INSIGHT Breakfast Series

The Changing Role of the CFO

26th September 2019

Our September INSIGHT Breakfast was hosted by fdu’s Jamie Surgenor.

Our guest speaker was our very own resident coach Heeral Gudka, a leadership performance consultant and coach working with individuals and businesses internationally. Heeral is the founder and director of Convergent Consulting and dedicates her time to helping people and businesses fulfil their potential, transforming the way C-Suite professionals and middle managers operate and connect to people, as well as provides expertise in helping leaders work in a manner that motivates themselves and those around them. Heeral has worked with SAGA; Hiscox; Smurfit Kappa; Secret Escapes; Fidelis; Diageo; Tandem; Argenta; Conyers Dill & Pearman and AON Bermuda.

Heeral led the conversation discussing ‘The Life of a CFO’, looking specifically at the changing role of a CFO; networking and relationships; stakeholder and media scrutiny; and communication.

Some interesting learnings included:

  1. Communicating with courage and conviction – people don’t remember what you say but how you say it.
  2. Building trust can be achieved through listening, engaging and contributing in a considered manner.
  3. With data becoming such a dominant part of a Finance leader’s role, a CFO’s role needs to evolve with ever-changing technology.
  4. You’re only as good as your hires – looking after your team and promoting a culture of knowledge, inclusivity and positive change are steps that can be taken to be a successful leader.
  5. Media training can be a useful tool to handle public scrutiny or even handling pressures from investors (which is akin to media scrutiny).
  6. Social media can be a tool for positive change and a good representation of your values and ethics, but you have a responsibility to use it in a safe way that doesn’t damage your own representation. Fool-proofing your social media is becoming vitally important.

All discussions were held under Chatham House rules.

About the fdu INSIGHT Breakfast Series

fdu’s consultative approach to Executive Search and Recruitment is based upon our deep sector knowledge, our networks and extensive experience. We distil this insight for each unique Client situation, allowing us to provide strong results through our bespoke service.

An important part of this process is sharing knowledge – sharing insight – among our Clients, our networks and interested parties in the various sectors we serve. Our INSIGHT Breakfast Series brings small groups of high-level individuals together to discuss strategically relevant topics in the business world, with an expert guest speaker sharing insight into their respective field.

Our INSIGHT Breakfasts take place every month with a different theme each time, ranging from talent retention in M&A, to Brexit impact, to the changing C-Suite role during today’s business transformation. You will certainly leave the Breakfast with greater insight, new industry contacts and points to ponder … for the next event, perhaps?

For more information

Please contact Michelle Blackie

+44 (0)203 196 0780
+44 (0)7702 307 852


Event Details

Where: fdu, 1 Paris Garden, London, SE1 8ND

When: Thursday, 26th September 2019

Time: Tea and coffee at 8.00am; Start 8:30am – End 09:45 am

Rail | Tube

Southwark – 5 minutes walk

Waterloo – 10 minutes walk

London Bridge – 10 minutes walk

Blackfriars – 10 minutes walk