The skill for his or her corporations to draw and retain expertise is a top concern for CFOs. But the present warfare for expertise isn’t ending anytime quickly.

“I certainly think we will be living with this demand pace that we’ve seen for at least the next five years,” Clem Johnson, president of Crist|Kolder Associates, an government search agency, instructed a gaggle of CFOs final evening in Chicago.

During Fortune’s CFO Collaborative, in partnership with Workday and sponsored by Deloitte held at Sepia restaurant, Fortune CEO Alan Murray had a dialogue with Johnson concerning the demand for expertise, the qualities corporations are on the lookout for in finance chiefs, and why CFOs with who’re licensed public accountants (CPAs) are much less in demand.

The CFO is the “nerve center of the enterprise,” Johnson instructed the finance chiefs in attendance. “You touch operations, supply chain, sales, and marketing.” He continued, “When we get a call from a board or CEO and they say, ‘We need a new CFO,’ it starts with a strategic lens in an almost commercial facing aspect that had never been there before.”

Traditionally, the function of the CFO was about managing danger and guaranteeing the enterprise has controls, he defined. “And then as things have continued to get more complex, sophisticated, and demanding,” CFOs discover themselves “being ingrained in ops or commercial things,” he mentioned. 

An instance? One of Johnson’s purchasers requested him to recruit a CFO “who’s very fluent in pricing,” he mentioned. “And pricing has not been the CFOs domain historically.” Finance chiefs are discovering “more and more sub-functions” beneath their purview, he mentioned.

A CFO who’s strategic is a lot in demand that these with an MBA have gotten extra fascinating to corporations than these with a CPA, Johnson mentioned. Crist|Kolder Associates’s current survey of CFOs at Fortune 500 and S&P 500 corporations discovered that in 2022, 51.5% of finance chiefs had an MBA, in comparison with a couple of third who have been CPAs. There have been situations when purchasers see a resume with a CPA accreditation listed, and so they lose curiosity within the candidate, Johnson mentioned. “Most of the time, we convince them to get over the optics and focus on what the person has actually achieved in recent years.”

With the explosion of information and digitization, many CFOs are overseeing the tech perform together with managing information science teams, Johnson mentioned. He’s even labored with corporations the place the CFO is the steward of information on shopper conduct, he mentioned. For instance, when accommodations ask visitors what they preferred about their keep and even whether or not they’d prefer to obtain a e-newsletter within the morning, “believe it or not, all of that data, somehow rolls up under a CFO’s purview in many of those enterprises,” he mentioned. 

Companies proceed to hunt CFOs who’re danger averse and have “extraordinary professionalism,” Johnson mentioned. However, communication abilities are additionally in excessive demand, together with “more charisma, perhaps than then in the past,” he mentioned. “The strategic aspect of the CFO role now comes with a commercial piece in partnering,” Johnson mentioned.

CFOs can now not simply be the “enforcer or the bad cop,” he mentioned. “It has to be someone who’s a business enabler and fundamentally is there to optimize shareholder value creation,” Johnson mentioned. “You can’t just be cracking down on costs.”

Have a superb weekend. Take care.

Sheryl Estrada
[email protected]

Big deal

Health care spending in 2021 spiked a mean of 14% per coated participant, the best enhance in a decade, in keeping with the “2023 Health Plan Cost Trend Survey” by HR consulting agency Segal. Next 12 months, when tendencies for hospitals and physicians, the costs of products and providers are a extra vital issue than the utilization of providers. Price inflation for hospitals is projected to be 5.7%. “Hospital price increases continue to be a leading cost driver,” in keeping with the report. “Shortages among nurses and the provider workforce have resulted in wage increases, as many health systems had to pay contract agencies or travelers who commanded higher rates to fill vacancies.”

