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CFO Insights

McKinsey latest thinking to provide CFOs with insights on capital markets and investor management, planning and performance management, corporate and portfolio strategy, finance function excellence, and finance leadership.


Starting up as a new CFO

– Congratulations, you’ve made it—now hit the ground running. Here are seven key mindsets and practices that effective CFOs adopt from day one.

Finance leadership


Into the storm: CFOs pivot to managing financial headwinds

– The latest McKinsey Global Survey shows that CFOs have been reshuffling priorities as the global economy grapples with a slew of financial risks.

The board’s role in building resilience

– Boards of directors can help executive teams build the foresight, response, and adaptation capabilities they need to manage future... shocks.

Five insights for public company CFOs from private equity

– CFOs of public companies can draw enormous insight from PE’s focused, proactive approach to value creation—but they... have to take the initiative themselves. Here are five lessons to get started.
Book - Featured Insights

Deliberate Calm

How to learn and lead in a volatile world

Women in the Workplace 2022

– Women leaders are switching jobs at the highest rates we’ve ever seen, and ambitious young women are prepared to do the... same. To make meaningful and sustainable progress toward gender equality, companies need to go beyond table stakes. That’s according to the latest Women in the Workplace report from McKinsey, in partnership with LeanIn.Org.

Finance function excellence


How can corporate functions become more agile?

– Faster decision making, better interdepartment coordination, and a sharper focus on business priorities are much more possible with the thoughtful adoption of agile models.

Three new mandates for capturing a digital transformation’s full value

– Most organizations achieve less than one-third of the impact they expected from recent digital investments. What can companies... learn from the best performers about how to beat the odds today?

CFO perspectives on leading agile change

– CFOs across industries and regions came together virtually to discuss the impact and the challenge of leading an agile transformation... journey.

Redefining corporate functions to better support strategy and growth

– Striking the right balance between decentralized functions and centralized control starts with addressing the needs of business... units.

2021 and beyond: Preparing for the future of SG&A

– Shorter planning cycles, higher cost-cutting targets, and hybrid working models are defining how organizations reimagine their... sales, general, and administrative (SG&A) functions for 2021 and beyond.

Capital markets and investor management


A devilish duality: How CEOs can square resilience with net-zero promises

– Amid turbulence on the path to net zero, leaders will have to be much nimbler to balance resilience with an energy future that is secure, affordable, and clean. Five actions can help.

Nature in the balance: What companies can do to restore natural capital

– Specific corporate actions, many with a positive return on investment, could help reverse the trend of the depletion of natural... capital.

Communicating headwinds and tailwinds

– Investor relations should always address business-critical headwinds and tailwinds. But which do companies refer to more—and... how does that choice affect market performance?

Looking back: What does the ‘long term’ really mean?

– Stock markets can be volatile, and some years they decline. But the ups far outnumber the downs—and returns are in line with two... centuries of performance.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Does ESG really matter—and why?

– Although valid questions have been raised about ESG, the need for companies to understand and address their externalities is likely... to become essential to maintaining their social license.

Planning & performance management


On the cusp of a new era?

– Current economic and political turbulence could presage the start of a new era that is structurally very different with a new narrative of progress.

Survey results: Expectations for company performance, by industry

– Compared with last quarter, respondents share more optimistic views for their companies’ future profits. However, expectations... overall for company performance are more muted than at the start of 2022.

Global Economics Intelligence executive summary, November 2022

– Industry and consumer activity sags under weight of inflation and higher interest rates; forecasting institutions trim GDP growth... projections for 2023.
Article - McKinsey Global Institute

Pixels of Progress: A granular look at human development around the world

– Our world is big and complex, but human progress is still about life on the ground, up close and in detail.

Putting the ‘A’ back in FP&A

Next-level FP&A teams... build more speed and flexibility into their own processes, which can trigger more efficient and effective operations throughout the company.

Corporate and portfolio strategy


Business building: The path to resilience in uncertain times

– In an uncertain economy, executives’ first instinct might be to cut costs and shore up established holdings. A better way is to build new businesses.

Buy and scale: How incumbents can use M&A to grow new businesses

– Digital disruptors use M&A to build and scale new businesses at speed. Incumbents can do so, too.

Designing out of difficult times

– Design matters—and not just in good times. CEOs who embrace design can enhance strategy and better navigate this age of... volatility.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Strategic courage in an age of volatility

– Today’s challenging environment requires business leaders to hone their edge in three critical areas: insights, commitment, and... execution.

The ten rules of growth

– Empirical research reveals what it takes to generate value-creating growth today.