Gunther Mertens, Agfa Corporation CFO Leads 22 CFOs in Dynamic Discussion



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Gunther Mertens, Agfa Corporation CFO Leads 22 CFOs in Dynamic Discussion

CFO Studio and Real Estate Strategies Corporation Sponsor ACGNJ CFO Forum Meeting

(Somerset, New Jersey): Andrew Zezas, SIOR, announced today that Gunther Mertens, CFO of Agfa Corporation, led twenty two New Jersey area CFOs in a dynamic discussion, entitled “The Expanding Role of the CFO” at a meeting of the ACG NJ CFO Forum.  The quarterly meeting was sponsored by Real Estate Strategies Corporation and CFO Studio.  Finance executives from companies in multiple industries from throughout New Jersey and New York attended the meeting and participated in the lively discussion.  The Event took place on July 19th in the Wine Room at da Benito’s Restaurant in Union, New Jersey.

“Gunther Mertens did a spectacular job in inspiring great conversation among some very accomplished finance executives.” said Andrew Zezas.  He continued “Mr. Mertens infused the discussion with many of his own career insights and shared both knowledge and vision, while moderating debate and agreement among the group of seasoned executives.”


About ACGNJ CFO Forum

ACGNJ CFO Forum is a quarterly dinner meeting/discussion forum for corporate and divisional Chief Financial Officers, Vice Presidents of Finance, Treasurers, Controllers and other senior financial executives from area companies generally with annual revenues between $50 million and $2 billion+.  The group has been gathering for a year now and over 50 CFOs having attended, with a growing group of “regulars.”  A typical dinner discussion group has a CFO leading the discussion on an important topic of interest, with approximately 20 CFOs attending.


About CFO Studio

CFO Studio and CFO Studio Magazine deploy the best of new and traditional media to promote finance executives as business and strategy thought-leaders.  Andrew Zezas, CEO of Real Estate Strategies Corporation, is the host and moderator of CFO Studio and the Publisher of CFO Studio Magazine.


About Real Estate Strategies Corporation

Real Estate Strategies Corporation is a major sponsor of CFO Studio and General Counsel Studio, and is the sole New Jersey real estate sponsor of the NJBiz CFO of the Year and General Counsel of the Year Awards, Financial Executives International, and the ACGNJ CFO Forum.


Copyright Real Estate Strategies Corporation 2012.  All Rights Reserved.


Before the Next Big Storm


CFO Studio Magazine, Fall 2011
By William A. Cilente II, Vice President, Marsh & McLennan LLC

Hurricane Irene has exposed a flood of insurance and financial issues that businesses must address.

WHILE NO ONE could have predicted the severity, duration, and breadth of devastation that Hurricane Irene wrought on businesses and residents, one thing is clear: Hurricane Irene is a sign of more frequent and severe storms to come, extending to inland areas. Businesses impacted by Hurricane Irene have encountered a host of insurance and financial issues that are making it difficult or impossible to collect on and/or file claims with insurance carriers. Companies located in and outside of flood zones should take note and address these issues before the next disaster erupts.

Lack of Proper Insurance Coverage

“One of the biggest problems mid-size businesses face is the inability to recoup operation losses caused by Hurricane Irene,” notes William A. Cilente, II, Regional executive Vice President and Property and Casualty insurance Practice Leader for middle-market insurance broker marsh & McLennan Agency LLC. “That’s because a significant number of businesses are either uninsured or underinsured for lost income and/or property damage resulting from flooding.”

Flood Insurance Underutilized

Flood insurance, like earthquake insurance, is not generally covered in standard property policies. Yet, according to the New York-based insurance information institute, only 5 percent of flood insurance policies issued by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are purchased by businesses.

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Embracing Change Makes All the Difference


CFO Studio Magazine, Fall 2011

 Agfa Graphics CFO Gunther Mertens is a driving force in the switch from analog to digital – and in his company’s growth.

WHILE OTHER COMPANIES tighten their proverbial belts and hunker down to brave the rocky international economic storm, Agfa Graphics USA has embraced change and continues to position itself for growth.

Agfa is a multinational imaging company in the graphic arts and healthcare industries, headquartered near the city of Antwerp, Belgium, with revenues of $4 billion in 2010. At the helm of Agfa Graphics USA’s financial efforts is Gunther Mertens, vice president and CFO of the company’s North American graphics business. After joining the company in 1999, Mertens took the lead in the areas of strategic financial management and mergers and acquisitions, and is one of the driving forces behind the company’s move from a traditional analog graphics arts company to one that has led the digital revolution in the United States.


How did Agfa manage the transition from analog to digital?

Gunther Mertens: to be able to fund the innovation and acquisitions, it was important that the company manage the technology cycles well. For example, in graphics, the evolution from film to offset plates to inkjet could only be achieved by investing heavily in the development of the next cycle while still benefiting from the cash flows of the previous cycle.

Also, Agfa divested of non-core businesses like its nondestructive testing business, which was sold to GE, and its typeface business, monotype, which was sold to a private equity investor. We were able to raise $750 million with these two divestitures. This money was invested in the acquisition of and partnerships with digital companies.

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