Banking and Investment Banking CFOs

Banking and Investment Banking CFOs

Banking and investment banking are two of the most sought-after fields of expertise for CFOs. Corporate accounting remains a common background for CFOs, but the evolution of the role means that experience in operational finance is just as vital for success.

CFOs are now rising through the ranks from a diverse variety of backgrounds. Research suggests that only 25% of CFOs now come from a traditional corporate finance background, while about 50% have experience in public accounting and consulting. Banking and investment banking CFOs sit handsomely between the two.

The rise of fintech companies, growing numbers of ‘everyday investors’ and the challenges of digital evolution, have led to CFOs taking on a greater role within investment banks and traditional financial institutions.

FD Capital is the leading financial recruitment agency in the UK. Our leadership team is at the forefront of CFO evolution, understanding the demands of the changing role and working with a diverse talent pool with experience from e-commerce to investment banking and hospitality.

Growing Demand for London Investment Banking CFOs

Investment banks and traditional financial institutions are seeing a further evolution in the role of CFO, turbo-charged by the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis and the rising role of technology in making financing more efficient with real-time forecasting.

CFOs are now largely viewed as the second-in-command to the CEO with many tipped to transition into the top job. They’re responsible for acting on behalf of the CEO when engaging with investors and for translating the company’s financial forecasting and long-term vision to stakeholders.

It’s up to a CFO to balance the needs for restructuring and investing in digitalisation alongside a need to get a return on investment and ensure regulatory best practice is being met.

Investment banking CFOs were a relatively unheard-of speciality only a few decades ago. Now about a quarter of today’s CFO began their work in the field of investing and private equity with this percentage being even higher for those working in tech.

Today’s founders want a CFO who can partner with them on strategy bringing a high-level approach to operational finances. CFOs with experience in banking and investment financing are best placed to go toe-to-toe with today’s innovative founders.

CFO candidates largely come from an accounting background with the majority being chartered certified accountants.

The Evolving Role of Banking CFOs

The role of CFO has expanded drastically since the 2008 financial crisis, thanks to the digital revolution and growing regulation. Banking CFOs have seen their role evolve across four specific areas:

  1. Deal Making

CFOs who work for financial institutions and banks are responsible for de-risking and deleveraging their organisation’s balance sheets. They’ll work with third parties to develop ways to deconsolidate funds.

When a bank is operating in a zero-interest rate market, it’s up to the CFO to identify new ways to access available capital and provide excess liquidity within the institution. A banking CFO will need to identify yield-enhancing opportunities to ensure that there are sustainable revenues to make a net profit.

  1. Compliance

Sanctions and fines are becoming commonplace in the world of banking. New compliance requests and growing regulations mean that CFOs are at the forefront of developing a strategy that ensures compliance with anti-money laundering and financial reporting.

The CFO will work alongside the legal department and other bank employees, such as a conduct risk officer, to monitor and manage compliance measures.

  1. Digital Native

CFOs are the driving force behind growing digitisation across the financial sector, developing what is becoming known as the ‘capitalisation’ of data. Financial executives with experience in managing big data are digital natives who are ready to take on the challenge of fintech competitors.

Being a digital native also involves CFOs understanding the growing cybersecurity risk, driving investment into ensuring technical support and providing real-time data insights. Most CFOs will work alongside their company’s chief data officer to restructure the company’s data infrastructure.

  1. Restructurer

The first thing any CFO will do when they join an investment bank or financial institution is to examine its current structures and processes. A banking CFO will develop and oversee the implementation of cost-saving programs to boost efficiency and leverage technology to ensure more accurate reporting and real-time forecasting.

All four of these roles show that CFOs are transforming banks and investment institutions. Most CFOs are being brought in to address industry challenges, from recovering from the pandemic to stabilising during geopolitical turbulence and evolving with the industry as digital infrastructure replaces brick-and-mortar.

Developing Your Portfolio as a Banking CFO

Are you interested in joining our talent pool of banking CFOs? Contact our team today at with your CV.

While most candidates will have a consulting or public accounting background, there are ways you can develop your portfolio to become a banking CFO. Treasury, accounting, control, and FP&A are all vital areas to gain experience in to make your portfolio more attractive to potential employers.

CFOs who work with banking must have a strategic vision for the company’s operational finances. Expand your experience with FP&A and identify opportunities to exhibit your communication skills.

Communication, strategic agility, and operational finance are three areas of expertise that every banking CFO should have. CFOs who want to step into the shoes of the CEO should look for opportunities to tick these boxes.

Recruiting a Banking and Investment Banking CFO

FD Capital is the UK’s leading boutique financial recruitment agency, specialising in connecting companies with CFOs, including experts in the fields of banking and investment banking. Our leadership team includes financial professionals and entrepreneurs with experience working with both private and public companies. We understand the needs of both our candidates and clients.

Your CFO recruiter will start recruiting or headhunting your CFO by identifying what your company needs and expects from the ideal candidate, including any existing skills gap within your C-suite team. Our talent pool of CFOs includes candidates with experience operating within traditional banking and the investment banking industry.

Start your CFO recruitment or headhunting by contacting our team today at