CFO for Rent®

“[Gene’s work] created liquidity,
infinitely more value, and …
resulted in the sale of
the company for a much higher price.”

Ari Nadelman, President,
Environmental Transloading Systems

CFO for Rent®

“I look for people who have a partner mindset, ‘we’re in
this together’. Not all fit the criteria, Gene does. He is
that special CFO for me. Not only does he bring his
financial expertise, but his business acumen as well.”

Gary Baker, President & Creative Strategist,
Baker Brand Communications

CFO for Rent®

“…you’re doing a great job.”

Bill Sutman, CFO, Universal Pictures

Hello and welcome to my CFO for Rent® site. Congratulations on taking the first step towards gaining control of your company’s finances and, equally important, your understanding of them and how they impact your business strategy.The last decade or so has shown us pretty clearly that you as a CEO can no longer afford to be a “non-financial executive.”  Expectations from the board, liability to shareholders, and the pressures to produce a solid bottom line amidst years of economic upheaval have increased over time.

  • In 2001 it was Enron’s CEO saying he didn’t understand the financial information he was getting.
  • In 2008 it was the investment bankers saying they didn’t understand the risk implications of the products they were selling.
  • Today CEOs are being asked directly if they fully understand the financial implications of their decisions, and are being held liable if they do not.

Understanding finance is essential both to avoiding financial disasters and to growing a profitable business, and that’s where I bring the most value to my clients. My strategic work with CEOs brings them not just a deeper understanding of the financial realities that drive their business’s success or failure, but more importantly advises them of the meaning and implications of those realities, so we can build strategies to optimize and sustain success, and avoid downturns and failures. Who should think about hiring an advisory CFO?Any CEO or business owner who believes that they need help in making better decisions about their company’s finances, or in formulating and implementing their company’s financial strategies.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you experiencing rapid growth that seems out of control?
  • Is your company positioning itself for a merger, acquisition or IPO?
  • Is your company in financial rough waters, and struggling to stay profitable?
  • Do you want to personally exit your company, but don’t know what to do to get ready?
  • Are you concerned about what you don’t know about your firm’s financial health?
  • Do you want more or different insight and strategy than you are getting from your in-house resources?

Why do I do this? Because I enjoy sharing my extensive expertise in business finance and strategy with my clients.  I care about their finding the freedom from worry or confusion that comes with having a professional advisor guiding their financial strategy. And besides, the interchange of ideas that can come from truly understanding operational finance is a source of great personal satisfaction for me. I use non-technical language to clear the confusion and help clients understand the wealth of information contained in their financial reports, and the impact it can have on their strategy. Because in the end, it’s about people reaching their goals, not numbers.

As your CFO for Rent® I can provide a breadth of services that will allow you to develop effective business strategies that produce the optimum financial outcomes. And then let you concentrate on other aspects of your business – what you do best. These effective business strategies include implementation at every stage, because so many consultants make recommendations, but we all know that recommendations don’t produce results, and reports don’t produce results. Action produces results, and that’s our competitive advantage. As your advisory CFO, I will guide your company’s management team through

  • financial strategy development and implementation,
  • turnaround and workout management,
  • business plan development and implementation, or
  • strategic plan facilitation and implementation.
  • If you are concerned about the effectiveness of your finance department, I offer management effectiveness audits and finance department restructuring, including implementation.

As your consulting CFO, I will provide a wide range of essential financial services, including:

  • Guiding the development or reassessment of the company’s financial strategy
  • Helping you to define, implement and manage profit improvement programs
  • Upgrading your financial reporting system, including re-designing reports for clarity
  • Evaluating your cost and pricing structure to strengthen gross margins
  • Coaching you and your management team in a better understanding of operational finance
  • Guiding or even leading negotiations with investors and bankers
  • Implementing a planning system for your company

As your CFO for Rent® I serve as a part-time, hands-on, strategic financial executive for a few weeks, a few months, or a few years, depending on mutually agreed objectives.  I help CEOs and business owners achieve greater financial peace of mind through strategic thinking, process improvement and effective implementation.There is a lot more to understanding a company’s financial situation that reading the monthly P&L statement, or even the balance sheet, both of which are formatted mostly for outsiders, not to help CEOs run the business. If you can’t read the numbers, they’re largely useless in helping you make good decisions. Every company must have financial expertise on its top management team. Maybe not 40 hours a week of it, maybe not even 40 hours a month. But the expertise must be there when it’s needed, and that’s my role. We will establish a monthly schedule that includes strategy meetings with the CEO, coaching meetings with the controller or in-house CFO, negotiating sessions with bankers or meetings to encourage the investors, if that’s what is needed. The company gets as much senior financial guidance as it needs – no more, and absolutely no less.

I come to the table with a diverse and unique perspective of the inner workings of business.  Over the years, I have worked in shipping/receiving, warehousing and inventory control, production, sales, delivery, billing and collection, accounting, and management.  I have over 26 years of experience as a CFO and a proven track record of success.  I have the ability to translate complex or esoteric financial concepts into plain language, and then to convert that information into strategy to meet the company’s goals. My clients have realized substantial added profits from working with me.  Some examples:

  • The owners of a privately-owned business engaged in merger negotiations got an additional $5,000,000 in net proceeds as a direct result of our work while serving as their interim CFO.
  • Bad debt write-offs were reduced by over $60,000 a month, directly increasing profits and cash flow, as a result of our work in revamping collection activities and employee performance goals.
  • After years of recurring losses, we changed this company’s strategy for dealing with its largest customer, installed system improvements and guided contract negotiations. Profits went from zero to a consistent 15 to 20% Pretax Return on Sales, and profits were stable right through two recessions.
  • We obtained nearly $1 million in new financing for an $8 million company that had been rejected by its own bank, based on our financial plans and our demonstrated success in turning around their profit decline.

Please feel free to contact me at gene@cfoforrent.com for an exploratory conversation with no obligation.  I will be glad to hear from you.