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Insights

Making the Transition from CFO to CEO

Making the Transition from CFO to CEO

A Market Perspective

Increasingly, CFO’s face a Tsunami of information needs

  • Demands are growing and deadlines are shrinking
  • Heightened market activity requires extra attention
  • Increased regulation means more detailed audit documentation and ridiculous filing deadlines
  • Spending enough time with direct reports and creating the right team beneath the CFO is becoming more of a challenge
  • Increased need to operate at both macro and micro levels
  • Delivering strategy is about driving financial performance - need for more analytical firepower
  • Being robust and independently-minded often means finding yourself between a rock and a hard place
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The Key Challenges CFOs face

Everyone wants a piece of the CFO

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Where CFOs spend time with the Board

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There is an increasing conflict between where CFOs want to spend their time and the actuality

Today's CFO is expected (and aspires) to be a leader

  • 'More than half of European finance chiefs want their next career move to be the step up to CEO'
  • 'A finance/accounting background is still the most frequent route to the top in the UK. In 2006, 38% of CEOs had a finance/accounting background - 45% of those CEOs appointed internally'
  • 'The best and brightest finance executives, especially those with leadership potential, will not be content to spend their career in a transaction-processing factory'
  • 'Without time spent on development by CFOs, there is no way finance and leadership can ever be synonymous'
  • 'The goals associated with CFO Leadership Development are very common across industry and for small or large global enterprises - however the approach to reaching those goals varies dramatically'
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CFO & CEO Competencies

CFOs are perceived as good candidates for the CEO role when financial issues are core to strategy

Most CEOs with a CFO background were promoted within the same company

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Experience in more than one role and more than one company broadens a CFOs appeal as a CEO candidate

What does the CFO of the future look like?

Author(s)

John Colvin

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