Archive for February, 2011

Finding Deals is a Breeze with Zephyr

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Tomorrow is the first day of March, and in honor of the In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb month, I decided to feature Zephyr, the Bureau van Dijk corporate deals resource.  Of the M&A databases the Ford Library subscribes to, Zephyr is the easiest to access, search, and download current and historical deals worldwide.  In addition, the user can create league tables on deal vendors such as the firms providing legal representation or acting as the financial advisors.

Located on the Ford Library database page, users can either perform a simple company search or can select the expert search link to locate deals according to geographic location, deal type, industry, or financials.  Then the user can select from the tabs located at the top of the page to list the deals, see them as a brief record or in full.

If you have questions about using Zephyr, let me know.  Happy searching!

Book Review: Strategy from the outside in

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

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Day, George S. and Christine Moorman. Strategy from the outside in : profiting from customer value. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2010.

Fuqua faculty member Chris Moorman and co-author George Day argue that, over the long term, the most successful companies focus on creating and keeping their customers. When designing their corporate strategy, the best companies start with the market. All parts of the enterprise are focused on understanding the customer, solving customer problems and seeking out opportunities in the market. Market driven companies work to sustain and improve customer value.

Authors Day and Moorman introduce the concepts of inside-out and outside-in strategies. Many companies employ inside-out strategies, maximizing shareholder value or leveraging competitive advantage. By contrast, the most profitable companies use outside-in strategy, viewing the market through the customer’s eyes. These companies also invest in market intelligence to determine patterns in customer behavior, and to identify market opportunities. They take specific steps to create and reinforce customer value and profitability. These actions distinguish market leaders from ordinary companies and are the focus of the book.

Author Christine Moorman is the T. Austin Finch, Sr. Professor at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. Her teaching and research interests include marketing strategy, new products and consumer behavior. For more details, you can visit:

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Book reviews: Reach The Next Level

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

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Three new books in the Ford Library collection are designed to power your career to the next level.

Pfeffer, Jeffrey. Power : why some people have it–and others don’t. HarperBusiness, 2010.

Stanford professor Jeffrey Pfeffer shows that good performance on the job is not enough for career success. People who are more skilled politically are perceived to accomplish more on the job, and achieve more in their careers, than their less savvy coworkers. Pfeffer describes personal qualities that bring influence, such as confidence and empathy, and shows how to build personal networks. He discusses how to speak with power and to project confidence so that others will be inspired to follow.

Spaulding, Tommy. It’s not just who you know : transform your life (and your organization) by turning colleagues and contacts into lasting, genuine relationships. Broadway Books, 2010.

In this autobiographical self-help book, a popular kid with below-average grades and a learning disability grows up to become a CEO of a nonprofit and a leader in his community. He accomplishes this by cultivating his leadership potential. Spaulding argues that relationships based on trust and respect lead to influence, which he uses to help other people. (more…)

Hoover’s Online Pro is Offline

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

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UPDATED (2/16/11):  Hoover’s Online Pro access has been restored!

The Hoover’s Online Pro database link is erroneously landing Duke users on a login page instead of connecting automatically to the Hoover’s site.

We have contacted Hoovers (D&B) and they are working on the access issue. In the interim, we recommend that Duke users select an alternative resource for company and industry information. OneSource, ThomsonONE, and S&P NetAdvantage are excellent options to try.

Our apologies for the delayed access to Hoover’s and thanks for your patience while we work with the vendor to resolve the issue.

New Movies for February

Monday, February 14th, 2011

The latest additions to our DVD collection are below.

Book of Eli
The Kids are All Right
True Grit
Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
Life as We Know It
Never Let Me Go
Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Animal Kingdom
Paper Men
Jack Goes Boating
Adventures of Power
Feed the Fish
Let Me In

Book Review: Crash of the Titans

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

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Farrell, Greg . Crash of the titans : greed, hubris, the fall of Merrill Lynch, and the near-collapse of Bank of America. Crown Business, 2010.

Engrossing and infuriating in equal measure, Crash of the Titans is a story of two troubled companies during the economic crisis, 2007 -2009. On the surface, this book covers the collapse of Merrill Lynch and its sale to Bank of America. But the real story is about the deeply flawed people who ran those companies, who failed to understand the risks they were undertaking and who failed to act in time to save their firms.

Author Greg Farrell, correspondent for the Financial Times, has written a riveting tale of arrogance, posturing and gamesmanship. On Wall Street, preoccupation with bonuses blinded corporate leaders to the financial risks in fixed income departments at Merrill Lynch and other firms. Colossal losses in these departments threatened to bankrupt their companies. After Merrill’s collapse, executives awarded themselves $3 billion in bonuses at the same time as they were laying off thousands of rank and file employees. Failed leadership and epic mismanagement at Merrill Lynch doomed a company that once epitomized the American spirit.

After a hasty decision to acquire Merrill Lynch, Bank of America executives in Charlotte were blindsided by additional losses. At the same time, the bank generated its own losses that the CEO could not explain. Stockholders were outraged about the bonuses paid to Merrill executives. And merging the cultures of the two companies proved difficult. In two years, a strong and profitable bank was forced to rely on federal bailout funds for survival.

Also available as an audiobook.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Book Review: You Never Give Me Your Money

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

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Doggett, Peter. You never give me your money : the Beatles after the breakup. HarperCollins, 2009.

The dust jacket to Peter Doggett’s new book claims that “the world stopped in 1970 when Paul McCartney announced that he was through with the Beatles.” Not exactly. And as Doggett makes clear in You Never Give Me Your Money, quitting the Beatles was not easily done.

This financial and legal story begins in 1967, at the height of the Beatles’ popularity, when the Fab Four owe 3 million pounds in taxes to the UK government. Setting up Apple Corps as a tax dodge, their earnings are now subject to corporation tax rather than personal income tax (94% marginal rate), and their expenses are deductible. The Beatles also envision the holding company as a utopian business empire and they establish companies in music publishing, retailing, tailoring and others, all run by their friends.

Running in parallel is the Beatles’ drama – the petty jealousies, the backbiting, the sex, drugs and Maharishi, and later the financial disputes and litigation, all meticulously researched and excruciatingly detailed. Midway through the book, the weary reader thinks “So break up already.” And that’s the point. The Beatles could not break up. The business arrangements made years earlier had locked them into a continuing melodrama, like a dysfunctional family. There was no divorcing each other.

For serious Beatles fans and for those interested in the entertainment industry.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.