On Tuesday 12th November, Amy Parkinson (Berwick Partners – Financial Leadership Practice) and Sophie Normyle (Odgers Berndtson – CFO Practice) were delighted to host the firm’s latest Future CFO event, following on from their recently published Route to CFO thought piece.
The event, held at Great John Street Hotel in Manchester, began with a drinks reception, followed by a Q&A with our panellists, Tim Croston – CFO, Nichols plc, Craig Lovelace – CFO, N Brown Group plc and Andy Beaden – Chairman, Velocity Composites plc.
Tim, Craig and Andy provided a refreshingly honest insight into their careers both prior to, and since, becoming CFOs, before commencing a lively Q&A with the room. Responding to excellent questions from the audience, the panel gave advice on how to make the step up to CFO, detailed the reality of life as a CFO and imparted invaluable guidance on how to be successful once in a CFO role, particularly as the role continues to broaden in an ever-volatile world.
Several themes emerged. Firstly, our panellists pointed to the importance of being able to challenge and support a CEO/MD in equal measure, advising “you won’t always agree behind closed doors”, and that being resilient will be important. The importance of “running towards the grenade” was also stressed; future CFOs need to demonstrate an ability to solve problems and to not shy away from a challenge. Lastly, whilst the route to CFO undoubtedly requires hard work and commitment (sometimes at the expense of personal lives), it also can involve a “good deal of luck” (being in the “right place at the right time”) and an occasional risk, for example taking a role which could be perceived as a lateral move, to fill important gaps in experience.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and our panel genuinely inspired and instigated much thought and discussion amongst our audience, for whom career planning and advice from incredibly successful CFOs may make all the difference.
Thank you, Tim, Craig and Andy for your wonderful insights, thoughts and opinions – it is hugely appreciated.
For further information on how Berwick Partners can support you in your journey to become a CFO, please contact Amy Parkinson in our Financial Leadership Practice. For Odgers Berndtson’s CFO Practice, please contact Sophie Normyle.
Categories: Finance Recruitment