June 22, 2023 – Chief financial officers continue to be in high demand. Finding them is keeping many of the nation’s top recruitment operations busier than ever. Executive recruitment firm Furst Group, which serves the healthcare and insurance industries, recently assisted in the recruitment of Richard Greene as the new CFO for Clever Care Health Plan in Huntington Beach, CA.
Mr. Greene brings extensive knowledge and experience as a financial healthcare executive. He has previously served as chief operating officer/chief financial officer at AppleCare Medical Management (a subsidiary of Optum) and provided financial leadership from 1996 to 2010 as CFO at Arcadian Management Services, Syntiro HealthCare Services, and PacifiCare Health Systems.
“From day one at Clever Care, our mission has been clear: make culturally-sensitive healthcare the norm,” said Myong Lee, co-founder and CEO at Clever Care Health Plan. “Our continual growth reaffirms the need for Medicare beneficiaries to have healthcare plans that uniquely meet their cultural needs. We are thrilled to have Richard join the executive leadership team and are excited for what the future holds.”
Clever Care is a Medicare Advantage plan company. Founded in 2018, the organization’s grassroots movement, made up of seasoned healthcare experts and community advocates, provides Medicare beneficiaries with high-quality, culturally-sensitive Medicare options built on the customs, values, and linguistic needs of the communities they serve. Clever Care is fueled by the benefits of Western and Eastern medicine, backed by extensive networks of in-language service providers, doctors, specialists, and advisors.
Furst Group, headquartered in Rockford, IL, partners with many of the premier healthcare organizations in the world, from providers and payers to life-science companies and private equity/venture capital firms. While Furst Group’s roots are in managed care, the firm continues to be one of the nation’s leading executive search partners to health systems, hospitals, academic medical centers, post-acute, and hospice and palliative care facilities. Its work with insurers stretches back to the HMO era, yet the firm also teams with life science, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies.
Furst Group also has offices in Phoenix, AZ; Radnor, PA; San Francisco; Brentwood, TN; Chicago; Irving, TX; Minneapolis, MN; Seattle; St. Louis; and Washington, D.C.
CFO Confidence Crisis
Few roles are as important as the chief financial officer at most companies, but the CFOs of 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.
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.
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 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 engrained in the typical CPA.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media