A Growth-Focused CFO


Screenshot (29)As Seen in CFO Studio Magazine Q1/Q2 2016 Issue


Santa Claus arrived, a magician entertained the guests, and the Q4 2015 issue of CFO Studio magazine was launched in fine style at the December 1 CFO Studio Reception. The event, held at the Westin Governor Morris Hotel in Morristown, NJ, was well attended by finance executives, all in a holiday mood.

CFO Studio magazine’s Q4 cover CFO, Bernd-Peter (Berry) Bier, U.S. Chief Financial Officer, Bayer Corporation, was the guest of honor, but was called to Germany for pressing business matters. He spoke via pre-recorded video to the assembled CFOs and other guests, sharing with them a bit about Bayer, which was founded in Switzerland inScreenshot (31) 1863 and focused from its early days on pharmaceuticals and crop science.

“The business of science presents quite a number of challenges for a CFO,” he said. “We must support not only the daily operations of our businesses, but also have the vision necessary to ensure long-term growth and sustainability in this high-risk industry. This balancing act — the ability to look out for near-term and long-term success of your company— is an important capability, not just for CFOs in the life sciences businesses, but for CFOs in many businesses.”

“CFOs, to be successful, need to have their own sense of where the company is going,” Mr. Bier continued, “as well as knowing where the CEO and Board see the company going, while understanding what needs to be done today. It is our job to be excellent business partners and to provide the resources Screenshot (33)needed to grow the business. And, if we, as chief financial officers, don’t share this vision of the future, we can’t give proper guidance.”

Mr. Bier completed his talk with a couple of thoughts on how CFOs can succeed in a complex business world. “I encourage you to always keep this balance of near- and long-term leadership in mind as you work each day to support your business,” he said. “Build an excellent, high-performing team around you that is clearly focused on value creation for the company in its totality — and in that regard, able to balance out the different interests among the businesses, but also between support functions and the business.” At the end of the evening, CFO guests each received sweet treats, holiday gifts, courtesy of Revelwood and CFO Studio.

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