Courtesy of Segal

Going deeper

Here are a couple of weekend reads:

“Jamie Dimon on how the government can solve inflation: It can’t” by Megan Leonhardt 

“Honda to employees: Oops, we miscounted your bonus, please give some of it back” by Alice Hearing

“Inside the Ethereum merge: Behind the scenes of the historic event, according to the people who made it possible” by Taylor Locke

“People are deciding you can’t have it all: 1 in 3 workers say they fear kids will set their career back” by Chloe Berger 


Some notable strikes this week:

Tarkan Gürkan was named CFO at Chobani, an American firm that produces and markets Greek yogurt. Gürkan has greater than 25 years of expertise in each the private and non-private sectors. Before becoming a member of Chobani, he was a chief funding officer at Shepherd Futures, LLC. Before that, he was SVP of company mergers and acquisitions at PepsiCo. He beforehand served as VP of company improvement at Campbell Soup Company. Gürkan additionally held monetary management positions at Lehman Brothers Inc. and Nabisco Holdings Corp. He obtained his MBA from The Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College and his bachelor’s diploma from Boğaziçi University.

Michael Bilerman was named EVP, CFO, and chief funding officer at Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. (NYSE: SKT), an operator of open-air outlet facilities. Bilerman is predicted to hitch the corporate within the fourth quarter of 2022. With almost 25 years of trade expertise, Bilerman has spent the whole thing of his profession in actual property. For the final 18 years, Bilerman has been at Citi, most lately serving as managing director and head of actual property and lodging inside its Citi Research division. He began his profession at Goldman Sachs.

Gemma Brown was promoted to CFO at Vaccitech plc (Nasdaq: VACC), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical firm. Brown succeeds Georgy Egorov. She joined Vaccitech as its head of economic reporting in 2021. Prior to becoming a member of Vaccitech, Gemma was at EY the place she held positions of accelerating accountability, reaching the extent of senior supervisor and collaborating of their accelerated management applications. While at EY, she labored with purchasers throughout the U.S. and UK capital markets.

Cecilia Jones was named CFO at Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: AGIO), efficient Sept. 26. Jones will exchange Jonathan Biller, the corporate’s earlier CFO and head of company affairs who resigned. Jones joins Agios from LogicBio Therapeutics, the place she served as CFO. Prior to her function at LogicBio, she spent greater than 10 years at Biogen in roles of accelerating accountability inside the finance group. Most lately, she was vice chairman of R&D, worldwide medical, and enterprise improvement finance. 

Eric Ingvaldson was named CFO at Pineapple Energy Inc., a supplier of sustainable photo voltaic power and backup energy to households and small companies, efficient Oct. 10. He succeeds Mark Fandrich, who resigned in August. Most lately, Ingvaldson served because the CFO and COO of Kradle. He additionally led the finance operations of C.H. Robinson’s International Division, the place he helped develop the enterprise from $100 million to $2 billion in annual income. Ingvaldson was additionally the finance chief for C.H. Robinson’s acquisitions and divestitures around the globe.

Stephen Johnston was named CFO at Ideanomics (Nasdaq: IDEX), a worldwide firm targeted on accelerating the industrial adoption of electrical automobiles, efficient instantly. Before becoming a member of Ideanomics, Johnston served because the CFO of Dura Automotive Systems, a worldwide automotive provider. His expertise in finance spans manufacturing and automotive engineering industries with nationwide and international corporations like Tower Automotive and Nexteer Automotive.

Ben Lu was named CFO at Bird Global, Inc. (NYSE:BRDS), an electrical car firm. Lu succeeds Yibo Ling. He brings over 25 years of numerous and in depth expertise within the expertise sector and was most lately the CFO of Archer Aviation. Before Archer, Lu was the VP of finance at Logitech International.


“We call this productivity paranoia: Leaders are worried their people aren’t working enough, while many employees are working more than ever.”

—Jared Spataro, Microsoft’s company vice chairman of recent work, writes in a Fortune opinion piece that the corporate’s current survey discovered that 85% of leaders mentioned that the shift to hybrid work has made it difficult to believe that persons are productive. However, most staff (87%) report that they’re productive at work.

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