As private equity firms look to maximize value from their investments, it is critical to ensure that portfolio company management teams have the right capabilities to execute against their investment theses. Though in many cases the underlying premise will lie in backing an existing management team, it is increasingly common for private equity firms to bring in a new CFO early in the lifespan of an investment.
The days when the main function of Audit Committees was to put a “stamp of approval” on companies’ financials are long gone. Heightened risk awareness and increased regulation means that Audit Committees must now take on a much more proactive role in detecting, understanding and acting on risk – be it financial, macroeconomic, regulatory, legal or cybersecurity-related.
Within the executive committee, there is no relationship more important than that between the chief executive officer and the chief financial officer. Because of this, when hiring a CFO, particular attention must be paid to the fit between the candidate and the chief executive. In our experience working with boards and CEOs making CFO appointments, strong CEO-CFO relationships exhibit three qualities.
When Egon Zehnder launched the 25 by 25 initiative last September, aiming to quintuple the number of female CEOs in UK FTSE 100 companies within a decade, we committed to the same target in finance. Given that men and women now enter the profession in almost equal numbers, this should be an achievable goal but, critically, it depends on overcoming obstacles which confront many women mid-career.
The airline industry is facing a number of global challenges. Kokkong Chan, Egon Zehnder, Sydney, and Christoph Wahl, Egon Zehnder, Berlin, summarize these challenges and their implications for talent management.