The “New CFO” for US Subsidiaries of European and Canadian Companies


The “New CFO” for US Subsidiaries of European and Canadian Companies

by Myriam Le Cannellier and Doug Seville

DSML Executive Search has conducted many CFO searches for European and Canadian subsidiaries in the US.   Based on our executive search statistics, no matter if the position is within the Medical Device or Food Technology industries, we have clearly observed that the role of the CFO has evolved significantly.  In fact, often when we’ve been asked to conduct a confidential CFO search, it is because our clients consistently expect their senior management team, including their CFO, to be more active participants in shaping the strategy of their organization during changing times.

Times have changed

Traditionally being viewed as a financial gatekeeper, the role of the CFO has expanded and evolved to be a strategic partner to the CEO.  The four traditional pillars of the finance function are:

  • Accounting
  • Financial Planning and Analysis
  • Finance Business Partnering to manage divisional KPI’s
  • Tax, Internal Audit, M&A

DSML Executive Search has witnessed the evolution of the CFO role, as AI and machine learning transforming financial software has enhanced CFOs ability to peer into the future. “They’re asked to be more strategic so that they can define the path forward and serve as a guide in order to maximize results” (Forbes).

In addition, many businesses task their CFOs to oversee the Human Resources and/or IT functions of the organization.

Cybersecurity

CFOs are also now being tapped to lead the corporate cyber-security charge as they work with some of the most sensitive and important information within the organization.  According to a recent Deloitte perspective, “cyber-attacks have become a fixture on the list of CFOs most worrisome risks”.  As these external attacks have become more prevalent, there is a greater need for HR and IT professionals to work together to ensure that employees don’t fall prey to phishing, spear phishing and ransomware attacks.

COVID-19

The landscape continues to change because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with declining revenues, inventory chaos, broken supply chains, plant closures and labor uncertainty, as the CFOs focus turns to a workplace reboot and cost cutting.  How does one accurately predict the bottom line? At the same time experts are seeing COVID-19 as an “opportunity” for increased cybersecurity threats.

Renaissance CFO

The “Renaissance CFO” must be ready for a multitude of challenges presented to them by the organization, as the CFO has become more than just a trusted advisor as he/she must possess an entire set of senior level leadership skills.  DSML Executive Search, working closely with senior management, carefully defines the key skills and requirements for a successful CFO search.

Recruitment

Senior leadership recruitment is the most important decision our European and Canadian clients can make, no matter what industry.  This is why, at DSML Executive Search, we are strictly focused on recruiting only the very best candidates for our clients, whether they’re in Packaging, IOT/SaaS, or Beverage industries.  Engaging with an Executive Search firm that fully understands your needs and has a well-defined recruitment process in place needs to be an absolute priority.

If you add the complexity of working across cultures, selecting the right recruiting partner becomes even more important. At DSML Executive Search we have developed a unique understanding of the challenges created by VP and C-level positions who have dual reporting to the US subsidiary and headquarters in Europe or Canada.

If your company is seeking to recruit for a key position, such as CEO, CFO, President, VP or other Senior level role, have a conversation with DSML Executive Search  to ensure your search includes a “thorough” process and a “success based” strategy.