Wanted: FDs to fill key non-executive roles

Link: FDs as NEDs: A perfect non-exec, please

Following the spate of financial scandals, a greater emphasis on corporate governance and the publication of reports on good practice such as the Higgs and Smith reviews, headhunters have noticed a ‘trend’ towards accountancy qualifications.

‘We are seeing a real increase in the number of non-executive committees having chief financial officers,’ said Rae Sedel, who heads up the global technology practice area at recruitment specialists Russell Reynolds Associates.

Sedel believes this to be a trend, where hundreds of positions are being recruited globally every year.

Samuel Johar, chairman of Buchanan Harvey headhunters, said having a qualified accountant as chairman of the audit committee is now almost a prerequisite. ‘Post-Enron, a lot of boards are upgrading the chairmen of their audit committees,’ he said.

‘Whereas previously a lawyer might have held the role, it now has to be a qualified accountant with lots of experience.’

According to Sedel, FDs are seen as being more thorough. ‘That’s what you would expect, and that’s what you hire for,’ she said.

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