Salvatore Cantale

Salvatore Cantale
Financial results are the outcome of a wide range of things done by people in companies. When managers appreciate the link between their actions and the results, they feel a greater sense of responsibility.
Salvatore Cantale

Salvatore Cantale is Professor of Finance. His academic and consulting work is divided into two different but complementary streams. First, he works at the intersection between strategy, business models, and financial results. He also sheds light on the relationship between ESG and finance, with the aim of increasing the understanding of how ESG policies impact both sustainability outcomes and financial results, and of helping companies navigate ESG ambitions and regulatory requirements.


In the area of strategy, business models, and financial results, Cantale helps class participants and companies to decipher financial results, determine the financial implications of business initiatives, and develop the business case for courses of action by putting numbers on proposed measures. He insists that a better understanding of the financial implications of a desired course of corporate action is a prerequisite for any aspiring value-enhancing executive at any level. As a certified leadership coach, he also provides guidance on ways to improve the performance of finance functions.  


In the field of ESG and finance, he is interested in sustainable business models, climate tech, investor activism, and how financial tools such as green bonds, sustainability-linked bonds, and derivatives can help address challenges for corporations in financing their investments in this essential area. His work has been presented at the European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN), and has had a powerful impact on how to translate regulation and policy directions into implementable actions for companies.


At IMD, his portfolio of activities covers a wide range of topics and participants. He directs the Finance for Boards (FFB) program and the newly designed Sustainability for Boards and Board Banking Program. He also teaches finance in the MBA program, delivers customized sessions on finance and strategy for general management programs such as the Advanced Management Program (AMP) and the flagship program Orchestrating Winning Performance (OWP), and contributes to the Strategic Finance (SF) program.


In addition, he has carried out consultancy services or designed and delivered in-company programs for many organizations including financial companies such as APG, MUFG, Development Bank of Japan, China Development Bank, China Minsheng Bank, Bank of Communications, UniCredit and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, as well as strategy programs for non-financial companies such as Lacoste, Pernod Ricard, NCC, Bupa Arabia, Barilla, Seadrill, Unilever, Coca-Cola Hellenic, Tata Motors, Pirelli, Sibur, KPN, Honda, Kering and Maersk.


He has been published in a variety of international double-refereed journals on topics such as IPOs, security design, financial engineering, and dual listing. His work has also appeared in practitioner journals such as MIT Sloan Management Review, as well as in the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and other media outlets.


Before joining IMD in 2011, he was a faculty director for the Master’s in finance at the AB Freeman School of Business at Tulane University in the US, where he won numerous teaching awards. Previously, he worked as an analyst with a large investment bank in London, and as a research fellow at New York University.


Selected publications

Solutions to ‘dirty’ bitcoin’s growing sustainability challenge (I by IMD, 2021)

ABP’s bold move strengthens the case for divesting fossil fuel stocks (I by IMD, 2021)

Low cost, high impact: the new ‘Barbarians at the Gate’ (I by IMD, 2021)

Danone’s damaging brush with activist investors (I by IMD, 2021)

Is your company addicted to value extraction? (MIT Sloan Management Review, 2014)



Global Finance Association Best Paper Award

Southern Finance Association Outstanding Paper Award


BA (Economics and Finance)

University of Catania, Italy


Master’s degree (Management)



PhD (Finance)



Orchestrating Winning Performance
IMD's signature program, OWP, brings you the latest business trends, thought leadership and insights to revitalize your business, drive innovation and lead you forward. Fully customizable schedule. For executives and teams.
Strategic Finance
Refreshes and refines the skills of senior financial and business executives through a broadened understanding of the latest financial concepts and tools
All IMD programs
Salvatore Cantale's Publications
Governance at ABP and APG: The €440 Billion Challenge
Case study
Once COVID-19 is beaten, let’s mobilize our efforts
Leading in turbulent times webinar series: Rethinking corporate bureaucracy