Russell Reynolds Associates’ European Roundtable Insights & Trends

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Executive Summary
RRA spoke with European next-generation CFO talent and identified the most impactful trends affecting them today.


Our consultants, Romain Clio and Suzzane Wood attended a next-generation CFO event for European talent. Here they discussed CFO hiring trends and the active CFO market, the key experiences and skills organizations and boards are looking for in their CFOs, and how these next-generation CFOs can best develop themselves into future Finance leaders.

In their discussions, next-generation CFOs consistently shared 5 key trends that were top of mind for them:



Developing a vision for finance

Finance leaders understand the need for the function to develop the capabilities that enable the business to grow and evolve
Understanding the strengths and development needs of the entire team from the organizational and individual standpoint is an important factor for the success of future CFOs.

CFOs are most effective when supported by the right team and capabilities.


Work-life balance is top of mind

Many next-generation Finance leaders have realized their route to the top is a marathon and not a sprint. Work-life balance is a critically important value for them, and step-up candidates have become more discerning of opportunities and whether the top role is right for them.

30% of CFOs that left their role, gave prioritizing their physical and emotional well-being as a top reason for changing organizations.1


Business/Digital Transformation


As the strategic and broader CFO role emerges, next-generation Finance talent are being asked to support business and digital transformation.
Boards and business leaders are seeking more meaningful data and insights to help them make commercial and strategic decisions. Next-generation CFOs will need to be digitally savvy.


Power of a Finance network

Leveraging the insights and expertise of advisory partners and a network of peers is helpful when navigating various opportunities and regulatory needs. In addition, a trusted coach or mentor can be equally valuable.


Uncertainty is the new certainty

Many next-generation Finance leaders will need to be comfortable with ambiguity and prepared when plan A may require an alternative.

50% of executives do not think their organization’s leadership team is prepared to face the threat of economic uncertainty.1

1. Russell Reynolds Associates, Global Leadership Monitor, 2022