CFOs need to improve their customer focus while continuing to spearhead strategic planning and delivery if they’re going to succeed in today’s world, Brisbane Airport Corporation’s (BAC) new CFO claims.
Michael Bradburn takes over the financial chief’s role at the Brisbane airport operator officially in March from former CFO and 19-year BAC veteran Tim Rothwell, who remains with the company until August working on a number of projects. Bradburn’s resume includes senior positions with Mirvac Limited, Brambles and most recently the general manager of finance and commercial role at Patrick Terminals and Logistics.
He told CFO World that while international factors may have stabilised over the last 12 to 24 months, they remain high on his watch list in 2013.
“While it’s fair to say some of the economic drivers have improved on last year, my overall view is that the outlook is mixed, both from a sector and a geographic perspective,” Bradburn said. “I have more concern over trade volumes, and am starting to reconsider some of the longer held GDP and GSP correlations to growth.”
As BAC’s new CFO, Bradburn’s key focus this year is fulfilling the company’s operational and strategic initiatives; in other words, “delivering on what we said we would do”. His top three areas of focus are safety, customers and people.
“Growth will come from the combination of commercial matters within the business and industry, as well as the fundamental broader economic drivers,” Bradburn continued. “Consumer sentiment is a factor to watch, and I do expect some short-term volatility leading up to the Federal election.”
ICT will also remain an important part of both ordinary operations and strategy execution at BAC, and Bradburn said his short-term plans are consistent with its overall ICT strategy.
“ICT needs to be viewed from a business improvement as well as a risk management perspective,” he added.
Given Brisbane Airport registered more than 21 million passengers through its terminals in the 2011/2012 financial year, it’s no surprise to hear Bradburn is concerning himself with the needs of his customers. However, he advised other CFOs to also lift their customer game by adopting both an internal and external approach.
In addition, Bradburn cited a rising trend for CFOs to focus more heavily on strategic planning and strategy delivery over recent years, and predicted this will continue.
“Over the years the role of the CFO has changed to meet the internal needs, and to deal with external forces,” he said. “The finance profession need to be ahead of the game; and be less reactive.”