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“It is an exciting time for us to take advantage of opportunities in the global economy, given some of the shifts we are experiencing. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) plays a very important role in mitigating risks, whilst also ensuring the organisation takes advantage of growth opportunities,” says Tim Harcourt, Chief Economist, Austrade. A speaker at the marcus evans CFO Summit 2011, taking place on the Gold Coast, Australia, 6 - 8 March, Harcourt discusses the key concepts in his book “The Airport Economist” and how CFOs can utilise their position to lead their organisations to growth and success.
What are the key concepts discussed in your book “The Airport Economist”, and how do they apply to CFOs?
Tim Harcourt: My book is about what is unusual in each economy and what opportunities they present. For example, Singapore has many engineers and fund managers, but not enough ballet dancers or poets.
What this means for CFOs is that they need to have a global perspective to lead their organisations to growth and success. We live in a world where emerging markets are becoming very strong and we have been through a pretty deep financial shock. More CFOs should look at these global economic shifts, be wary of changes and have a good global big picture. The CFO is the link in the organisation between big picture strategies and vision, and corporate governance and financial risk management. Recent events have shown that we were good at looking at growth and expansion prospect, but we took our eye off the ball when it came to taking risks.
What are some of the opportunities available to CFOs right now?
Tim Harcourt: CFOs could look towards China, India and Brazil. Some of the imbalances I see in the world economy today are with the US having too many shoppers and not enough shippers, and China the opposite of that. It is also important for CFOs to look at demographic changes when considering where the opportunities might be.
What is your outlook for the next few years? What should CFOs prepare for?
Tim Harcourt: I would be very conscious of climatic changes and the risks they may present to the business. It is an exciting time for going global, but CFOs need to ensure they have a good handle on risks. Whilst they cannot predict natural disasters, the CFO plays a very important role in mitigating risks and ensuring the organisation takes advantage of growth opportunities. In a volatile environment, the CFO has a key position in the company. There are plenty of executives looking at expansion opportunities, but the CFO is the only person in the organisation who can also closely monitor risks, ensure the ship is steered in the right direction and avoid icebergs.
marcus evans, Summits Division
Tel: + 357 22 849 313
About the CFO Summit 2011
This unique forum will take place at RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, 6 - 8 March 2011. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The summit includes presentations on technological innovation, astute leadership, the impact of climate change on finance and improved finance strategies.
Please note that the summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.
About marcus evans Summits
marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-to-one business meetings. For more information, please visit www.marcusevans.com
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