Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management: Aligning Investment Proposals with Organizational Strategy


Praise for
Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management: Aligning Investment Proposals with Organizational Strategy

"Companies today spend more and more time micro-optimizing individual investments while broad portfolio trade-offs go neglected. Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management attacks this intractable problem, providing solutions for companies interested in breaking down organizational barriers to unleash growth."
—Jeffrey Merrihue, CEO, Accenture Marketing Sciences

"Anand Sanwal has brilliantly articulated the essence of corporate portfolio optimization and skillfully spelled out the pitfalls and difficulties in achieving it. But his greatest achievement is in leading the charge to a rare state of conscious portfolio management competence on an enterprise-wide basis in a large, complex, and highly successful multinational organization, American Express. A must-read for CEOs and CFOs who truly want to create shareholder value on a sustained basis."
—Michael Menke, Chief Portfolio Advocate and Business Strategist, Hewlett-Packard

"Portfolio management is the 'holy grail' of resource allocation but very few companies have been able to reach it. Anand Sanwal has done a superb job of creating a practical, step-by-step guide for implementing portfolio management techniques in all resource allocation decisions, including operating expenses. Most compelling is the book's focus on changing managers' behavior, not just changing processes."
—Eisha Tierney Armstrong, Managing Director, CFO Executive Board

"What is more important to an organization than effective resource allocation? The trick is to remove the emotion and focus on what can be measured . . . not easy to do, but this book shows you how."
—Alan Gallo, Senior Vice President, Corporate Planning & Analysis, American Express Company

"Of the Seven Deadly Sins described by Anand Sanwal, my favorite for derailing corporate portfolio management is 'Decibel vs. Data-Driven Decision Making.' Those who avoid the sins and who adopt the many virtues Anand explains will realize far greater benefits from their IT and other corporate investments."
—Matt Light, Research Director, Gartner Inc.

"Insightful and to the point, Sanwal clearly highlights one of the greatest challenges facing large businesses in today's dynamic market environment. Any company that struggles with allocating investment resources now has a viable prescription for bringing order to the potential chaos of portfolio management."
—Satya Patel, Senior Product Manager, Google, Inc.

Anand Sanwal is Vice President, Investment Optimization and Strategic Business Analysis, at American Express. Within this role, he is responsible for managing billions of dollars of per annum discretionary investment spent as part of American Express's CPM initiative, and also overseeing the CFO's strategy and analysis group. Sanwal holds a degree in finance and accounting from the Wharton School of Business and is a recognized thought leader on corporate portfolio management, speaking frequently to companies and research organizations including the CFO Executive Board, Beyond Budgeting Roundtable, Enterprise Portfolio Management Council, and Gartner, among others. He welcomes your feedback, insights, and comments and can be reached at



Chapter 1. Overview of Corporate Portfolio Management.

Why Is CPM Important?

Framework for CPM Success.

What Should Be Considered an Investment?

Mismanaging Your Corporate Investment: The Seven (and a Half) Deadly Sins.

Chapter 2. Bringing CPM to Your Organization.

Four-Step Roadmap to CPM Success.

Are We There Yet?

Useful Frameworks and Tools: Optimizing Decision Making Within Your Corporate Portfolio.

Chapter 3. Applying CPM to Specific Areas within the Organization.

Information Technology.

Innovation/Research and Development.

Marketing/Advertising and Promotion.

Capital Budgeting/Capital Expenditure.

Sales Force.

Chapter 4. Case Studies.

American Express.



State of Oregon Department of Human Services.

Appendix: Useful Tools, Frameworks, and Practices to Enable CPM.

Personnel Survey: Understanding Current Company Practices and Attitudes Toward CPM.

HP’s Strategic Financial Analysis Curriculum Outline.

Information (Diagrams, Exhibits, and Text) for Building Your CPM Business Case.