The Business Partner CFO

Private equity (PE) firms that generate higher returns for their investors have embraced the evolution of the portfolio company finance function becoming a competitive advantage. CEOs and private equity (PE) professionals we work with share our rigid belief that the CFO role needs to be a true business partner in value creation. Based on our work with PE portfolio companies, there is a strong preference for financial leaders who bring the mindset and skills to elevate the CFO role from financial gatekeeper to a more business-oriented role as an adviser and a strategic partner to the CEO and PE firm corresponding with the roles as “Catalyst” and “Strategist”.

We recruit successful CFOs with track records of instilling the analytic engine of finance into the fabric of the business. They lead the finance team to help focus the entire business on key financial objectives that support the value creation plan of the entity – moving from reactive measurement to proactive forecasting and analysis, while not losing sight of the basic accounting and control functions. They not only have tremendous analytical skill and financial acumen working with the CEO and the Board, but also have deep organizational management skills to build relationships with business peers and cultivate a motivated finance team to operate in a manner that supports the key objectives of the business elevating beyond basic reporting and accounting.

We find the most effective CFOs develop a truly in-depth understanding of the business and how value is created. They are partners with the CEO and PE firm with an intense focus on improving EBITDA and cash flow. Expertise in leading/developing an FP&A discipline including metrics and business intelligence (BI) that reflect and ultimately help predict true business performance is an essential skillset. The right CFO has the skills and drive to create and lead a financial management function that provides the objective measurements, systems, processes, and controls that yields continuous improvement in the business to achieve strategic plan and higher valuations upon an exit transaction.

Harvest CFO provides executive search for permanent placement as well as contracted financial leaders for interim roles.  For more information about Harvest CFO contact Don Hillier, CEO at 216-609-3033 or email

Share This Post