October 17, 2019 – Chief financial officers continue to be in high demand. Finding them is keeping many of the nation’s top recruitment operations busier than ever. In recent months, search firms of all varieties have placed CFOs at various companies.
Recently, Philadelphia-headquartered executive search firm Howard Fischer Associates placed Marc Mongulla as the new chief financial officer of Arctic Glacier. He replaced Linda Davachi who recently stepped down from her role.
Mr. Mongulla is a finance executive with over 20 years’ experience of leadership in both public and private equity environments. He has an in-depth finance background with a focus on P&L management, cross-functional business partnership, mergers, acquisitions and integrations, capital structure and treasury analysis, and valuation and modeling. Mr. Mongulla joined Arctic Glacier from Imperial Dade, where he also served as CFO.
Arctic Glacier is a manufacturer and distributor of premium quality packaged ice products, primarily under the brand name Arctic Glacier Premium Ice. As the largest producer of packaged ice in Canada and among the largest producers in the U.S., Arctic Glacier serves over 75,000 retail, commercial and industrial customer locations throughout six provinces in Canada and 19 states in the northeastern, central and western U.S.
Seasoned Search Consultants
Howard Fischer Associates specializes in placing key executives in functional areas, including sales, marketing, engineering, research and development, operations, information technology, human resources, business development and finance. The firm has completed senior-level searches for clients that include: Acacia, Affirmed Networks, Airbnb, Aqua America, Blue Apron, BlueJeans Network, Bonobos, Casa Systems, Cloudera, Comcast, Discovery Communications, GitHub, Jefferson Health, Penn Mutual, Pepsi Cola & National Brand Beverages, RentPath, Rue La, Triumph Group, Twitter and UGI Utilities.
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 firm, which also has offices in Silicon Valley, Chicago and Boston, is led by founder and president Howard Fischer. For 35 years, Mr. Fischer has consulted with CEOs, boards of directors and senior executives on the process of identifying, evaluating and attracting leaders.
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 CFOs feel that their firms’ leadership development programs have failed to keep up with the rapidly changing role of the 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 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