The C-suite finance spot is a sweet place to be, according to Treasury & Risk’s annual survey of 50 Fortune 500 CFOs conducted by research firm Equilar. In 2010, CFOs scored a respectable median salary raise of nearly 5% but thanks to a booming stock market and moderate expectations, they saw the value of their equity compensation increase about 37%, writes contributing editor Anne Field.
Small wonder CFOs are feeling more optimistic: 48% say the economy will improve over the next six months, up from 30% six months ago, according to Grant Thornton’s latest national CFO survey. And 39% say they intend to increase head count, up from 28%. But inflation could mar this rosy picture: 50% say their companies plan to raise prices over the next six months. That dovetails with a survey of middle-market CFOs by Bank of America Merrill Lynch that reveals their biggest worry is no longer healthcare costs but energy prices, with 68% rating oil prices as the potential pain point for the U.S. economy.
Anxiety about healthcare reform still afflicts respondents in T&R’s annual retirement survey that overall shows a positive outlook returning to the retirement and 401(k) orbit as well. Senior contributing editor Russ Banham confirms that in his story on the benefits of 401(k) tiered investment strategies.
Back to money: New contributing editor Rebecca Brace, based in London, sorts out how regulators in Europe are drawing tighter parameters around what can be called a “money market fund.” Completing the circle, Caterpillar’s CFO Ed Rapp tells executive editor Susan Kelly how the equipment manufacturer is moving to expand its long-standing global capacity after a bumpy ride through the recession. It’s good to be the finance chief.