November 16, 2018 – Bon Secours Mercy in Cincinnati, OH, is seeking a group CFO to lead financial operations for the Great Lakes Group, which is composed of 14 hospitals in Ohio. The organization has tapped executive search firm B.E. Smith to lead its search. Recruiter Ann Terry is spearheading the assignment.
The group CFO will be expected to provide leadership, guidance and direction to system-level capital planning, financial planning, financial reporting, revenue cycle, accounting, reimbursement and operating entity support functions through a well-aligned coordination between the respective Mercy functional leaders and the market-based leaders, said B.E. Smith.
The ideal candidate will be a “hands-on executive who can see the big picture and has a strategic perspective,” said the search firm. “Serving the areas of Lima, Toledo, Lorain and Youngstown, this leader can also focus on the financial and operational challenges of each market with consideration for local market trends and their impact on the business.”
Bon Secours Mercy Health is a newly merged Catholic health ministry that serves residents across Ohio, Kentucky and the East Coast. Overall, it includes 43 hospitals and serves communities in seven states.
Founded in 1978, Lenexa, KS-based B.E. Smith is a full-service healthcare interim leadership placement and executive search firm. For nearly a decade, it has been recognized annually by Modern Healthcare as one of the top search firms in its sector. The firm places interim leaders and executives across all healthcare settings, including acute care hospitals, academic medical and children’s hospitals, physician practices and post-acute care providers.
CFO Confidence Crisis
At most companies, few roles are as important as chief financial officer. 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.
According to one Korn Ferry report, 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. Today, 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 partly because CFO feel 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.”
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…
“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