From the executive suite on down, don't count on a raise anytime soon, or that paychecks will escape the incredible economic shrinking machine. And don't count on retirement either, or on even keeping your job until you were supposed to retire. Bleak sums up Treasury & Risk's annual assessment of CFO compensation, but if misery loves company, then it's not so bad. But, experts expect the drop in top-level finance executives' pay in 2008 was just the opening act to more drastic cuts to come, writes Contributing Editor Anne Field. While some companies took innovative steps to enhance their retirement plans before the financial crisis hit, writes Senior Contributing Editor Russ Banham, many are freezing pension plans and eliminating matches, leading some to wonder whether the concept of retirement is being retired altogether. In fact, more than 55% of the 330 senior financial executives responding to T&R's annual Retirement Survey say their companies have decreased their 401(k) match or eliminated it. Besides looming retirement risk, companies are waking up to expanding political risk, not only in emerging countries but brought on by the massive government response worldwide to the economic downturn that threatens to expropriate decision-making at some multinationals, writes Contributing Editor Duncan Wood. Meanwhile, the economy that will emerge at the end of the recession will likely operate at a lower level that it did before, Microsoft CFO Chris Liddell tells T&R's new Executive Editor Susan Kelly, who returns after serving as the magazine's managing editor in 2005. What's not shrinking is the role finance departments play now in positioning their companies for success in that new economy. That's growing.
From the May 2009 issue of Treasury & Risk magazine