Being a CFO takes more than being good with numbers. “The CFO role is getting broader and deeper all the time. You touch every single part of the organization, which means that you must be able to communicate in a powerful way,” says Suzanne Bates, author of “Speak Like a CEO” and an executive coach. “CEOs and boards of directors are expecting the CFO to be a fact-based voice of reason.”

A great tool to improve your communication is to develop a leadership brand. She offered some tips on how CFOs can start to build their brand at the CFO Rising conference in Orlando, Fla., on March 14:

What’s your story? Knowing yourself is the beginning of the brand conversation. Bates asks her clients to tell her their personal histories, such as the challenges they faced, the successes they’ve had and the lessons they learned along the way. “As we go through the process of uncovering your story, we find the values and principles that define you,” she says. (read more…)

CME Group CEO Craig DonahueCME Group CEO Craig Donohue was in Boca Raton, Fla., this week for the 36th Annual International Futures Industry Conference. SmartBrief Finance Editor Sean McMahon sat down with Mr. Donahue to talk about Dodd-Frank, merger mania and other news in the industry.

What aspects of Dodd-Frank concern you the most?

I think it is best to answer that by reference to over-arching concerns because Dodd-Frank is so large and there are so many different rulemakings. I think the two big concerns are making sure the CFTC really sticks to what the statute requires versus going well beyond what the statute requires. I think there is a number of instances where at least in the advance notices and proposed rulemaking, in effect they seem to be almost attempting to legislate versus just stick to what Congress intended. That would be my first concern.

Second, in everything that they are doing they really need to focus on the cost-benefit analysis, which is congressionally mandated as well. (read more…)