This article draws out the strategic nature of the CFO role. In the financial services sector, and life insurance in particular, which is a very complex to explain financially, the ability of the CFO to relate the strategy of the business to analysts and market stakeholders through the numbers is critical to competitive success and indeed the share price! The CFO’s influence in determining the business’ strategic direction is increasingly vital. CEO’s and Boards look to their CFOs not just to protect the financial assets of the business, but to play their full part in shaping direction. It’s not really surprising that a natural next step for the CFO is often into the CEO role.