Jacksonville Housing Authority Selects Gans, Gans & Associates to Lead CFO Search

May 29, 2024 – Gans, Gans & Associates has been retained by Jacksonville Housing Authority to lead in its search for a new CFO. This executive serves as head of the accounting function of the authority. The CFO maintains control of general ledger including preparation of financial reports. They will oversee periodic reporting to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and request funds in accordance with established procedures. The CFO will monitor and analyze reports, make recommendations and presentations. They will also oversee internal accounting functions, such as payroll and related withholding reporting and payment. The CFO reports to the chief executive officer.

Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, plus 10 years of progressively responsible experience in financial accounting, which included at least three years of supervisory experience. A current CPA is required, public housing experience strongly preferred or experience in another type of public agency is acceptable. Gans, Gans notes that candidates must have 10 years of progressive responsibility in leading a property management company or division with a focus on affordable housing. Demonstrated ability to manage staff is needed as well as expertise with local, state, and federal housing regulations.

Some management skills the search firm is looking for in candidates includes the ability to builds good working relationships at all levels within the agency. They should be able to prioritize tasks effectively for self and assigned team. They must understand the needs of different stakeholders and communicates with them as deemed appropriate. Candidates must be able to cultivate relationships with employees, residents, vendor, and community partners.

Jacksonville Housing Authority prides itself on the quality housing that it provides. The organization’s vision is to be recognized as one of the premier housing authorities in the United States.

Gans, Gans & Associates, based in Plant City, FL, is an executive search, human resources and information technology consulting firm. It was founded in Chicago in 1986. Its consulting team addresses a broad spectrum of clients’ human resources, information technology and management needs. Clients include companies in the public and private sector, Fortune 500 corporations, large public sector state and local governments, and public housing authorities. Simone Gans Barefield is the firm’s president and CEO.

Gans, Gans has led search assignments for new leaders for a number of other housing authorities. They include: Boulder Housing Partners, Orlando Housing Authority, New Orleans Housing Authority, Montgomery Housing Authority, Spartanburg Housing Authority, Lynchburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority and Howard County Housing Commission.

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.

Related: Executive Recruiters Scramble to Find Financial Services Executives

“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 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.”

Financial Services is Booming, CFO Role Continues to Evolve
Despite economic uncertainty and the challenges of finding top talent, the financial sector continues to change and grow. Interviewed by Hunt Scanlon Media, search leaders who specialize in the sector offer their insights on the path forward, the CFO’s responsibilities, and more.

“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.”

Related: As CFOs Gain in Stature, Succession Plans to Replace Them Falter

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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