Content thumbnail Partnering for Performance Part 5

Executive summary An effective CFO-CEO partnership is one of the defining characteristics of a Our study unveils a second major issue. Of the four activities requiring well-run, market-leading organization. Over the last decade, we have seen this CFO-CEO collaboration we focus on for this study, CFOs see themselves relationship evolve and shift. making the least contribution to the “shift to digital.” Only 50% consider it a CFOs have broadened their focus beyond their traditional scorekeeper role, high or very high priority in the next three years, and only 49% responded and CEOs have relied more and more on their CFO’s insights to drive business that they will make a high or very high contribution. decisions, to represent the organization’s goals to external stakeholders and This is surprising, as digital is arguably the most disruptive force organizations to help develop overall strategy. During the global financial crisis, the CFO was are facing today. It has the power to both revolutionize entire business models thrust into the limelight, as their skills and experience in financing and cost and sectors, and transform some organizations from market leaders to management provided a lifeline for many organizations. irrelevance in a frighteningly short time frame. And yet our survey suggests In the many conversations we have had with CFOs and CEOs over recent years that CFOs have not figured out what role they should play in driving and from all corners of the globe, they unanimously believe that CFOs now need to enabling the shift to digital, and managing the legal, tax and regulatory risks fulfill the role of strategic advisor to the CEO, with a focus on value creation as that it creates. well as more traditional finance responsibilities. We invite you to read our study to discover how the CFO-CEO partnership is However, when asked specifically about some of the major value creation evolving, how the two are collaborating on major business challenges and the activities on business agendas today — M&A decisions, performance obstacles they are facing. We also share suggestions and insights on how they measurement, operating model redesign and the shift to digital — our survey can work together to improve their partnership. We hope you will find our of 652 CFOs reveals a persistent focus on cost management as CFOs’ main report useful as you adapt to the continually changing business landscape, contribution. This is despite the fact that CFOs consider that their relationship and develop in your role. with the CEO has strengthened over the last three years, driven by new growth opportunities, changes in strategy and new products and services. The question arises: As the global economy makes its faltering return to a more stable footing, will CFOs’ continued focus on cost management enable them to act as a strategic business partner, focused on value creation? What do they need to do differently to be able to focus more time on strategic activities? Partnering for performance Part 5: the CFO and the chief executive officer 2

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