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Russia CFO Route to the Top

The modern chief financial officer is a leader. The role is evolving fast in terms of complexity and scope, so the remit of the modern CFO extends far beyond traditional financial responsibilities such as accounting, controlling, treasury and tax. A successful CFO also shapes strategy, advising CEO and board on strategic, operational, risk and compliance issues as well as working closely with major investors and financial institutions.

The Russian CFO market is progressing rapidly and follows key UK and US trends, so we have carried out extensive research in order to provide international benchmarks. These benchmarks highlight some gaps in experience and in career planning. Attention should be paid to closing these gaps in order to establish a vigorous talent pipeline.

In many Russian companies, the CFO is the key decision-maker after the CEO. There are several reasons why this is so. First, a series of financial crises from 2008 demanded an intense focus on operational finance; second, the M&A scene in Russia is especially dynamic, and third, the need for CFOs to collaborate closely with major shareholders on special projects.

We hope that this report will be a useful tool to encourage closer understanding of the role of the CFO in Russia, and the part that succession planning and talent development must increasingly play in its evolution:

  • Career development for current and future CFOs. Which areas of experience must be developed in those for whom a CFO role is three to seven years away?
  • Defining a CFO profile. How can market information help create a smooth CFO succession plan?
  • International trends. What can mature markets tell us?
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