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CFO as a Wingman

CFO as a Wingman

Discussion Leaders

  • Harry Somerdyk, Senior Director of Talent Management & Executive Recruitment, RFE Investment Partners
  • Ned Truslow, Managing Director, RFE Investment Partners


It’s not uncommon for a CFO to react to change by seeking to stabilize their environment. This can potentially conflict with most CEOs who tend to be great initiators of change. Inevitably, this can lead to frustration on both parts. One way a CFO can avoid this frustration is by being a sounding board for new ideas. If the CFO is part of the idea-vetting process, he or she will be able to guide the initiative in a way that increases the likelihood of success while appropriately controlling risk. As a result, the CFO develops a better understanding of company goals and is more comfortable contributing their own ideas on how to grow the company. The CFO becomes, in effect, their CEO’s wingman.

At this session, we explored the CEO/CFO relationship from the perspective of outside investors who have had a birds-eye view on many successful and unsuccessful CEO/CFO tandems. CFOs in attendance benefited from the insight provided by our discussion leaders, Harry Somerdyk and Ned Truslow from RFE Investment Partners. They shared their experiences while addressing best practices aimed at fully maximizing the partnership between the CEO and CFO.

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