Chief Future Officer: A strong, stable leader amid disruption
Some say the “CFO” of today now stands for “Chief Future Officer.” And perhaps rightfully so. The title perfectly encapsulates how the role of the modern CFO has evolved over the years — from being a bean counter, number cruncher, or tax filer, to a multi-tasker able to navigate disruptions, drive business decisions, and prepare the organization for growth.
The recent feat of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) Group Treasurer Ferdinand “Ferdie” K. Constantino as the 12th ING FINEX CFO of the Year awardee teaches us the value of having a good CFO in every organization. Here are some of these:
1. The CFO has the foresight and isn’t afraid to make tough calls. SMC is not only synonymous with food and beverage (mainly beer). It also heavily bets on the Philippine economy with its heavy investments in highly volatile and regulated sectors such as oil and fuel, power, and infrastructure. Ferdie and his team are quick to manage the volatility by hedging their dollar liabilities, or converting their dollar debts into peso debts before the peso began to plummet hard this year.
The modern CFO also answers the “hard” questions before he even needs to: Is the time ripe to enter new markets? What are the dominant constraints holding back the company’s growth? Is the management having conversations that are strategic and critical to move the company forward?