Institute of Management Accounting and Control

Guest lecture on the role development of the CFO

Dr. Bernhard Günther, Chief Transformation Officer of Fortum, gave a guest lecture in the BSc course "The CFO - Roles, career paths, and impact on firm outcomes" by Prof. Dr. Marko Reimer.

In his presentation, Dr. Bernhard Günther, former CFO of large energy groups such as RWE, innogy and Fortum, gave an insight into the current development of the role of the Chief Financial Officer.

As the CEO's "co-pilot," the role has evolved from "bean counter" to a complex combination of performance reviewer, strategic challenger, transformer and resilience manager.

In his experience, the topic of risk management, among others, is gaining in importance, whereby the major crises - such as the 2008 financial crisis and the recent energy crisis - are usually not present in companies' risk plans or are neglected with a view to the minimal probabilities of occurrence. Also in this context, Bernhard Günther underlined the importance of teams, which on the one hand would bring specific expert knowledge and on the other hand could help to reduce individual cognitive biases in decision making.

Many thanks to Mr. Günther for his practical and inspiring insights.