Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Finance Practitioners in Singapore More Focused on Risk than Growth: Survey

The explosion in new regulations both in Singapore and internationally has resulted in Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and Finance Directors (FDs) becoming more focused on reducing risk than they are on growth.
According to a survey by finance and accounting specialist recruitment firm Robert Half, 26 per cent of CFOs and FDs in Singapore say reducing risk is the most important function of their role. It ranks higher in importance than business strategy and growth, cited by 24 per cent of the respondents.
The survey was conducted among 603 CFOs and FDs – the top financial leaders in their company – and included 150 respondents from Singapore.
Globally, business strategy and growth is the top priority of 29 per cent of CFOs and FDs, while risk management comes in a close second with 28 per cent.
Stella Tang, Director of Robert Half Singapore, said that putting compliance and risk so high on the top management’s agenda is a result of the changed economic environment after the global financial crisis.
“Regulatory and legal changes – most designed to reduce the risk of economic shocks – are having an immense impact on senior financial leaders, not just in Singapore but around the world,” she said.
The focus on risk is also driving changes in the employment market with risk and compliance specialists finding themselves in high demand. After general accounting functions (41 per cent), the people CFOs and FDs are looking to hire now are risk and compliance specialists (38 per cent).
The survey also found risk management and compliance budgets have increased by 60 per cent in Singapore, compared to pre-2008 levels. And most of this expansion has been on hiring more qualified staff.
And contrary to widely held beliefs, men are no more or less inclined to taking risks than their female counterparts, with both genders in Singapore placing risk management at the top of their agenda.


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