Article
Low cost, high impact: the new ‘Barbarians at the Gate’
Shareholder activism campaigns surged at the end of 2020 and will only intensify in the years to come, even in the traditionally more sedate European market. Here's one reason why...
Published 14 May 2021
Danone’s damaging brush with activist investors
Article
Danone’s damaging brush with activist investors
Activist shareholding is a low-cost version of acquisition: you get the changes you want at a fraction of the cost. It is of paramount importance that there be consensus between board and top manag...
Published 22 March 2021
Article
Is your company addicted to value extraction?
Should companies exercise their ability to “extract” value from external or internal stakeholders? What is value extraction? Is it in the long-term interest of the shareholders? We define value ext...
Published 1 August 2014
Academic publications
Article
A breakdown of the valuation effects of international cross-listing
It is well known that cross-listing domestic stocks in foreign exchanges has significant valuation effects on the listed company's shares. Using a sample of firms with dual shares, the authors expl...
Published 1 January 2007
Article
Putable common stock
The underpricing of initial public offerings is a well-documented phenomenon in the financial literature. The purpose of this paper is to show how this empirical regularity could be solved by an ap...
Published 1 November 2004
Article
Is your company addicted to value extraction?
Should companies exercise their ability to “extract” value from external or internal stakeholders? What is value extraction? Is it in the long-term interest of the shareholders? We define value ext...
Published 1 August 2014
Article
The value of information in cross-listing
Until 2004, the London Stock Exchange allowed firms to be traded in the specialized SEAQ-I platform without the firm's involvement. Trading only required an application by one LSE trading member fi...
Published 1 January 2012
Insight for Executives
Next-gen leaders hold key to faster progress on sustainability
Article
Next-gen leaders hold key to faster progress on sustainability
The next generation of business leaders can play a vital role in speeding up progress on sustainability, according to leadership expert Clarke Murphy.
Published 21 October 2022
The stakes are high, so don't play Russian roulette with your security
Article
The stakes are high, so don't play Russian roulette with your security
Every part of your business is at risk, not just the IT system, and new regulations are opening the way to litigation and fines for those who do not put their house in order.
Published 16 September 2022
‘Gigacorns’: funding the world’s climate unicorns
Article
‘Gigacorns’: funding the world’s climate unicorns
Venture capitalists are making risky bets on startups they think have the potential to play a role in the global fight against climate change.
Published 25 May 2022
Mind the compliance gap
Article
Mind the compliance gap
In many businesses, compliance training fell by the wayside when Covid-19 altered priorities and made in-person teaching impossible. That could have significant ramifications. As a result, business...
Published 23 May 2022
The holistic approach to value capture – ask four questions
Article
The holistic approach to value capture – ask four questions
An award-winning book on business model innovation helps leaders engineer their way to success by reframing their businesses in today’s virtual setting.
Published 25 February 2022
Solutions to ‘dirty’ bitcoin’s growing sustainability challenge
Article
Solutions to ‘dirty’ bitcoin’s growing sustainability challenge
Cryptocurrencies, the environmental bogeyman, could be a force of good, provided the industry can move to more energy-efficient mining methods and greener power sources.
Published 3 December 2021
ABP’s bold move strengthens the case for divesting fossil fuel stocks
Article
ABP’s bold move strengthens the case for divesting fossil fuel stocks
Dutch pension fund ABP’s decision to withdraw from the fossil fuel sector carries some risks, but it is a courageous move that could have wider repercussions.
Published 29 October 2021
Leadership localization – where effective supply chain management meets smart politics
Article
Leadership localization – where effective supply chain management meets smart politics
With global threats from COVID to trade tensions exposing companies to costly disruptions, leaders should be thinking about supply chain resilience and regionalization
Published 27 September 2021
Negotiation techniques for a global dealmaking frenzy
Article
Negotiation techniques for a global dealmaking frenzy
Apply these strategic methods to maximize value for all parties.
Published 9 September 2021
Low cost, high impact: the new ‘Barbarians at the Gate’
Article
Low cost, high impact: the new ‘Barbarians at the Gate’
Shareholder activism campaigns surged at the end of 2020 and will only intensify in the years to come, even in the traditionally more sedate European market. Here's one reason why...
Published 14 May 2021
Why HR can make or break any M&A deal
Article
Why HR can make or break any M&A deal
Too many companies looking to buy out or join forces with their rivals ignore the risks posed by differences between workforces and corporate culture. In 1998, Jürgen Schrempp touted his “merger of...
