The role of the CFO has rapidly changed in the past decade, propelled by M&A activity, quickly shifting economic sands, and heightened regulatory scrutiny. What was once considered a number-crunching role has morphed into a critical post, essential to the trajectory of the business. For CFOs at middle market companies, their job duties have expanded even more rapidly than most, given the growth in the sector.
The National Center for the Middle Market, a partnership with The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and GE Capital, conducted the largest survey ever taken of Middle Market businesses and presented their findings in October 2011. The Middle Market in the U.S. is defined as companies with annual revenues between $10 million and $1 billion. This segment consists of 195,000 businesses and represents 1/3 of private sector GDP and employs approximately 41 million people. This survey also identified characteristics of a segment of this market identified as “Growth Champions”, representing an elite group (9%) of Middle Market businesses growing at an impressive rate of at least four times the rate of U.S. GDP growth. This article focuses on the key characteristics identified by this survey as shared by this group.