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Leadership priorities for CFOs in 2021 and beyond

The C-Suite: 2021 and Beyond

What’s changed for Chief Financial Officers?

CFOs are increasing the frequency of forecasting and shortening their planning cycles, allowing them to be more resilient and better manage volatility.

Governments developing tax schemes to benefit their national interest has created significant complexity for finance leaders dealing with global operations.

COVID has also had a direct impact on M&A activity, with cash-rich businesses taking advantage of discounted assets and lower valuations.

CFO Mega Themes

e-Commerce & Data

Adapting the business model, structure and technology infrastructure to embrace new and better ways of selling online will be a priority. The CFO is playing a leading role in utilising data to gain competitive insights and advantage, and harnessing the ability of data to drive decision making in its reporting to the Board.

Economic Model

CFOs will require a deep understanding of the current and future business model and its productivity and economics, balanced with a need to reset the investment priorities between people vs profit

Value Focus

Technology will be utilised to significantly improve the efficiency of non and value adding processes, freeing valuable human resource to focus on the value add and growth.


Greater resources will be committed to staff, culture, well-being and development and to increased sustainability obligations.
Explore these themes further at one of our Chief Finance Officer Network events

Ministry of Economy, UAE: Abdulla Alsaleh

“Despite the difficulties that 2020 has given us, we have identified a certain type of exemplary leadership. Exemplary leaders are the ones who withstood these unprecedented hardships and utilised them to pave the way for the industry – accelerating their company’s growth rate at an even higher rate than previously targeted.

One noteworthy characteristic that should be adopted in every market and position, is optimism. The people that kept us going during these trying times are not only the doctors for our health, but also the doctors for our wealth.”

Abdulla Alsaleh, Undersecretary, Ministry of Economy, UAE

Abdulla Alsaleh, Undersecretary, Ministry of Economy, UAE

CFO Challenges & Opportunities 2021

As Chief Finance Officers lead their teams through 2021 and beyond, what are the key challenges they must confront and what opportunities can they exploit?
  1. Balancing long-term strategy and short-term demands with purpose and culture

  2. Performance management of own team and the business

  3. Delivering strategic value and being a trusted partner

  4. Managing relations with the CEO, Board & stakeholders

  5. Fostering innovation, digital and technology in the Finance Department

  6. Driving efficiency – being ‘lean’ whilst supporting mental wellbeing

Brompton Bicycle: Lorne Vary

“2020 demonstrated the need for business to be nimble and adapt. How our businesses are structured, how we communicate, our greater dependency on technology and our routes to market have changed.

Going into 2021 those who adapt their business model, and are not afraid to embrace ecommerce and new ways of selling, are in a strong position to thrive.

The obligation to our staff is far greater with culture, wellbeing and staff engagement featuring highly, notwithstanding our external obligations regarding sustainability.”

Lorne Vary, Chief Financial and Business Development Officer, Brompton Bicycle

Lorne Vary, Chief Financial and Business Development Officer, Brompton Bicycle

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It’s time for the C-Suite to look beyond ‘normal’. Time to build a resilient organisation with a purpose, business model, skills, resources and strategic direction fit for the new future. Find out how C-Suite leaders are prioritising their leadership agenda.

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