×




The Federal Reserve and Goldman Sachs: Carmen Segarra Net Present Value (NPV) / MBA Resources

Introduction to Net Present Value (NPV) - What is Net Present Value (NPV) ? How it impacts financial decisions regarding project management?

NPV solution for The Federal Reserve and Goldman Sachs: Carmen Segarra case study


At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. The Federal Reserve and Goldman Sachs: Carmen Segarra case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by Morela Hernandez, Bidhan Parmar, Jenny Mead. The The Federal Reserve and Goldman Sachs: Carmen Segarra (referred as “Segarra Silva” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Leadership & Managing People. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, Conflict, Corporate governance, Ethics, Financial management, Human resource management, Leadership, Leading teams, Operations management, Performance measurement, Regulation.

The net present value (NPV) of an investment proposal is the present value of the proposal’s net cash flows less the proposal’s initial cash outflow. If a project’s NPV is greater than or equal to zero, the project should be accepted.

NPV = Present Value of Future Cash Flows LESS Project’s Initial Investment




Case Description of The Federal Reserve and Goldman Sachs: Carmen Segarra Case Study


Carmen Segarra, a recently hired bank examiner in the NY Fed's supervisory office for Goldman Sachs, strongly disagrees with her supervisor, Mike Silva, about whether Goldman Sachs has a viable overall conflict-of-interest policy. Silva says "yes," and Segarra says "no." This issue is the latest in which Segarra sees what she considers regulatory capture in the NY Fed/Goldman Sachs's relationship. An independent report had been critical of the NY Fed for being too cozy with the banking institutions it regulated and suggested hiring more aggressive and vocal examiners. Segarra realizes that her aggressive and frank communication style has irritated both Silva and others in their department but is determined to do her job. The tension between Silva and Segarra has reached a breaking point and Segarra must decide what actions she must take to address both the tension and what she considers regulatory capture. A teaching note accompanies this case and details how it is taught in Darden's ethics and leading organizations courses.


Case Authors : Morela Hernandez, Bidhan Parmar, Jenny Mead

Topic : Leadership & Managing People

Related Areas : Conflict, Corporate governance, Ethics, Financial management, Human resource management, Leadership, Leading teams, Operations management, Performance measurement, Regulation




Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for The Federal Reserve and Goldman Sachs: Carmen Segarra Case Study


Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10018490) -10018490 - -
Year 1 3455460 -6563030 3455460 0.9434 3259868
Year 2 3973945 -2589085 7429405 0.89 3536797
Year 3 3938506 1349421 11367911 0.8396 3306846
Year 4 3251444 4600865 14619355 0.7921 2575448
TOTAL 14619355 12678959


The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2660469

In isolation the NPV number doesn't mean much but put in right context then it is one of the best method to evaluate project returns. In this article we will cover -

Different methods of capital budgeting


What is NPV & Formula of NPV,
How it is calculated,
How to use NPV number for project evaluation, and
Scenario Planning given risks and management priorities.




Capital Budgeting Approaches

Methods of Capital Budgeting


There are four types of capital budgeting techniques that are widely used in the corporate world –

1. Payback Period
2. Net Present Value
3. Internal Rate of Return
4. Profitability Index

Apart from the Payback period method which is an additive method, rest of the methods are based on Discounted Cash Flow technique. Even though cash flow can be calculated based on the nature of the project, for the simplicity of the article we are assuming that all the expected cash flows are realized at the end of the year.

Discounted Cash Flow approaches provide a more objective basis for evaluating and selecting investment projects. They take into consideration both –

1. Timing of the expected cash flows – stockholders of Segarra Silva have higher preference for cash returns over 4-5 years rather than 10-15 years given the nature of the volatility in the industry.
2. Magnitude of both incoming and outgoing cash flows – Projects can be capital intensive, time intensive, or both. Segarra Silva shareholders have preference for diversified projects investment rather than prospective high income from a single capital intensive project.




