September 24, 2018 – Executive search firm Acertitude has placed Stacie Wolf as the new CFO of Binary Tree, a worldwide leader in enterprise digital IT transformations. Senior partner Scott Carberry headed the search, recruiting Mr. Wolf in 60 days.
“Stacie’s capacity to build financially strong businesses combined with her diverse software background made her an excellent addition for this award-winning software company,” said Mr. Carberry. “Her ability to drive change will also serve Binary Tree’s continued focus on helping enterprises solve complex challenges along their digital transformations.”
Ms. Wolf joins Binary Tree as a 25-year global financial veteran of the software industry. Her finance experience spans diverse organizations from public accounting and established Fortune 500 corporations to early growth stage, private equity-backed software companies. Previously, she was CFO of 1Insurer, a software and outsourcing insurance services provider that was acquired by the Carlyle Group. She has also held financial leadership roles with Scan-Optics, Sensus USA and Ortronics. Earlier in her career she worked with Deloitte, PWC and Motorola.
Ms. Wolf brings strong financial leadership to Binary Tree, at a time in which 47 percent of CEOs are reportedly being challenged by the board of directors to make progress in digital business.
As CFO, she will lead all financial operations and serve as a strategic business partner to CEO Nick Wilkinson. She will also be responsible for business planning, banking and investment relations, acquisitions, treasury and risk management activities along with the information technology and administrative functions.
“It was a pleasure advising Nick and Stacie,” Mr. Carberry said. “We are excited to see her positively impact Binary Tree’s next phase of growth.”
Acertitude specializes in recruiting CEO, C-suite and executive talent in the consumer, financial, healthcare and life sciences, industrial, private equity, professional services and technology sectors. Its consultants work from offices in Boston, Dallas, London, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Providence, Raleigh, Shanghai, Tampa and Washington, D.C.
Mr. Carberry brings more than 20 years of experience in sales, management and executive search. He leverages functional and industry expertise on assignments and brings a record that spans several industry verticals and functional areas. He has completed leadership assignments for a range of high-level roles, including president, COO, partner, practice leaders, service and business unit executives as well as executive sales and marketing talent. Mr. Carberry specializes in professional services spanning consulting, outsourcing, IT services, digital transformation and enterprise software.
CFO Confidence Crisis
Few roles are as important as the chief financial officer at most companies, but the CFOs today who are thinking about tomorrow are growing nervous about a key talent issue: They worry that no one else in the company can assume their role.
As CFOs Gain in Stature, Succession Plans to Replace Them Falter
As with all things in the business world, the role of a CFO has evolved over the past 10 years. Gone are the days of the CFO being the top accountant focused on the timely and accurate recording of transactions to generate a set of financial…
Indeed, according to one Korn Ferry study, 81 percent of CFOs surveyed say they want to groom the next CFO internally, but don’t believe that there’s a viable candidate in-house. Currently, about half of new roles are filled internally.
“The current CFO is the one charged with identifying and developing that talent, and since they know best the skills required to meet what’s coming, they are realizing the internal bench isn’t fully prepared,” said Bryan Proctor, senior client partner and global financial officers practice lead at Korn Ferry.
The lack of confidence is owed in part to CFOs feeling that their firms’ leadership development programs have failed to keep up with the rapidly changing role of CFO, Korn Ferry said. Core functions such as finance and accounting are increasingly being combined under one role, with CFOs citing a lack of resources or skills and career development opportunities as reasons for the merging. Korn Ferry surveyed more than 700 CFOs worldwide, asking them about their own internal talent pipelines. The top two abilities CFOs feel their direct reports need to develop are “leadership skills and executive presence” and “strategic thinking.”
“The tapestry of skills and experiences CFOs of today and tomorrow need are vastly different than what was needed in the past,” said John Petzold, senior client partner and CXO optimization lead at Korn Ferry. “The reason subfunctions are merging is because the focus is less on a role or person and more about the capabilities that need to be covered by a set of individuals.”
In essence, the CFO function is being deconstructed for optimization, according to Korn Ferry. Leaders are breaking down necessary functions based on their organization’s strategy and identifying people with a combination of those skills and piecing them together to get the right set of talent to execute against that plan. Core financial functions such as taxes, capital allocation, and M&A still need to be done accurately and in compliance with regulations, of course. But experts say the CFO role is becoming more about adapting and deploying talent in the most efficient manner possible.
“The leadership profile of the future CFO is less about tactical, direct experience, and more about learning agility, adaptability, and big-picture global perspective,” said Mr. Proctor. “That kind of nimbleness and ability to pivot isn’t naturally ingrained in the typical CPA.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media