Utility’s Role in Electricity’s Future – CFO Strategy Roundtable – Part II

In the second part of the latest executive roundtable discussion, Guidehouse and Public Utilities Fortnightly look at how three utility CFOs are navigating transformation

Guidehouse and Public Utilities Fortnightly (PUF) recently sat down with the chief financial officers of Xcel Energy, Entergy, and Ameren to learn about the role strategy plays in their daily responsibilities. The second part of this discussion honed in on how today’s CFOs must look beyond financials to keep ahead of the many changes occurring in the utility industry.

During the conversation, PUF’s editor Steve Mitnick and Jan Vrins, managing director and leader of Guidehouse’s  Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure segment, heard about the CFO perspective on everything from long-term climate risk, to cybersecurity, and to resiliency, as well as other issues that keep them up at night. They also had a chance to hear frankly about what it’s like to be a CFO of one of the largest utilities in the country and what it takes to rise up to the role.

Insights from Xcel Energy’s Bob Frenzel, Entergy’s Drew Marsh, and Ameren’s Marty Lyons ultimately show that being a utility CFO is a balancing act, where continuing to serve customers is just as much of a priority as keeping pace with an accelerated energy landscape and increasing business complexity.

“Along with all of the changes occurring in the utility industry, the position of the CFO has significantly changed,” Vrins said. “CFOs now need to understand the impact and possibilities of new technology, changing policies and regulations, increasing climate and security risks, evolving customer needs, new products and services, changes in operations, and much more.”

See what the execs had to say in this transcribed version of the discussion, which appears in the January issue of PUF. The first part of the discussion, which appeared in the December issue of PUF, is available here.

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