Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: JP Morgenthal, Fouad Khalil, Elizabeth White, Mike Raia, PagerDuty Blog

News Feed Item

Unprecedented demand for CFOs to serve on corporate boards

- Benefits of additional roles outweigh risks of being overstretched if the right choice and timing of the role is made

LONDON, Nov. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The demand for CFOs on corporate boards is undergoing an unprecedented rise driven by regulation, difficult economic conditions and the CFOs' broadening skill set, according to a new Ernst & Young study, CFO and beyond: the possibilities and pathways outside finance. The report found that many CFOs – both serving and former – are interested in taking up roles that can improve understanding of boardroom dynamics, generate cross-sector ideas and provide exposure to different corporate cultures. However, this interest level is tempered by concerns about the professional risks and distractions from their primary fiduciary duties. Those leading CFOs who have successfully managed the balance, advise candidates for board positions to choose the right role, and time it well.

The report is based on a global survey of 800 CFOs, a study of the career paths of group CFOs at 347 of the world's largest companies (annual revenues over US$5b) over the past decade, and a series of interviews with leading CFOs, governance experts and academics.

Rising demand for growing number of CFO competencies
Seventy-nine percent of respondents agreed their financial expertise means they are in more demand than ever for board level roles. The study also shows 14% of board members from the world's largest companies studied were serving or former CFOs, up from 8% in 2002. The proportion of audit committee chairs who are serving or former, CFOs has doubled in the last decade (41% in 2012, up from 19% in 2002), perhaps reflecting the demand for increased transparency on company balance sheets.

Jay Nibbe, Ernst & Young's EMEIA Markets Leader, says, "Regulatory pressure is driving a major increase in demand around the world for CFO experience on boards. In many countries, a CFO's financial expertise is not only highly valued, but also mandatory. Additionally, as companies grapple with a volatile economy and the diverging growth trends of developed and rapid-growth markets, they increasingly want good insights and support for cost, risk, and cash flow management – three areas of focus that fall squarely within the CFO's skill set."

The evolution of the CFO role over the past decade has significantly broadened the contribution that finance leaders are able to make to board positions.

Jay Nibbe says, "Although they are crucial, financial skills alone don't necessarily make for a good board member. Many CFOs today have the financial skills as well as a unique combination of analytical, technical and strategic capabilities. This combination of CFO skills makes for a strong addition to the board."

Benefits of CFOs taking on non-executive roles
Those leading CFOs interviewed for this study, talked about using the experience of an additional board role to enhance their performance as a CFO. Understanding board dynamics from a different perspective is the principal benefit of serving on a corporate board according to 75% of the CFOs surveyed. Most CFOs spend a lot of time engaging with their own board members but it is only by sitting on the other side of the table they can fully understand how the boardroom works. Over half see it as an opportunity to gain exposure to another company or industry, which enables them to learn lessons that have valuable applications in their core role. 

Jay says, "Experience in a different sector is seen by many CFOs as particularly valuable, with the opportunity to gain knowledge and transfer best-practice across industries. There can also be a 'halo effect' for those companies whose CFO is serving on the boards of large well-respected companies."

Professional risks and distractions from core role can be a deterrent
While most CFOs recognize the benefits, more than 40% think it is inappropriate for them to take on part-time roles. Board directors are often personally liable if it can be demonstrated that they have neglected their executive duties. For some, the demands of their core responsibilities are too great, and the risk of being overstretched is too significant. As corporate governance legislation becomes more stringent, the time required to be an effective non-executive director is increasing.

Despite the appetite of CFOs to take on non-executive roles, there is a growing mismatch between the amount of time they feel able to dedicate to such a role and the recommendation by corporate governance best practice. More than half of CFO respondents confirm that they can only spare five hours or less per week on a supplementary role, yet the minimum recommendation from the 2009 UK Walker Report (30 days per year) corresponds to at least that.

CFOs should adopt a long-term view and anticipate board composition changes
Among the CFO respondents, those who identified themselves as long-term planners were significantly more likely to have taken on additional roles than more opportunistic CFOs. CFOs are also taking on board positions at a younger age than they were a decade ago. The increase in those CFOs from the companies studied who have taken on non-executive directorships is most marked among the younger generation – those aged between 40-49 years old.

Jay Nibbe concludes, "CFOs and future finance leaders interested in taking on a board level role should start early – competition for roles and expectations are rising so career planning is critical. They should do the research and choose the right role carefully and for the right time. They should also expect that, over the next decade, boards will increasingly value knowledge of rapid-growth markets, analytics and other dynamic technologies such as social media. Finally, board recruiters are now looking for deep technical know-how, such as M&A and capital markets. Building deep experience of a particular domain will give candidates a good chance of being matched up with certain positions on certain boards."

Notes to Editors
CFO and beyond addresses the growing demand for CFOs to serve in roles on top of their job as finance leader, and as an onward step. The study explores some of the possibilities and pathways, provides insight into the appetite for CFOs in these other roles, and how those who have gone before have navigated the transition. The study is based on a survey of 800 CFOs, a study of the career paths of group CFOs at 347 of the world's largest companies over the past decade, and a series of in-depth interviews. Copies of the study can be requested from www.ey.com/cfoandbeyond. The study follows earlier reports, The DNA of the CFO (what it is to be a CFO today) and Finance Forte (what it is to become the CFO of tomorrow).

About Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 167,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit www.ey.com.

This news release has been issued by EYGM Limited, a member of the global Ernst & Young organization that also does not provide any services to clients.

John La Place
1-201-872-1951
[email protected]

Daniel Cusworth
Ernst & Young Global Media Relations
+44 (0) 20 7980 0402
[email protected]

SOURCE Ernst & Young

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
Pulzze Systems was happy to participate in such a premier event and thankful to be receiving the winning investment and global network support from G-Startup Worldwide. It is an exciting time for Pulzze to showcase the effectiveness of innovative technologies and enable them to make the world smarter and better. The reputable contest is held to identify promising startups around the globe that are assured to change the world through their innovative products and disruptive technologies. There w...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Akana has announced the availability of version 8 of its API Management solution. The Akana Platform provides an end-to-end API Management solution for designing, implementing, securing, managing, monitoring, and publishing APIs. It is available as a SaaS platform, on-premises, and as a hybrid deployment. Version 8 introduces a lot of new functionality, all aimed at offering customers the richest API Management capabilities in a way that is easier than ever for API and app developers to use.
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.