Treasury Today Country Profiles in association with Citi
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April 2006

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Editorial

Crumbling under the strain…

According to international head-hunters Russell Reynolds, more big companies are losing their CFO’s than ever before. Described as crumbling under the strain of increasing legislation and the increasingly aggressive demands of investors, departing CFOs are apparently finding safer havens and greater rewards with private equity.

According to research, turnover at treasurer level remains much the same with almost 40% of those departing earning promotion – often filling the shoes of the departing CFO. Perhaps the experience of being a treasurer helps prepare individuals for the challenge of the CFO role. It seems to depend on whether the individual responds to the opportunities that arise from these regulatory pressures.

…or rising to the challenge?

Russell Reynolds point out that the pressure to meet regulatory requirements is having two major effects on the finance function.

Firstly, those that respond and meet these demands are finding that they gain new skills and abilities, which increases their value to their own companies and to competitors.

Secondly, Sarbanes-Oxley style legislation and the focus on compliance have raised the whole profile of the finance and treasury function. This provides an opportunity for the finance and treasury function to become a strategic partner of the company, adding value to the organisation – no longer seen as bean-counters or simply managing the cash.

Here lies the real opportunity for any treasurer prepared to take advantage of having a higher profile in the company and to see that there is life and opportunity beyond the walls of the treasury.

…if you can take the heat

This sort of challenge does not appeal to every treasurer. To be successful, a new range of skills has to be deployed. Those that are rising to the challenge are finding that these regulatory pressures also provide new opportunities.