Middle-market and corporate chief financial officers are approaching risk management with a fresh bounce in their step, according to a new survey from TD Bank.
Nearly two-thirds of CFOs are more confident in their ability to manage risk, according to the survey of 150 senior finance executives conducted in September and October. Executives are feeling so confident, in fact, that a quarter said they were willing to take on more risks than they were a year ago.
"What we're seeing, both through this survey and in our interactions with clients, is a more positive outlook about the economic environment and the business opportunities coming out of the recession," Greg Braca, executive vice president and head of corporate and specialty banking at TD Bank, said in a Tuesday press release. "Well over a third of the CFOs surveyed expressed that they're more confident in the U.S. economy, and more than half viewed their organizations' prospects in the same vein. CFOs feel better equipped to manage risk, which will enable them to take a more active approach to investing and expansion, even if the economy improves at a slower pace than we'd like."
TD Bank is the U.S. arm of Toronto-Dominion Bank.
Driving senior finance executives' increased optimism is their confidence that their firms have taken steps to reduce risk in the wake of the financial crisis. Nearly 50% said that their companies had increased financial transparency since 2008, while 38% said they had stepped up risk reporting. Thirty-seven percent said that their companies had adopted a more conservative approach to financial risk.
Respondents' outlook wasn't entirely sunny. Looking ahead, executives said they were most concerned about the how economic uncertainty, regulatory changes and a higher cost of doing business could affect their companies' finances over the next 12 months.