December 7, 2018 – Executive search firm Harvey Hohauser & Associates (HH&A) has placed Mariam Iskandarani as the new CFO of Tweddle Group in Clinton Township, MI.
“We’re entering an exciting phase of growth at Tweddle Group, so we were determined to find the ideal person for the role of CFO,” said Brian Suszek, CEO of the firm.
“Once we met with Mariam, the decision was unanimous. Every member of our executive team and board of directors agreed she was the perfect choice. Mariam’s record of achievement is remarkable. She will be a major asset as we grow and thrive.”
Ms. Iskandarani has over 25 years’ experience in controllership, corporate development and investment management for international Fortune 100 firms. She has worked for many leading organizations in several industries, including Johnson Controls, TRW Automotive, Dana Corporation and Aramark. Throughout her career and as a finance executive, Ms. Iskandarani held many leadership finance roles with an emphasis on business unit CFO, global controllerships, corporate development and investment management.
“Tweddle Group connected with Iskandarani through their partnership with Harvey Hohauser & Associates,” said Mr. Suszek. “The Troy-based executive recruitment firm is well-known for its tailor-made processes and its ability to locate, assess and integrate the finest leadership talent.”
Tweddle Group creates information solutions designed to improve customer experience for a wide range of industries including automotive, recreational vehicles and software development.
Harvey Hohauser founded Harvey Hohauser & Associates in 1986. He is the bridge between the first two decades of client relationships and the next generation of leadership. A proponent of well-planned succession, Mr. Hohauser keeps an active role as a teacher and a mentor. Over the past three decades he has dealt with thousands of owners, investors and candidates, creating a rich network and continuity throughout service. HH&A is now led by Mr. Hohauser’s sons Todd and Eric, who serve as CEO and president respectively.
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