Corporate business leaders have never faced more complex challenges in anticipating, understanding and responding to new business trends, and positioning their organisations accordingly. Increasingly, new technologies, industry players and societal trends are disrupting the way that competitive advantage is achieved, and what it means to be a global corporation when the concept and benefits of globalisation are in question.
Treasurers and finance chiefs can neither predict nor determine the future environment in which the company operates, and the shift in strategy that might be required. What they can do, however, is to equip their organisations to be flexible and responsive to change, and enable them to pursue growth opportunities. At the same time, they need to ensure that the business is resilient in the face of changing market and geopolitical conditions.
An overwhelming majority of CFOs consider capital structure to be a key priority (90% according to a recent survey conducted by PwC ) and are focused more than ever on finding ways to optimise the balance sheet to combine financial resilience and flexibility whilst minimising costs.
The global challenge
Every generation makes the claim that it is going through a more challenging period than the one that preceded it, but there is a strong argument that we are in a period of unprecedented complexity. On one hand, global economic uncertainty and the frequency of ‘black swan’ events mean that while forecasting has always been an imprecise art, it is more difficult than ever not only to predict events and trends, but also the way that markets and institutions will respond.