Meet Philadelphia Steering Committee member Rand Greenblatt. With more than 20 years of financial services experience, Rand has held a variety of roles and, most recently, joined the team at Chubb, where he is responsible for financial reporting, financial systems, accounting, and control functions. In addition, he is the co-author of “Changing Role of Finance from Scorekeeper to Strategist”, which was published in the AICPA Corporate Insider. Here are his thoughts on his career and the industry:
Describe your career path for us, including your advice along the way for other CFOs interested in this progression.
As a Certified Public Accountant, I started my career at Deloitte, where I got involved in building a strategic audit and advisory practice for investment companies. I then had a great opportunity to join CIGNA’s Financial Development Leadership Program and, from there, moved into a series of financial planning, analysis, and product development roles. Following a decade at CIGNA, I established a financial planning and analysis organization at Independence Blue Cross, which afforded me the opportunity to drive business transformation with growth, turnaround, and industry reform. Most recently, I joined Chubb, where I am responsible for financial reporting, accounting, control, and financial systems functions.
My advice to others is to expand your competencies by seeking roles that will put you outside of your comfort zone. Because most CFOs and senior leaders are constantly expected to function as business advisors and strategic partners, they must learn to navigate through an ever-changing landscape.
What’s exciting for you as a senior financial leader? What do you enjoy the most about your profession?
Mainly, I enjoy building high performing teams and cultivating talent while watching everyone progress in their careers. But, just as important, I take great pride in providing strategic support to influence the pivotal decisions that add value to an organization.
What’s the one thing that you could do without as a senior financial leader?
As someone who believes that productivity adds value, I think that I could, most likely, do without administrative related responsibilities
The CFO/board landscape changes all the time. How do you keep yourself educated on the latest developments that affect your profession?
I keep abreast of industry changes through a variety of channels. Aside from staying up-to-date through training seminars, webcasts, and overall news, I take advantage of many networking opportunities. In addition, I utilize the resources available through my organization’s sales and distribution departments, allowing me to see the marketplace on a real-time basis and gain valuable insight on current trends.
As you work in multiple capacities in your company, how do you stay on top of everything?
Making my strong organizational and time management skills a priority is truly a plus. And, I challenge my team to do the same. I believe that it is important to hire good, trustworthy people and empower them. In addition, staying connected with my business partners and company leaders enables me to fully comprehend and understand crucial issues and how they are being addressed.
Describe your “aha” moment, or a crowning achievement to your career.
Although one single moment does not come to mind, my most significant revelation has been that great leaders tend to be more successful if they leverage their competencies effectively. Being in leadership roles obviously requires strong financial and strategic acumen, but, even more important, the abilities to influence others, manage change, and cultivate talent are all factors that must be skillfully executed.
Any final words that you’d like to share with our CFOs?
Keep your experiences and competencies “sharp” by seeking opportunities beyond your comfort zone, expanding your horizons, and cultivating strong teams. Finance is a service function to any organization and, as a result, it is imperative to constantly reevaluate how your organization demonstrates value to your business partners.