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Thack Brown’s Keynote Address at CFO Dimensions Conference a Great Hit

Thack Brown speaking at CFO Dimensions Conference

The CFO Dimensions Conference 2012 in Chicago got off to a great start with the keynote address, “A New Tomorrow for the CFO in Driving Growth and Managing Risk,” delivered by Thack Brown, COO & Interim CFO, SAP Latin America and Caribbean. Brown’s address on the role of the modern CFO was peppered with humor and insights drawn from his experiences in Brazil, and generated a lot of buzz at the event.

According to Brown, the role of the CFO is changing, while the core responsibilities continue to revolve around:

  • Evaluating and reporting risk
  • Ensuring compliance with SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley)
  • Helping their companies find profitable growth around the globe

Talking about the challenges and opportunities that globalization and emerging markets provide, Brown noted that although Latin American countries like Colombia and Peru are great venues for expanding business, what determines success or failure there is how the CFO navigates through complex issues such as risk, regulation and compliance to promote growth against the backdrop of a volatile economy and occasional political volatility. Understanding the local environment is critical to outperforming financial objectives and managing risk for the enterprise.

Another key challenge for the CFO today is that new technologies and services are transforming traditional business models, making it imperative for the modern CFO to keep pace with and make use of these new tools to automate processes and improve efficiency wherever they can. In such a business climate, CEOs, boards of directors and others require the financial savvy of the CFO to help control costs where needed and invest where there are opportunities.

Mobile devices, which are making data available everywhere, and social media, which is redefining business and personal boundaries, are empowering people but are also introducing risk, making it necessary for the CFO and other business leaders within the organization to rethink the way business is done.

Brown shared best practices for ensuring global regulatory compliance and managing risk, for building a global shared services center, for delivering superior value at reduced costs by focusing on value-add activities and automating processes, and by redirecting the saved time and dollars into growing the business. He also shared lessons learned from managing the finance organization in emerging markets.

According to Brown, the modern CFO needs to deliver business results by:

  • Focusing on opportunities, not problems
  • Empowering people to make independent decisions
  • Preparing to move when opportunity arises
  • Building and monitoring investment plans with business leaders
  • Taking ownership of technology decisions


Atul Kumar Agarwal
Title: CFO
Company: Retail Company
(CFO, Retail Company) |

Do read my blog titled - "Skills and the CFO" in my blogsite address

Derek Quackenbush
Title: CFO
Company: Rising Data Solutions
(CFO, Rising Data Solutions) |

I reviewed the presentation and found some very useful things--especially slide 13. Thanks.

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