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Surveys Find Key Changes in the Role of the Pharmaceutical CFO
Date:3/25/2008

Views from senior finance executives globally with an in-depth look at

perspectives in India

ISELIN, N.J., March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Two separate Ernst & Young surveys underscore important changes in the role of the chief financial officer (CFO) and finance function in driving the success of pharmaceutical companies. With many multinational pharmaceutical companies welcoming a new CFO to their organization over the past two years, the survey results emphasize the key role the CFO will play as companies move away from a focus on driving top-line revenue growth to one on managing for return.

To achieve this change, 74% of respondents in an Ernst & Young global survey of senior pharmaceutical industry executives agreed that CFOs will need to shift their time from low value functions such as defensive monitoring and reporting to a focus on partnering to help shape growth strategies that enhance business performance.

"CFOs and the finance function are driving the business transformation that is now at the forefront of the industry," said Carolyn Buck Luce, Global Pharmaceutical Sector Leader, Ernst & Young. "In an era when pipelines are erratic, patents are expiring, and pricing is under pressure, the role of the CFO and finance function will become pivotal in driving improved returns, enhancing reputation and creating value."

Pharmaceutical CFOs managing for return

Ernst & Young's global survey showed that a large majority (92%) of respondents rated global cost reduction as a key issue for their business, with 25% saying cost reduction has been a focus for more than two years and 35% saying it has been a focus "for as long as I can recall." Over half (56%) felt it was the CFOs role to lead cost reduction initiatives and that competitive pressures (58%), profitability (58%), and the need for better returns for investors (33%) were the key drivers for cost reduction.

Along with managing for return
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SOURCE Ernst & Young
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