Chief financial officers are no longer just bean counters focused on profit, he says, but their financial training is crucial in developing strategy for value creation
Mervyn King. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Mervyn King. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

Mervyn King is advocating for all chief financial officers to be renamed chief value officers.

Speaking at the Financial Indaba in Sandton on Friday, King argued that their sophisticated financial knowledge is best placed to drive value creation for company.

King, who chaired the King Committee on Corporate Governance, said chief financial officers had the financial training as well as the public interest training to be able to lead and develop companies’ strategy for value creation, and to shift them from a "pure profit motive" to take into account the sustainability of the business.

He was finding that around the world that chief financial officers were taking on this role.

His research had shown that strategy sessions led by chief financial officers resulted in better team-building and also an appreciation that there was an overlap between the different silos within a company.

King said the point of changing the name was to take the chief financial officer from being a bean-counter to someone who was important in the company’s value-creation process.

Companies needed to adapt their thinking to survive, he said.

Chief financial officers had been practising integrated thinking and reporting since 2010, which was what a chief value officer would be in charge of.

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