CFOs Still Predicting Healthy Financial Results

Last Updated Oct 7, 2008 1:27 PM EDT

  • Does this cloud have a silver lining?The Find: Looking for some optimism in an otherwise dreary financial picture? As late as last week, CFOs surveyed nearly unanimously agreed that the credit crisis would not have "a major negative impact on their financial results."
  • The Source: A survey, "Senior Finance Executives on the Current Financial Turmoil," conducted jointly by CFO Research and Towers Perrin and launched September 19.
The Takeaway: In the midst of market meltdown, 125 CFOs and other senior finance executives from a range of industries across the U.S. were surveyed by CFO Research and Towers Perrin. More than half of respondents came from companies with more than $500 million in annual revenue. What did the research find? It's no surprise that nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of these finance executives are concerned about their risk management practices and that 55 percent said their companies are likely to change risk management practices at the board or employee level, or both.

Concern, however, has not (or at least hadn't then) turned into panic. While 62 percent of finance executives acknowledged that the crisis would dampen profit expectations, just 4 percent feared a major negative impact on their financial results. What's more, only about one quarter (26 percent) were considering changing relationships with customers and suppliers, and an even smaller percentage (15 percent) said they were likely to change their incentive packages.

The survey contains a wide array of insights - among them that 59 percent of respondents believe the consolidation among financial services companies caused financial crisis will ultimately harm U.S. companies. For more, check out the complete results.

The Question: Does the attitude of these CFOs amount to healthy optimism or flat-out delusion?

(Image of cloud with silver lining by BruceTurner, CC 2.0)

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.