Published 26 April 2021
Why HR can make or break any M&A deal
Article
Why HR can make or break any M&A deal
Too many companies looking to buy out or join forces with their rivals ignore the risks posed by differences between workforces and corporate culture.
Published 26 April 2021
Archegos, the Wall Street fire sale, and the need for reporting requirements
Article
Archegos, the Wall Street fire sale, and the need for reporting requirements
Archegos had secured billions of dollars in credit from several investment banks using opaque financial derivatives that enabled it to amass massive stakes in companies under the radar. When its hi...
Published 1 April 2021
Danone’s damaging brush with activist investors
Article
Danone’s damaging brush with activist investors
Activist shareholding is a low-cost version of acquisition: you get the changes you want at a fraction of the cost. It is of paramount importance that there be consensus between board and top manag...
Published 22 March 2021
Report
Delivering value through mergers and acquisitions – HR’s critical role
Merger and Acquisition activity is already rebounding from its initial pandemic-driven slump, and is likely to be rising up the agenda at many organisations. HR has a critical role to play in this ...
Published 4 March 2021
Article
Tencent, avamposto cinese che scala la Rete
Although Tencent holdings was not very successful in making WeChat famous beyond beyond China, it nevertheless attempted to build a global gaming empire. In January 2021 the value of Tencent's mar...
Published 1 March 2021
Leading in turbulent times webinar series: Rethinking corporate bureaucracy
Video
Leading in turbulent times webinar series: Rethinking corporate bureaucracy
We don’t know what scenario is currently playing out, but firms need to be agile, discovery-driven and adopt a problem-solving mentality.
Published 6 April 2020
How a Swiss bank was toppled by a financial scandal in Malaysia – and what can be learned from it
Article
How a Swiss bank was toppled by a financial scandal in Malaysia – and what can be learned from it
The world’s biggest financial scandal, over missing billions from Malaysian state-run development fund 1MDB, has left the country’s former prime minister, Najib Razak, facing charges of corruption ...
Published 11 September 2018
Article
How a Swiss bank was toppled by a financial scandal in Malaysia – and what can be learned from it
The world’s biggest financial scandal, over missing billions from Malaysian state-run development fund 1MDB, has left the country’s former prime minister, Najib Razak, facing charges of corruption ...
Published 13 August 2018
What’s stopping Tencent from monetizing WeChat in the most obvious way?
Article
What’s stopping Tencent from monetizing WeChat in the most obvious way?
The $22 billion Chinese technology giant Tencent is sitting on an advertising goldmine. Just 18% of its total revenue in fiscal year 2016 came from online advertising, and industry analysts believe...
Published 7 May 2018
Article
How Tencent became the world's most valuable social network firm - with barely any advertising
The Chinese technology giant Tencent recently overtook US rival Facebook to become the world’s most valuable social network company, with a market capitalisation of US$540 billion. Yet it is sittin...
Published 18 January 2018
Report
Pirelli and IMD: An agile partnership
Pirelli, a leading Italian tire manufacturer, has lived life in the fast lane since 1872. After the financial crisis, the pace of change accelerated like never before in the company’s storied histo...
Published 19 March 2017
Article
Four lessons from the fall of Lance Armstrong
The fall of Lance Armstrong, the seven-time winner of the tour de France, is a momentous event for cycling and sport in general. It also carries four lessons for business leaders.¦Corporate boards ...
Published 1 November 2012
Article
Case study: Integral role for the finance team: Roche CFO led fundraising for buyout
The story. Roche Group, the Swiss global healthcare company, had owned a majority stake in Genentech since 1990. The California-based biotechnology company had become an increasingly important part...
Published 27 March 2012
Article
Heads I win, tales you lose: Why is risk-taking still good for banks?
When something like the recent UBS scandal comes to surface, the questions that we ask are often the same: How is this possible that such a big event (and trades) can take place in a bank without t...
Published 17 November 2011
Article
Papandreou's move a game of strategy
The euro zone has won the battle with Greece, but economic war still looms. ¦The euro zone may have stood up against Greece, but its fragility is now fully illuminated. The picture is grim and beco...
Published 7 November 2011
Article
The Eurozone at present is askin to the Hotel California
Published 28 October 2011
Article
FDR's lesson for the eurozone
The eurozone at present is akin to the Hotel California; once you're in, you can't leave. Europe hasn't faced a more difficult situation in the last 50 years (Debt crisis, 19 October). The leadersh...
Published 19 October 2011