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Job #1113: Chief Financial Officer - Lakewood, NJ (4-18-19)

  • Job Title: Chief Financial Officer
  • Location: New Jersey
  • Salary: Commensurate with Experience

Company Background:

Component Hardware Group (CHG) has been innovating, designing and manufacturing specialty components and customized solutions for more than 37 years.  Established in 1981, they are a market leader with engineering, global manufacturing and distribution capabilities serving the foodservice, healthcare, hospitality, commercial and institutional markets.  CHG offers proprietary and industry-specific specialty components, as well as, a wide array of commercial plumbing products, kitchen exhaust system components, and refrigeration equipment hardware.  From small custom designs to large-scale projects, CHG is recognized for providing the industry’s best casting, forging, stamping, machining, injection molding, extruding, fabrication and custom sub-assembly solutions to their customers. Their three flagship brands are Keil® in refrigeration, Flame Gard® for grease filters and cooking hood accessories, and Encore® for plumbing fixtures. 

CHG is owned by Windjammer Capital (“Windjammer”), a well-respected middle-market private equity sponsor seeking to build value through go-to-market strategy enhancements, operational improvements, organic growth strategies and potential acquisitions aimed at accelerating growth and performance.  Windjammer has successfully raised four institutional funds with over $2 billion in capital under management and is currently investing out of its $726 million Fund IV.

Key Responsibilities:

The CFO will have responsibility for the development and execution of the financial strategy that supports the company’s business plan. Along with the entire management team, the CFO will be focused on creating and enhancing shareholder value. The CFO’s responsibilities will be focused on managing the company’s financial planning & analysis, budgeting / forecasting, accounting, financial reporting, tax management, treasury, M&A and credit functions. 

The CFO will take on a highly visible and strategic global role for the corporation as the financial leader for this portfolio company. The business had been undermanaged for the current business environment, and the current focus of the executive team and Windjammer is to build the right team, improve the business execution, and optimize the cost base.  The CFO will be a true business partner to the CEO and Windjammer and will play a central role in shaping the overall strategy and key objectives for the Company.  The CFO will also be heavily involved in rolling out key objectives annually via a strategy deployment process.  Although there is an opportunity for improvement in the company’s core finance function, this is far more than a “financial reporting and planning” role – the company is looking for a strategic professional with a hands-on, operational orientation who wants to influence the organization and contribute to driving results. The CFO will work with the CEO to ensure that the appropriate financial and operational metrics/data are tracked to help drive the strategic initiatives of the company.

Key roles and responsibilities of the CFO will include:

  • True Business Partner to the CEO: As noted above, this role goes well beyond “financial reporting and planning.”  The organization is looking for someone who knows how to work collaboratively with a CEO to drive results. 
  • Strategic Leader: Actively involved in all strategic issues facing the Company.  The CFO will play a critical role in the execution of the Company’s internal growth and operational initiatives.  S/He will be the leading member of the team which sets the financial strategy for the direction of the business, as well as implementing and executing tactical decisions relating to capital management.  Furthermore, the CFO will be a thought-leader; tasked with identifying and executing various internal projects and initiatives that will drive shareholder value.
  • Accounting and Reporting: The CFO will oversee the accounting team and ensure that all accounting policies and procedures are in place to ensure accurate and timely reporting of the company’s performance.  This includes management reporting and analysis, as well as external reporting that complies with all relevant laws and requirements.  The CFO will ensure that financial practices throughout the Company conform to Company policies, generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), and all applicable laws. 
  • Planning and Analysis: Works closely with the CEO and other members of senior management on strategic and operating plans; monitors performance versus plans and budgets and provides useful and objective analysis to other executives.  The CFO will oversee the capital allocation process and will be instrumental in developing best practices for integrating its financial planning and optimizing its allocation of capital.
  • Financing Strategy: Maintains an ongoing review and analysis of the Company’s optimal capital structure.  Actively develops, recommends and implements changes that support all growth and performance objectives. 
  • M&A / New Projects: A key member of the management team to execute a growth strategy and also assist in the valuation, due diligence, negotiation and integration process for all future mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures and new projects, if pursued by the company and the sponsor.
  • Tax: Works with the tax advisors to ensure that the business receives the most favorable tax positions in connection with its financing and capital management.

