Insurance CFOs seem to be get-ting a bad rap. According to a recent study, insurance finance executives are so busy dealing with compliance obligations and administrative duties, they are finding it difficult to support their CEOs' growth initiatives.Developed in cooperation with The Economist Intelligence Unit, a London-based provider of industry analysis information, IBM's 2005 Global CFO Study reflects the responses of some 900 senior finance executives across the communications, distribution, financial, industrial and public sectors in 74 countries. Of those 900, 44 respondents came directly from the insurance industry.

Across the entire study, nearly 50% of executives report finance staff are tied up in transactional activities such as processing accounts and tax transactions, with only a quarter of staff focused on decision support, performance and growth-focused activities. Moreover, 64% of insurance finance organizations do not have robust processes and activities in place to support growth. Only 14% of respondents rated themselves highly effective in supporting the CEO's efforts to grow the company.

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