CFOs are crucial for business survival but appointing the right financial guardian has never been more challenging. Partner at Savannah Group, Richard Ashton explains what skills are vital for CFOs and where technology can aid with recruiting the perfect CFO.
In any time of economic turbulence, we always see an increase in activity and demand for roles within the treasury functions of our clients of businesses. We saw this after the Global Financial Crash of 2008 and we have been witnessing this again throughout the pandemic as large organisations had to react with urgency to their changing financial circumstances. In this article we look at treasury market insights and the talent implications for listed companies and PE/VC backed businesses.
This report looks at the evolution of the CFO as a strategic visionary and business advisor. CFOs have been gradually transitioning to a more influential and business-focused role, presenting them with a different range of challenges and a complex and demanding remit. We look at questions such as ‘what will define successful CFOs in a post-crisis business landscape?’ and ‘if the skills and traits required of a successful CFO are evolving, are the approaches to identifying the best succession candidates, internally and externally, changing too?’
Throughout history, economic downturns have had distinct characteristics, and while they are neither rare nor inexplicable in a market economy, they share some routine commonalities in both cause and consequence. The desire to assign blame is a common feature of the aftermath, as is the resultant change for which the most recent recession has acted as a powerful catalyst.
We are often asked to find candidates to assume responsibility for multiple functions, none more so than in the CFO role. It is curious however to see where convergence starts to occur further down the organisational structure and how the trends change from year to year and sector to sector.
We see a continuous evolution in the CFO’s remit, which is expanding to become much more about judgement and commercial contribution. Boards will continue to rely on the CFO for risk analysis, but they will also expect them to see the implications through a commercial as well as a financial lens.
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