Relationship Building is a Key Success Factor for the PE CFO

Successful CFOs are those that build consensus, anticipate change and manage surprises. They are problem solvers with an innate desire to learn, who clearly understand their business and the initiatives needed to propel it forward in line with the strategic plan. They build and nurture productive relationships both inside and outside of their company, act with integrity and transparency, and put their own agendas aside for the better good of their company.

There are two fundamental relationships that the CFO must build, firstly with the CEO then with the PE investor. An effective CFO/CEO partnership is one of the key enablers of effective value creation. Equally, CFOs who make the proactive effort to understand the needs of their PE sponsor are more likely to meet expectations and benefit from their coaching and support.

It is also critical that the CFO builds and maintains strong relationships across the organization. CFOs must be a trusted business partner providing the management team with the proper famework to understand the key drivers of success and make the best business decisions. The CFO plays a central part in supporting key decision making which makes the performance of the CFO role critical to the success of the business.

For external constituents, the CFO in many cases is the face of the company. In that capacity, the CFO needs to be able to clearly communicate the financial picture and the strategic direction and how that strategy will drive future growth and value. The credibility of this message will be directly impacted by the CFO’s skills in building relationships, trust and partnership.

Harvest CFO is The Premier CFO recruiting partner delivering the right permanent and interim CFOs for middle market private equity portfolio companies. Let’s discuss the CFO needs in your Portcos. Call Don Hillier, Managing Director and CEO at 216-609-3033 or email

Share This Post