EY has proudly sponsored the 17th CFO Management Forum and 5th CFO Awards, which were held on Tuesday, September 28th at the Nicosia Hilton. The forum, organised by IMH, was attended by more than 200 chief financial officers and other key executives from companies of all sizes and sectors operating in Cyprus, as well as government representatives and officials.
The conference focused on how CFOs and their organisations plan for the post-COVID-19 world. High-calibre professionals discussed how the world of finance is changing, following the pandemic, the 'new normal' for finance executives and the new challenges facing the modern CFO. From managing a hybrid workforce and navigating financial transformation to investing in digital and the customer experience, CFOs explained how they are “architecting” their enterprises for a complex future.
EY was represented at the event by Ronald Attard, EY Cyprus Country Managing Partner and Strategy & Transactions Leader for Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe & Central Asia (CESA) Region, Sakis Moyseos, Associate Partner, Head of Business Consulting and Government Sector Leader of EY Cyprus, George Poulopoulos, EY Greece Partner, Consulting Services | CFO Services Leader – Corporate Strategy Services, EY-Parthenon, and Stavros Violaris, Associate Partner, Climate Change and Sustainability Services of EY Cyprus.
Sakis Moyseos, who was the Chairman of the Forum, mentioned in his introductory remarks: “While the pandemic has come at a huge humanitarian and economic cost, it has also changed how we think about the world. As well as protecting their people and their communities, innovative and bold companies are also pioneering new business models, accelerating digital priorities and transforming how they work. Therefore, CFOs should not just focus on the here and now as they help lead their business through the COVID-19 pandemic. They should look to the future – not just what’s next, but beyond.”
Ronald Attard, in his speech, explained why sustainability and ESG are now more important than ever. Mr. Attard noted that “demand for nonfinancial information, including ESG and sustainability reporting, is growing as investors seek insight into the impact of social and environmental issues on business models. Soon, success will no longer be measured on the basis of profit and operational metrics alone…To rebound to sustainable growth, we need to reframe our strategic agenda not as a return to business as it once was, but as a new platform from which to create and protect long-term value.” Mr. Attard outlined the significant opportunity presented by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and concluded by describing the new role of the CFO in this changed environment. “Finance leaders have a critical role to play in enabling corporate leadership teams to reach informed business decisions for their companies to grasp the opportunities ahead of us”.
George Poulopoulos, presented the findings of the latest EY DNA of the CFO survey, a survey of more than 800 CFOs and senior finance executives of global organizations mainly with annual revenues over $1billion. According to the survey, the CFO will emerge as one of the C-suite’s most critical roles in reframing the future of the enterprise post the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The speaker explained how the role of the CFO has evolved dramatically over the last decade and outlined the new challenges in the post-COVID-19 era. “CFOs should seek to balance their traditional mandates, for example of corporate reporting, with the new ones, such as overseeing digital transformation, protect value while driving future growth, and balance short-term objectives with long-term value creation” he concluded.
Stavros Violaris, presented the topic: Decarbonization: Defining your future brand. The speaker argued that to maintain access to institutional capital and financing, companies should start to pivot to low-carbon business models. “CFOs will be in the center of this transformation and as such they will need to be ready to steer the decarbonization strategy of their organizations by understanding all the risks and opportunities”, Mr. Violaris noted.
On the occasion of the Forum, the 5th CFO Awards were presented to distinguished professionals from the Cypriot world of finance, in recognition of their contribution, achievements and professional excellence in the field of financial management.
The recipients of this year’s Awards are:
- CFO of the Year Award, presented to Marios Christou, Chief Financial Officer, ASBIS Enterprises Plc.
- Corporate Finance, Restructuring and Mergers & Acquisitions Award, presented to Iacovos Stavrou, Finance Director, Vassos Eliades Ltd.
- Finance & Technology Award, presented to Alexis Alichanidis, Global Head of Finance and Accounting, Exness Group
- Public Sector Finance Award, presented to Maria Charalambous, Executive Manager Finance Electricity Authority of Cyprus