As banks struggle to make money from traditional banking and lending, banks are asking CFOs to "almost take on the role of a fund manager," Plath says. There is added pressure for CFOs to wring out more profits from banks' investment portfolios, he says.
Taylor says banks are asking him to identify CFOs who can help them grow organically or lead them through a merger, either as a seller or buyer. Though CFOs always have had an analytical role in consolidation, their role has expanded as valuations merit more scrutiny.
"No one wants to sell for the price they can get and no one wants to buy for the price they have to pay," Taylor says.
Banks want CFOs who have experience in areas such as raising capital, Bregman says. Banks must be more "creative" in raising funds, so CFOs with a proven track record in that area and credibility in the market draw extra attention, he says.
A bank's ability to raise capital could make the difference between independence and selling. They want CFOs who can "tell a compelling story that can lead to a successful capital raise," Plath says.
Banks could look to fill more openings in the next few years, as more CFOs nearing retirement age decide to step down earlier than planned, industry experts say. This could translate into more lucrative opportunities for those with a broader set of skills.
"To recruit and retain existing CFOs, companies are keeping competitive on compensation," Bregman says. "This is one area ... that companies won't be cheap on."