Are CFO’s at the helm of corporate leadership?

July 17, 2017

CFO: from then to now

CFO’s typically performed a critical role as “housekeeper” of a company being the ultimate check and balance against a company’s performance in financial terms, including strategic planning setting and monitoring financial targets. The nature of their job has not changed much except that outstanding CFO’s notably conduct themselves differently by connecting closely with internal leaders, external markets and customers.

The Market driven CFO

The market-driven CFO is fast becoming a significant leader in the management team and changing the stereotype of an introverted, analytical, data-discharge expert performing the CFO function. CFOs had to step up to the management platform to be more inclusive of external stakeholders and as well as maintaining the integrity of the finance function.

We know CFOs managing matrix-structured organizations cannot afford to be expert in just one business or dedicated to one business leader which leads to an inability to make objective decisions. Today’s CFOs need to be acutely aware of their company’s overall market position when it comes to challenging any strategic plans.

Glasford’s CFO search experience: our tips

Tips for today's CFO

At Glasford International, our global offices have been executing CFO searches in different economies and market. Our consultants have some tips for today’s CFO’s:

  1. CFO’s must understand the importance of talking directly to customers to appreciate client needs. This helps CFO’s keep business unit objectives aligned with those of the entire company. It demonstrates leadership qualities not usually associated with a CFO.
  2. Effective CFO’s will balance their time between internal and external stakeholders. There is always a lot going on and understanding key deliverables outside of a financial interpretation helps CFO’s stay in tune with all the operational indicators.
  3. Resource allocation is an important job for CFO’s. By participating in business unit strategies and focusing on simplified metrics, CFO’s become more dynamic in business deliverables.
  4. CFO’s should be aware of the company’s emerging markets where future growth exists. If the markets are geographically awkward, CFO’s will to be involved in the human resource plan for talent development and retention programs.

In summary, CFO’s today are facing multi-faceted challenges in their job nature, ranging from their traditional role right through the leadership disciplines including marketing, customer demands, human resources strategic thinking, IT and Operations.

Glasford International Executive Search

Glasford International is a retained executive search company with the capability and capacity to undertake deep and broad market analysis: to find, approach and select the right people and deliver optimal results.

We do this through our substantial global network, our extensive range of contacts, and our proven search expertise.

Clients turn to Glasford International to solve the issue of identifying and selecting scarce technical and specialist executives, at CFO level or similar financial or accounting management positions.

Functional Specializations

Board and C-level positions

Executives & Senior Management

Senior Commercial positions

Finance & Procurement

IT & Telecommunication

Staff Management