Recent insights from Russell Reynolds Associates:
In today’s fast-paced world, where change is the only constant, one of the functions that has been impacted significantly is finance. Constantly evolving government regulations, statutory requirements and the company’s goals around growth are making the role of the CFO exceedingly complex and dynamic. Equally, the role of the CFO is tailored to organization specifics: Stage of growth, nature of the industry the company operates in, internal and external stakeholders involved and the regulatory framework.
The CFO has become key in the Private Equity world, where funds are increasingly investing in high-growth companies and their first step along the way for those investments is to bring in a high-quality CFO.
Private Equity funds seek differentiated attributes in their portfolio company CFOs. These range from rigor around governance, processes and controls to being a co-pilot to the promoter in running the business. The CFO has to increasingly draw a balance between keeping the controls and governance, as well as delivering financial impact in various business scenarios. Hence, the most important lever is balancing execution with the growth agenda while adeptly building consensus among the various stakeholders of the business.
What has the journey been like? How do CFOs face this new challenge and work in this new environment? Russell Reynolds Associates brought together CFOs and PE funds in India to foster a discussion around the winning traits of CFOs for PE-backed portfolio companies.
In the past ten years, health services, as a sector, has grown dynamically. The trend is global, but the Asia-Pacific region is in a unique position. While a demographic shift toward a growing and aging population is visible in much of the world, in the Asia-Pacific region, this rising need for coordinated and quality care management is not being adequately met.
With insufficient resources and a fragmented landscape, the Asia-Pacific region has not made a demonstrated commitment to meeting growing patient demands, creating an opportunity for both traditional and innovative players to propose alternative models and strategies. This has prompted a large number of global organizations to explore strategic and financial investments in Asia-Pacific to build this sector. Obviously, a new opportunity brings its own set of challenges.
According to Forbes, there are three ways the private sector can address the issue of health services in order to meet the region’s growing demand:
- Provide the required quantity and quality of hospital infrastructure
- Meet the demand for health insurance
- Introduce values-based, outcomes-based and consumer healthcare models
To make the most of this opportunity, the private sector must take a closer look at its current hospital leadership landscape. To understand the current talent landscape and future implications of Asia-Pacific’s health services sector, we analyzed the demographic profiles and career trajectories of 67 CEOs and conducted interviews for proprietary market insights.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, came into effect in January 2016. They are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace, prosperity and equality of rights. The timeline to accomplish them: 2030.
These 17 goals build on the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were set by the United Nations in 2000 and expired in 2015. The MDGs were concrete, specific and measurable, and therefore succeeded in establishing some priority areas of focus in international development. But that was also one of their biggest drawbacks: by being so targeted, they left out other, equally important, areas. SDGs include new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among other priorities. The goals are interconnected – often the success of one involves tackling issues more commonly associated with another.
In June 2018, Russell Reynolds Associates convened a roundtable of private, public and social sector leaders to discuss the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the particular challenges and opportunities faced by India in meeting these ambitious targets by 2030. Participants included: Anand Sinha, Anuja Bansal, Anoop Ratnakar Rao, Bitra George, Himanshu Patel, Matthew Joseph, Sachin Rajan, Sanjay Kapur, Sanjay Khazanchi, Sanjeev Dham, Shankar Narayanan, Simon Kingston, Soumya Rajan, Sourav Banerjee, Swatantra Gupta, Tarun Vij, Thomas A., Umakant Panwar, Vinita Katara, and Vinoj Manning.
Our society faces many gigantic social, economic and environmental challenges, fueled by (among other drivers) a rapidly growing world population, increasing income per capita, urbanization and depletion of our natural resources. It is in companies' best long-term financial interest to play an active role in addressing these challenges because their key stakeholders, including talent, customers and investors, will increasingly demand that companies have a positive impact on society.
Progress with respect to the Sustainable Development Goals is being made, but, as can be read in The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018, this progress can and should be accelerated: "With just 12 years left to the 2030 deadline, we must inject a sense of urgency. Achieving the 2030 Agenda requires immediate and accelerated actions by countries along with collaborative partnerships among governments and stakeholders at all levels. This ambitious Agenda necessitates profound change that goes beyond business as usual."
The Sustainable Development Goals present significant financial opportunities for companies by opening up new markets, recruiting and retaining top talent, and attracting favorable investments. Conversely, companies' formidable financial resources, technologies, brands, human capital, natural resources and intellectual property are crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals; the private sector's capacity to innovate, swiftly adapt and identify efficiencies makes it a crucial partner in the achievement of the SDGs. The private sector and the Sustainable Development Goals reinforce each other.
Companies wanting to reap the long-term benefits of this positive cycle need to appoint business leaders with a strong sustainability mindset as soon as possible.
If the need to transform is no surprise to executives in the banking C-Suite, why is there a constant struggle to move the needle on some of even the most seemingly simplistic changes necessary to establish and execute a converged ecosystem? We believe the answers lie in the inherent challenge in transforming banking’s existing business model, organizational structure, culture, and technology infrastructure.
In order for banks to thrive, we see the need to focus on four core areas – Customer Experience, Organizational Design, and Diversified Talent, all supported by a next-generation Ecosystem.
The ability to solve this CODE is in the hands of the C-Suite executives and their one- and two-down teams. Banking’s senior leaders must possess a variety of technical skills complemented with personal drive and political fortitude in order to guide their banks through continuous innovation and disruption.
All four action areas are interconnected, requiring a commitment to aggressive strategies that involve more than increases in funding and agile development. It will take the soft skills of leadership to break down silos and create clear ownership of decisions accompanied by a culture of speed and true accountability for results – all focused on the end game of becoming an organization obsessed with the customer experience.