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Handelsblatt – The Rise of the CFO

  • July 2015

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Handelsblatt – The Rise of the CFO

The days of the number cruncher CFO are definitely over. Today’s Chief Financial Officers are widely acknowledged as key strategic advisors and, in many cases, potential CEOs, reports the German financial daily Handelsblatt. In the words of Caspar von Blomberg, a consultant in Egon Zehnder’s Financial Officer Practice Group, “The CFO is now the CEO’s most important sparring partner.” In his experience, “The modern CFO needs to have operational experience, an understanding of how the company works as a whole as well as how s/ he can motivate staff through difficult processes of change.” Today’s top CFOs also need razor-sharp communication skills that enable them to inspire confidence in the capital markets and handle the information needs of staff and the media. But “Not every good CFO automatically makes a good CEO,” warns von Blomberg. In many cases CFO lack the ability to strike out into uncharted territory. “That is a question of identity and is hard to learn”, he concludes.

Full story: B. Fröndhoff & S. Hofmann: “Die Zahlen-Kolonne” (“Columns of numbers”) in Handelsblatt (9 July 2015). [Only available in German, in the printed edition of 9 July].

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