Quoted in: The Small-Firm Path to CFO

Dear Readers,

I was quoted in an article that appeared in CFO World by Lisa Yoon that was released this morning. Below is the part of the article in which I was quoted. For the full article, please follow this link. As always, your comments are appreciated and valued.

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving,

Samuel

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Some Exceptions

For his part, though, CFO recruiter and consultant Samuel Dergel has a more qualified view. Certainly, more smaller firms “are getting more sophisticated” in assessing their need for a CFO, he agrees. “But not all.” Says Dergel, “It depends on the ownership structure.” He notes that manufacturing companies with sales of $50 million or more, for example, may well need for finance chiefs. But at private companies where much of the decision-making is done by the founder, there’s often a tendency to resist turning over the reins to someone else.

From the rising finance star’s perspective, many times “a small-company CFO position will not be helpful” on the bath to a big-company top job, he adds. And in general, a better tack might be to go first to the finance organizations of large companies, and use that experience to move forward toward CFO skills.

Meanwhile, he notes, if there is going to be a jump from a small-company CFO slote to a large-company one, it is best to stay within the same industry, he says. In general, when small businesses hire CFOs, “they usually take the path of least resistance,” he notes. “It’s hard for a small- or midsize company to give you a chance to grow as a finance leader if you don’t have same-industry experience.”

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