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What makes a successful CFO? Interview with CFO Aaron Chan

finance

Written by Tamara Wood
Sep 23, 2019
Submitted by Tamara Wood on Mon, 09/23/2019 - 05:24

Aaron Chan, CFO at Standard Chartered Bank in Sydney shares his insights: 

"Keeping a positive and keen to learn mindset. That's the most valuable piece of advice I received during the early days of my career."

WHAT'S THE MOST VALUABLE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED IN YOUR CAREER AND HOW DID IT HELP YOU?

When I moved from a big 4 audit firm to join a bank in Compliance, the Financial Controller and CFO told me that I was recruited even though I have no experience in banking or the local regulatory landscape compared to other candidates. It was because of my aptitude, positive mindset and ability to learn. This has helped me in my later career to move into banking and onwards to Group Treasury and now in Finance. This mindset propels me to learn, adapt and enhance.

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE WILL BE THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILLS WITHIN FINANCE OVER THE NEXT 5 YEARS AND WHY?

Traditionally, Finance has been seen more as reporting, controls and regulatory compliance functions. Although these functions are still crucial to finance we’re increasingly seeing that balance sheet management and the involvement of liquidity planning are becoming more important. The requirement to understand the economic environment that affects how the company operates is crucial for the business.

WHAT ARE THE KEY HABITS THAT YOU FEEL MAKE YOU SUCCESSFUL?

Successful is a strong word, I think I am a long way from there. But I do have a constant mindset to ask how I can do better. I am self-reflective on how I can do things differently this week compared to what I did last week.  This helps me to continuously improve, whether it is with work or family.

WHAT'S THE MOST REWARDING PART OF BEING A CFO?

The ability to see the holistic picture and direction of the company. I also feel I can make a meaningful contribution to steer the company to achieve its goal.

HOW DO YOU SEE THE ROLE OF THE CFO EVOLVING OVER THE NEXT 5 YEARS?

The challenge for a CFO is going to increase. There are expectations to be constantly kept up to date on economic and political developments and how that will affect the company. The CFO will be involved in preparing the company for the challenges ahead.

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