Conclusion

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The DNA of the CFO series has painted a picture of an already highly influential role that will continue to reward, motivate and excite those who make it to the CFO chair. CFOs will continue to wield considerable influence across the enterprise. Finance leaders will enjoy a high profile, both internally and externally. Finance leadership will continue to be a route to the very top of the organization, including the CEO’s office.

 

However, it is also a role that is becoming more demanding and challenging for its incumbents. The role of CFO is entering a period of disruptive uncertainty and there is less clarity on how success will be defined in the future. In addition, tomorrow’s finance function will look very different from today’s. Equipping aspiring finance leaders to lead the finance function of the future is untrodden ground for them, and also for the incumbent CFOs that are looking to develop their successors.

It feels appropriate to conclude this series with some thinking on the next generation of finance leaders. Leadership development interventions often take their inspiration from notable leaders – from Nelson Mandela to Margaret Thatcher to Mahatma Gandhi. However, while these historical inspirational leaders played their part, tomorrow’s finance leaders need to turn their attention to a very different future. The DNA of the CFO will be radically re-engineered, and we hope this series has shed some light on the future direction of this critical role and offered insights on methods to be proactive in your approach.

Contacts

  • Hanne Jesca Bax
    EY EMEIA Managing Partner Markets & Accounts, Ernst & Young Nederland LLP
    Tel: +31 88 40 71325
  • Robert Brand
    EY Global CFO Agenda Leader
    Tel: +1 201 872 5692
  • Rick Fezell
    EY Americas EY Vice Chair — Accounts
    Tel: +1 312 879 6568
  • Annette Kimmitt
    EY Asia-Pacific Accounts Leader
    Tel: +61 3 9288 8141
  • Tony Klimas
    EY Global Finance Performance Improvement
    Advisory Leader
    Tel: +1 212 773 5949