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The point of view of the Academic Director

"The objective of this programme was to place future CFOs at the heart of value-based management. To this end, we sought to develop the participants’ capacity to act and think on both a managerial level and a professional technical skills level. The programme content was largely co-built with the financial management of SNCF and based on a triptych of knowledge/expertise and ... critical skills. Our educational project attaches great importance to individual and group work. In particular, we have implemented a complex cooperative teaching approach in the form of workshops on participants' practices. These workshops are designed for group work using research to develop innovative solutions for each participant’s specific problems. This specific approach of ESCP Europe - whose mission as a player in Executive Education is to use the contributions of clinical research to help future leaders to find innovative solutions – enables the participants to develop their problem-solving and creative capacities. In this way, it aims to activate the skills of the 21st century manager as defined by the OECD. It was a pleasure to lead this programme and to work with open and motivated high-level participants and I am delighted that we have achieved a link between research, teaching and participants’ challenges."


Olivier Saulpic,
ESCP Europe

Executive Education: Customised programmes for companies

Focus on the #NewCFOs programme

A way of preparing for tomorrow’s challenges

Between July 2013 and July 2014, the first ever participants from  SNCF Group finance personnel followed the #NewCFOs programme.

The aims of a development programme designed for the financial community.
The SNCF Group chose ESCP Europe to help create a pool of potential top financial executives.

The goal: to reinvent the finance function to support the company in its business and organisational transformations.

A climbing exercise, 6 modules, a study trip to London, practical workshops... so many highlights within the programme. The teaching methods were designed to promote awareness, openness, the development of financial skills across all the themes taught and the creation of a network.


Elodie Capitain, Head of Université Finances – Finance and Development Department, SNCF Group

3 questions for
Elodie Capitain,
Head of Université Finances – Finance and Development Department, SNCF Group

Why this programme?

Finding solutions to the growing economic pressures to develop new services, looking for growth opportunities internationally: these are the economic challenges facing the SNCF Group. This is why we wished to prepare our best financial personnel, not only to support change, but also to initiate transformations. We wanted them to learn without "starting from zero" and by capitalising on their existant skills.

Why choose ESCP Europe?

ESCP Europe offered us the best combination of solid theory and  innovative methods in content and teaching. It had the advantage of experienced professors who suggested new  topics and formats.
Thus, the programme began with a team-building session on a climbing wall (followed by a debriefing with a ESCP Europe teacher) and ended in a study trip to London.
Between the two were 6 modules combining financial matters, talks by professionals, practice-exchange groups, discussions on the positioning of each player in relation to the others… ...

6 months later, what is your assessment of this programme?

Extremely positive: out of the 16 participants, 6 have already taken positions as heads of financial services.
The programme has given them high visibility within the Group.
The network effect has also played a role: most of them not knowing each other at the beginning of the programme, they now do not hesitate to call each other to solve complicated situations ... or discuss opportunities.

Discussion with
Cédric Laroche, Finance Manager of EPIC SNCF


One of your close associates participated in the programme. What do you think of the following comments from participants?

"This training provides a large opening on the issues relating to the role and the place of finance and the CFO"
"The creation of a financial network in the SNCF Group;  a real group adventure" "Training that fosters the understanding of the position of financier, self-knowledge and therefore of others, and which is open to different modes of thought, in opposition to preconcieved ideas and traditional processes" ...

I wanted my associate to follow this programme even though they already had a strong background in financial matters, as I do think that a network is an essential tool of the financier.

It has not always been easy to reconcile the programme with the workload involved, but we have worked on it because as a manager, I am convinced that I must support the Group's interests in the medium and long term by helping my team to develop.

Today, this associate is one of those who has accessed higher responsibilities in the Group and it is clear that participation in the programme was a major factor in their promotion.

Contact: Paris campus

Karine Maxence
+ 33 1 55 65 56 30