FINANCE BACKGROUND KEY TO SECURE YOUR PLACE AT THE TOP

FINANCE BACKGROUND KEY TO SECURE YOUR PLACE AT THE TOP

A RECENT survey of the ASX 200-listed CEOs has revealed that a background in finance is key to getting to the top.

The report revealed a profile of the 'average' Australian CEO and it shows a male, based in Sydney, and likely to have a postgraduate degree, a background in finance as well as international work experience.

"It is not surprising to see that half of Australia's ASX 200 CEOs have financial backgrounds," says David Jones, senior managing director of Robert Half Asia Pacific.

"Business leaders with strong financial capabilities are highly valued as they can easily interpret the financial ramifications of business decisions.

"It's also worth going on to do some further study, but having an undergraduate degree isn't a prerequisite."

Eight in 10 of ASX 200 CEOs had an undergraduate degree. More than half have postgraduate qualifications and only 22 per cent have completed an MBA.

But if reaching the top is the goal, corporate loyalty is the best bet.

A huge 62 per cent of the current ASX 200 CEOs were promoted to the top job after moving up internally, with the average tenure length being eight years before being promoted to CEO.

One third were hired as CEO externally and five per cent were the original founder of the company.

Jones says this reflects the nature of the CEO role one who is dedicated and driven to lead.

"Naturally, it takes a very driven individual to become CEO of any type of company," says Jones.

"As organisations operate in uncertain times, they need to proactively identify the right talent for the top job. Companies need leaders who can not only meet business goals, but also successfully leverage these changes."

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