Hild Kinder, Partner in our Oslo office, chairs the Stockman Committee for The Norwegian Society of Financial Analysts.

Their purpose is:

The committee’s job is to set the criteria by which the companies are measured, while Investment Banks and Investors nominate candidates and vote for finalists.

Every year they give out prizes to companies listed on the Oslo stock exchange that stand out as exceptional in communicating financial information to the market of financial analysts and investors.

Congratulations to Storebrand and Kid Interiør as winners of this year's Stockman Prize.

Storebrand won the open class award, while KID won the award for small and medium-sized companies. Storebrand also won the award for best IR team.

Furthermore, the Committee  also provides improvement advice for a company that should do better - this year it was the renewable energy company Scatec.

Hild said, "This year ESG* was increased in weight as a factor in the voting, while to provide open, reliable and consistent information to all market participants is always critical. We congratulate Storebrand and KID for nailing this.”

* ESG=Environmental Social  and Governance

Changes in CFO role

The future is anything but predictable and having a strong finance leader is crucial for any organisation as the CFO most directly contributes to a company’s financial health and resilience.

In the times of the current pandemic, CFOs are assuming a greater role and are likely to hold onto those greater responsibilities in the future.

What are the key competencies and skills required from future CFOs?

While every search is unique and there is no universal advice to finding the right CFO, these are the most sought-after attributes:

Strategic mindset

To serve as a right-hand of the CEO, CFOs need to be able to focus on shaping strategy, transformation and scenario planning. Today’s CFOs are responsible for much more than finance, they often oversee multiple functions from IT, Legal, Real Estate to Supply Chain. Control and compliance is not enough, companies need a strategic CFO who can look at the business through the windshield, rather than the rearview mirror.

Ownership mindset

CFOs must focus on protecting the bottom line but also are expected to view the financial performance through an ethical lens to ensure sustainability and value creation.

Adaptivity and openness to innovation

Digital skills and adopting new technologies has become priority, not just “nice to have”. CFOs need to have solid knowledge of technology and how to use it to both advance the business and protect it against cybersecurity and data privacy risks. Coping with rapid changes and decision making despite uncertainties are must haves.

Communication skills and leading with empathy

Though some CFOs have impressive technical backgrounds, that is not a key to success. In the past, CFOs might have been focused on communicating with investors and shareholders. Today, they have to manage remote teams, they deliver messages of company situation and prospects to all employees, customers, suppliers and the community. The pandemic is proving that ‘softer’ leadership qualities such as empathy, compassion and reflexion are more effective than dominance and directive style. We are finding that this is helping to expand the diversity of CFO candidates.


Resilience and adaptability became more important and will remain crucial for the uncertain times ahead. Technical skills and sector-specific experience remain important but past achievements do not guarantee future success and despite the clear benefits of hiring from within the industry, our experience has shown that companies are open to look beyond their own industry to find top talent.

Mary Keane
Andrea Chládková
Partners, Czech Republic

How did institutional funds selling change in 2020?

What personalities will be in the highest demand in 2021?

The efforts made by the management companies and by the Buy Side to adapt will not revert to the way things were.

We recognise that we must add more value, both for efficiency and quality of life, which will involve developing and adapting to this model through skills training (e.g. remote communication).

The “imposition” of teleworking during the lockdown period has caused the way of relating between the buy side and the sell side to change. This period has been a brake on the acquisition of new clients since they have preferred to trust existing relationships, and they have been more reluctant to learn about new alternatives, therefore, professionals able to develop close and trustworthy relationships take on special value.

Secondly, within the commercial activity itself, we have also observed that the technical component of the sale (product) and the general technical knowledge (market) on behalf of the sales professional is something that will be decisive in the post-Covid period - even more so than it already is.

Future commercial activity will be a mix between remote and face-to-face working. Likewise, and as a critical point, it will be necessary to have professionals who are capable of developing a relationship of trust and closeness remotely, and those who can reinvent their relationship with clients to be able to achieve more impact and higher quality in other ways.

You can't flood customers with webinars!

Emiliano Sacristán
Partner, Spain

First published in the Spanish edition of  Funds Society Magazine, December 2020.

Meltem Ay joins Friisberg & Partners International with over thirteen years of experience in various fields of Executive Search. In recent years she has been primarily focused on Financial Services.

Meltem has an excellent background and significant expertise as both a recruiter and manager. She has worked with national and international clients ranging from medium-sized businesses to global companies in Financial Services, and also in industrial markets.

Prior to joining Friisberg & Partners, Meltem Ay was a Principal / Client Partner and a key Member of the Global Financial Services practice of another highly-respected international executive search firm, and spent the preceding ten years as a successful consultant with various other international search firms.

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