Formula and Steps to Calculate Net Present Value (NPV) of The Federal Reserve and Goldman Sachs: Carmen Segarra

NPV = Net Cash In Flowt1 / (1+r)t1 + Net Cash In Flowt2 / (1+r)t2 + … Net Cash In Flowtn / (1+r)tn
Less Net Cash Out Flowt0 / (1+r)t0

Where t = time period, in this case year 1, year 2 and so on.
r = discount rate or return that could be earned using other safe proposition such as fixed deposit or treasury bond rate. Net Cash In Flow – What the firm will get each year.
Net Cash Out Flow – What the firm needs to invest initially in the project.

Step 1 – Understand the nature of the project and calculate cash flow for each year.
Step 2 – Discount those cash flow based on the discount rate.
Step 3 – Add all the discounted cash flow.
Step 4 – Selection of the project

Why Leadership & Managing People Managers need to know Financial Tools such as Net Present Value (NPV)?

In our daily workplace we often come across people and colleagues who are just focused on their core competency and targets they have to deliver. For example marketing managers at Segarra Silva often design programs whose objective is to drive brand awareness and customer reach. But how that 30 point increase in brand awareness or 10 point increase in customer touch points will result into shareholders’ value is not specified.

To overcome such scenarios managers at Segarra Silva needs to not only know the financial aspect of project management but also needs to have tools to integrate them into part of the project development and monitoring plan.

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 15%

After working through various assumptions we reached a conclusion that risk is far higher than 6%. In a reasonably stable industry with weak competition - 15% discount rate can be a good benchmark.

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 15 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10018490) -10018490 - -
Year 1 3455460 -6563030 3455460 0.8696 3004748
Year 2 3973945 -2589085 7429405 0.7561 3004873
Year 3 3938506 1349421 11367911 0.6575 2589632
Year 4 3251444 4600865 14619355 0.5718 1859024
TOTAL 10458276


The Net NPV after 4 years is 439786

(10458276 - 10018490 )






Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 20%


If the risk component is high in the industry then we should go for a higher hurdle rate / discount rate of 20%.

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 20 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10018490) -10018490 - -
Year 1 3455460 -6563030 3455460 0.8333 2879550
Year 2 3973945 -2589085 7429405 0.6944 2759684
Year 3 3938506 1349421 11367911 0.5787 2279228
Year 4 3251444 4600865 14619355 0.4823 1568019
TOTAL 9486481


The Net NPV after 4 years is -532009

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9486481 - 10018490 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Segarra Silva to discount cash flow at lower discount rates such as 15%.



Acceptance Criteria of a Project based on NPV

Simplest Approach – If the investment project of Segarra Silva has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Segarra Silva can ACCEPT the project, otherwise they can reject the project. This means that project will deliver higher returns over the period of time than any alternate investment strategy.

In theory if the required rate of return or discount rate is chosen correctly by finance managers at Segarra Silva, then the stock price of the Segarra Silva should change by same amount of the NPV. In real world we know that share price also reflects various other factors that can be related to both macro and micro environment.

In the same vein – accepting the project with zero NPV should result in stagnant share price. Finance managers use discount rates as a measure of risk components in the project execution process.

Sensitivity Analysis

Project selection is often a far more complex decision than just choosing it based on the NPV number. Finance managers at Segarra Silva should conduct a sensitivity analysis to better understand not only the inherent risk of the projects but also how those risks can be either factored in or mitigated during the project execution. Sensitivity analysis helps in –

What are the key aspects of the projects that need to be monitored, refined, and retuned for continuous delivery of projected cash flows.

Understanding of risks involved in the project.

What can impact the cash flow of the project.

What will be a multi year spillover effect of various taxation regulations.

What are the uncertainties surrounding the project Initial Cash Outlay (ICO’s). ICO’s often have several different components such as land, machinery, building, and other equipment.

Some of the assumptions while using the Discounted Cash Flow Methods –

Projects are assumed to be Mutually Exclusive – This is seldom the came in modern day giant organizations where projects are often inter-related and rejecting a project solely based on NPV can result in sunk cost from a related project.

Independent projects have independent cash flows – As explained in the marketing project – though the project may look independent but in reality it is not as the brand awareness project can be closely associated with the spending on sales promotions and product specific advertising.




References & Further Readings

Morela Hernandez, Bidhan Parmar, Jenny Mead (2018), "The Federal Reserve and Goldman Sachs: Carmen Segarra Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.