Egon Zehnder Retained by American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. to Lead CFO Search

May 25, 2021 – Immediate concerns around cash flow, liquidity and the bottom line are taking precedence at many companies due to continued fallout from the pandemic. That means seasoned chief financial officer talent is in high demand. American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. recently retained Egon Zehnder to lead its search for a new chief financial officer. American Equity Investment Life, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is a leading issuer of fixed index annuities through independent agents, banks and broker-dealers. The company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and is headquartered in West Des Moines, IA.

While the search is being conducted CEO Anant Bhalla is taking on additional responsibilities as interim CFO. Ted Johnson will no longer serve as CFO effective immediately and will work on an orderly transition until later in 2021, when he will exit the company. “We thank Ted for his service and wish him well in his next opportunities,” said Mr. Bhalla. “We are pleased he will remain with the company through the coming weeks to work on transition matters.”

Egon Zehnder’s global financial officers practice conducts searches for multinational companies at global, group, regional and division levels. The practice partners with the board and chief executives of all ownership structures — publicly and privately held companies, private equity portfolio companies and family-owned businesses — to help them identify, develop, and recruit the financial leaders. The practice also helps build entire finance leadership teams — including controllers, treasurers and heads of tax, investor relations, corporate development, and internal audit. Egon Zehnder also designs succession plans and build a pipeline of internal CFO candidates.

New Pressures on CFOs

Immediate concerns around cash flow, liquidity and the bottom line are taking precedence at many companies due to continued fallout from the pandemic. But there are high-value lessons emerging from the current health and economic crisis that chief financial officers should bear in mind, according to recruiters specializing in finding talent for finance functional roles.

Executive Search Review Special Issue: Financial Services Recruiting

Hunt Scanlon Media has just released our latest special issue of ESR. This time around we take an in-depth look at the challenges financial services firms are facing in their hunt for new talent.

We cover it all: How CFOs are confronting new layers of risk in the pandemic era; the rapid and dramatic change coming at the CFO; using people analytics to acquire top talent, predict performance & reduce turnover; and why banks are turning to search firms. We even provide our latest “Financial Fifty Recruiters” ranking of financial services search firms! In this special issue of ESR, Hunt Scanlon editors take an extraordinary inside look at recruiting during these unprecedented times. Click here and enjoy.

The COVID-19 crisis has thrust CFOs into the spotlight as never before, they report, while the pandemic itself has also created a business environment in which CFOs are uniquely positioned to drive business value during the recovery phase, which is expected to come in 2021 and 2022.

All too many companies today are desperate to get as much cash on their balance sheets as possible in order to ride out the storm of COVID-19, say recruiters. Bottom-line pressures are forcing many businesses to shift their forecasting strategies, explore new products and services — or even expand into alternative sales and delivery channels. The best CFOs are spearheading that effort.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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