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By Andy Halls, Lead Partner, Private Equity Backed Business Programme, Deloitte Private

How will the role of a private equity (PE) backed CFO change over the next 10 years?

That’s the question we asked over 100 CFOs, PE investors, CEOs and Chairs when producing our report into The role of the private equity backed CFO. What we were most surprised by was the overwhelming commonality, consistency and clarity of the key message: significant changes are occurring in the role of the CFO and the pace of this disruption will only accelerate.

The most powerful theme to emerge from our interviews was the dominant and pervasive role that technology is expected to play in shaping the future of finance: data analytics, automation and predictive technology will bring about a revolution in the finance function over the coming years.

This will cause a fundamental shift in the shape, structure and expectations of a finance team and of the role of the CFO. However, our survey also reveals a key challenge – CFOs are unclear on the right path to take to utilise the opportunities presented by technology and feel that a shortage of skilled talent and appetite for investment in technology platforms risk hampering progress.

PE investors want CFOs to drive this technological change. From a traditional, backward-looking number-cruncher, they want the role of the PE backed CFO to switch to a forward-looking “Chief Value Extractorwith sufficient vision to foresee and navigate the changes ahead and make the greatest contribution to value from day one.

Now is the time for CFOs to act to bridge this gap. Expectations are high, but the rewards for those who embrace disruption and evolve will be commensurate: their role will be broader and more fulfilling than ever.

To read more about the key findings of The role of the private equity backed CFO and to download the report please visit: www.deloitte.co.uk/pebackedcfosurvey

 

Andy Halls photo

Andy Halls, Lead Partner, PE Backed Business Programme, Deloitte Private

Andy leads our programme for private equity backed businesses in the UK. During his career Andy has had significant involvement on a number of Deloitte's most high profile clients both locally and overseas. He specialises in advising private businesses that are undergoing fast growth or periods of change; including, but not limited to, those that may be working towards an 'exit event'. Andy is an audit partner but has also worked on a number of transaction support and due diligence assignments for his clients and has led advisory teams on IPOs and bond listings. He has advised a number of businesses in the lead-up to and through an exit process.

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