Filling CFO Pipelines Growing In Complexity As Demand Soars

October 16, 2015 – Executive search firm Hulce Associates has recruited Greg Andrews as executive vice president and chief financial officer of CyrusOne. Colleen Hulce, the firm’s founder and CEO, led the assignment.

Mr. Andrews brings over 20 years of real estate experience and has previously held CFO and executive management positions with other publicly traded REITs and an investment advisory firm. Most recently, Mr. Andrews served as CFO of Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust, a NYSE listed REIT, since 2010.

From 2006 to 2009, he was CFO of Equity One, Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Andrews was a principal at Green Street Advisors, an independent equity research firm focused on REITs. While at Green Street, he received numerous accolades including being named as an All-Star Analyst by the Wall Street Journal.

“We are extremely pleased to have Greg join the CyrusOne team,” said Gary Wojtaszek, CEO of CyrusOne. “Greg is a highly accomplished executive with significant REIT and operational expertise and I am confident he will play an invaluable role in helping CyrusOne achieve its business objectives.”

“We focused exclusively on the public REIT space for this search and though there are many talented executives in the sector, Greg emerged as the frontrunner early on because of his leadership skills and overall fit with the collaborative culture CyrusOne is known for,” said Ms. Hulce.

CyrusOne specializes in highly reliable enterprise-class, carrier-neutral data center properties. The company provides mission-critical data center facilities that protect and ensure the continued operation of IT infrastructure for more than 900 customers, including nine of the Fortune 20 and over 165 of the Fortune 1000 or equivalent-sized companies.

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According to recent research, about one fifth of companies change their CFOs annually, and the market for financial officers talent has become increasingly competitive over the past year — with the best candidates often considering multiple opportunities at any one time. Tightening talent pipelines are edging up CFO pay packages, according to recruiters, making the hunt for CFOs one of the more lucrative areas of the headhunting business.

Some leading CFOs, like Kathryn Mikells, newly named CFO to premium drinks business Diageo in London, are so in demand that multiple offers have resulted in multiple CFO postings over a short period of time: Ms. Mikells has held five public company CFO chairs in the last five years at companies all considered leaders in their field, including Xerox, ADT, NALCO, and United Airlines, in addition to her recent posting at Diageo.

“There’s no question that demand is high for sitting CFOs,” said Ms. Hulce, “so there has to be a more compelling reason for top candidates to select one opportunity over another. For the very best people in this profession, they often have a choice of what their next move will be.”

In the last few years, finding CFOs has become more challenging, said Ms. Hulce, as clients’ requirements are now more specific. “Once considered a fungible skill, with people moving seamlessly from one industry to another, the prevailing preference today is for someone with experience in the same industry, or very similar.”

CFO candidates, said Ms. Hulce, “must be strategic, operationally-oriented, and great leaders with exceptional communication skills who have the ability to move into broader roles. It’s a tall order.”

Along with multinational companies like Diageo, private equity firms have also been calling on executive recruiters to track down qualified financial chiefs in record numbers for their portfolio companies. This has made the talent search process highly competitive and an increasingly difficult market to stand out in, whether you’re the candidate or the recruiter.

Hulce Associates, an executive search firm specializing in financial officers recruitment for a varied client base, has filled numerous CFO positions for companies, including Dole Food, Chromalloy, Straub Distributing, Clinical Care Options, and USA Technologies.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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