CFO Edge 2021

The Digital CFO: Data-Driven Operating Models & New Performance Metrics

To underpin growth and minimise risk, CFOs must enable modernisation and agility across the organisation.

External and internal business challenges are accelerating, large Twentieth Century organisations designed to scale with stability and predictability have been forced to transform.The need for timely, accurate data is paramount for executives to make the right decisions to respond, profit and survive.

Far beyond financial steward, the CFO has emerged as the critical executive to support the CEO in leading this data transformation and evolution to digital operating models – as well as to support the blended combination of culture, people and technology it will require.

We must have a willingness to learn from data, but challenge using historical data for future predictions. This will just perpetuate past mistakes and repeat the best and worst of the past.” – Professor Toby Walsh at CFO Edge ’19


The emerging Digital CFO…

The Digital CFO will define and lead a best-in-class finance function which partners with and across the organisation as a role model for efficiency, sustainability, trust and managed risk.

Working backwards from the agreed strategy, then leveraging the right emerging and proven technology, the CFO will architect compliant and data-driven decision making to drive efficiency and reduce complexity.

Then implementing changed methods to measure value, performance and success – they will encourage new ways of working and a culture of innovation. This will align with national CIO’s business priorities outlined below.


Rebuilding after the Pandemic

Over the last 9 years of national CFO events, ADAPT has seen the CFO role evolve far beyond finance.

In 2020, well-defined forecasting and capital allocation strategies and growth plans had to be rewritten overnight. Many digitally minded CFOs became the central pillar for critical decision making and organisational agility – while others perhaps struggled to keep up with relentless change.

ADAPT’s 11th CFO Edge event assesses the unexpected impacts and changes unleashed by 2020, then asks what Australasian organisations and CFOs can do to outperform in 2021, while managing the continued velocity of change?


The Bottom line?

Bold moves are required to recover from the pandemic and make the most of the opportunities and threats – to challenge assumptions and take calculated risks – to create and lead a resilient financial operation – to strike the right balance between technology and people – and to drive growth, culture and advantage today for tomorrow.

For our CFOs to meet these challenges they must improve their own competencies, and those of their team – equipping them with the right tools, technologies and processes to stand fast and lead.


How can we empower our CFOs to enable and lead the evolution needed to not just survive, but thrive?

ADAPT CFO Edge 2021 at Sydney’s Hyatt Regency on Tuesday 27 April will host 120 CFOs responsible for revenues equivalent to 30% of Australia’s GDP and over 10% of the workforce.

Delivering practical ideas and actionable insights to help enable the modern CFO, with learned experience from global and local experts alongside ADAPT analysts – CFO Edge is an invitation only event, now in its 9th year and 11th iteration.


Access is by invitation only – contact us to qualify to attend.

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Our agenda will publish in 2021.

We balance global keynotes with local success stories and tips from CFO peers in top organisations. Across conference sessions and boardroom roundtables, ADAPT create a safe place to ask the necessary questions and find the right answers from our community’s collective wisdom.

To help us on this journey, we uniquely host 4 globally renowned experts.

Special Guest: Dr. Peter Weill – Chairman & Senior Research Scientist, MIT CISR


As Chair of CISR at the MIT Sloan School of Management in Boston, Peter’s work centres on the role, value, and governance of digitisation in enterprises. MIT CISR undertakes practical research on how firms generate business value from digital. Peter was ranked by Ziff Davis as the 24th most influential person in IT and the highest ranking academic.

ADAPT has worked with MIT to help gather data from the A/NZ region on the effectiveness of local transformation programs. Peter will draw on this fresh research, with local perspective and global comparison for CFOs to assess, reflect and write their next rounds of digital strategy for the post lockdown world.


Special Guest: Arno Daehnke – Group CFO, Standard Bank (South Africa)


Arno is currently the Group Financial Director of Standard Bank Group, the largest bank on the African continent, with assets more than ZAR 2 trillion and earnings of ZAR 28 billion in 2019. Standard Bank employs 50,000 staff and has an on-the-ground presence in 20 sub-Saharan countries.

Arno joined Standard Bank in 2001 and has performed several roles as quantitative analyst and head of Money Markets Trading division in Global Markets, as well as head of the Group’s Treasury and Capital Management division.

His role includes partnering the Standard Bank Chief Executive to transform Standard Bank into a future-ready group, focusing on digital transformation to meet evolving client expectations.

At CFO Edge he will explain what they have learned on their transformation journey, how they have improved forecasting and agility to better compete with new fintech entrants, New non-financial metrics they have implemented, and how they have lead through more change in the last 8 months than they faced in several years.


Special Live Interview: Dr. Mark Esposito – Harvard University, Dept of Continuing Education


Mark Esposito, PhD, is recognised internationally as a top global thought leader in matters relating to The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the changes and opportunities that technology will bring to a variety of industries.

He was inducted in 2016 in the radar of  Thinkers50 as one of the 30 most prominent rising business thinkers in the world. He is a global expert of the World Economic Forum and advisor to national governments.

In his academic career, Mark has held academic appointments for some of the world’s leading institutions such as Harvard University, University of Cambridge, Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management, Hult International Business School and IE Business School.

Live from Europe, Mark will share thoughts on How to improve workflows and the efficient placement of facilities to drive business performance, moving away from the K-shape recovery, and the use of technology to navigate and address the post pandemic issues.


Special Guest: Lucy Blair Chung – Co-Founder & CEO, NOBL (live from NYC)


Lucy is the Co-Founder and CEO of NOBL, a culture change organisational design firm headquartered in New York. She embodies a bias-to-action, using her experience in operations, human resources, and organisational strategy to drive meaningful and lasting change.
Traditionally change management has been handed to people top-down, often as a process-oriented afterthought. Instead it should be rooted on meeting the people and stakeholders you will impact and hope to change, wherever they now are, then sympathising if they have the abilities, the positive provocation, and support they need to manage more change under lockdown.

Natural human tendency is to always resist change. So as CFO, how do you face and understand that resistance?

To help, CFOs could evolve their approach to human centered change: the psychology of change and understanding loss, all mapped to human experience. Lucy will suggest how at CFO Edge 2021.

Attend the region’s safest and best structured major gatherings since the lockdown.

Many have been too inwardly focused. Now hear from the experts, draw upon the collective intelligence of our region’s top executives, and learn the next steps from others on similar journeys.

With complete health and safety compliance, we can meet again face-to-face to share war stories, validate and compare post lockdown strategies.

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Why Attend

Practical Insights Global speakers and contemporary thinkers ahead of you on the journey equip you with their learned experience, giving you the competence and tools you need.
Personalised Agenda Self-select your path through your choice of keynotes, panels, roundtables and workshops, perfectly aligning our content with your tactical and strategic needs.
Peer Introductions Increase your own ability via a network of trusted connections by meeting with expert stakeholders and calibre peers. Every ADAPT delegate must qualify to join our community.

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