Year One Critical Success Factors:

The Company has deemed the following as mission critical to be completed in year one to ensure success:

  • Actively manage the financial health of CHG with mission critical improvements in Sales, EBITDA, Cash Balance, and Credit Ratios.
  • Develop a high-performance finance/accounting team biased toward business partnership and results:
    • Drive process improvements within this function across internal controls, management reporting, and overall consolidation process.
    • Deliver timely, relevant financial analysis to increase speed and accuracy in decision-making.
    • Exert influence on global financial team and pull them into the global cadence and process – ensuring consistent global procedures.
  • Work alongside the CEO to educate the organization and instill a culture of accountability, rigor, customer-centricity, and continuous improvement:
    • Work closely with senior management to improve business insight through financial analysis, KPI reporting, and other analytical tools.
    • Develop credibility to influence the company by demonstrating an understanding of the business, insight into the operations and a command of the numbers / key drivers.
  • Partner in the execution of the 2019 Strategic Plan:
    • Work with the CEO and business leaders to engineer profitable revenue growth and help drive market share gain.
    • Reduce SG&A and Overhead costs by optimizing spending, consolidating overhead, and achieving ERP efficiencies.
    • Optimize the Supply Chain and business Operations to drive real cost savings on spending and also on reducing distribution errors and quality issues.
    • Get working capital / cash under absolute “lock down”.
  • Become a strategic partner to the CEO. Lead the financial reporting cadence which includes both the internal operating team as well as outside parties:
    • Develop a reporting cadence with a focus on business insight.
    • Lead Board material preparation and partner with CEO to drive relevant monthly and quarterly reviews.
    • Act as the key interface with lenders / credit agencies.
  • Drive culture change and champion transformation. Lead the shift from a transactional to strategic mindset across the organization, including the plant, to promote proactive analysis, strategic/critical thinking, and data-driven decisions.

Education:

An undergraduate degree in Accounting, Finance, or Business is required; an MBA and/or CPA would be an attractive addition to the candidate’s credentials.

Professional Experience/Qualifications:

The successful candidate will be a highly seasoned, global financial professional with solid leadership experience, preferably having worked with industrial/manufacturing companies. Given the dynamic nature of the business, this executive must possess an intelligent, personable, dynamic record of innovation, with good strategic analytical skills but also solid communication skills, executive presence, and the ability to influence and work effectively with senior management and private equity partners as well as with suppliers and customers.  Also, s/he will possess a strong, positive “roll-up-your-sleeves and do whatever it takes” attitude.

The successful candidate’s qualifications should include:

  • A minimum of 15 years in progressively more responsible finance functions, most recently as a #2 or sitting Chief Financial Officer from a global industrial/manufacturing company or business unit – ideally in a distressed or significantly leveraged private equity company.
  • A successful track record for transformation and turnaround of financially distressed companies.
  • A blend of financial and operational leadership experience combined with superior project analysis skills; not a “Super Controller” type who solely produces reports.
  • A high aptitude executive with strong leadership and business partnering skills.
  • An operationally-focused CFO who will be a strategic business partner to the CEO, leadership team, and Windjammer. A key part of this is using FP&A/Analytics to drive commercial & business decisions.
  • A self-starter who is comfortable in an entrepreneurial and transitioning environment. Has had exposure engaging with a Company that is undergoing rapid improvements across process, policy, and operations.
  • Experience managing the capital structure, making financing decisions and managing relationship with lenders.
  • Experience managing inventory and inventory controls, managing operating expenses and identifying areas of potential operating expense savings, and implementing rigor around the financial reporting/budgeting/analysis function.
  • Strong personal leadership qualities with a track record of recruiting, motivating, and developing a capable financial team. Outstanding interpersonal skills and ability to demonstrate past examples of accomplishments.
  • Experienced in a “LEAN” operating environment and one focused on a culture of continuous improvement and maximizing operating efficiency.
  • Well-developed analytical, conceptual and strategic thinking skills that demonstrate this person to be a partner with the CEO.
  • Highest ethics and moral standards and transparency; able to demonstrate past direct involvement in the execution of that within organizations.

Attributes of a successful candidate:

  • A driven individual with confidence and a low ego; a focus on results and what the team can achieve.
  • Has worked in smaller / less developed finance situations where success depended on creating the path forward versus following the process.
  • Evidence of a mindset and work ethic to do everything possible to succeed and drive results. Holds people accountable while also focused on the Company’s and the team’s success rather than their own.
  • Persistent in their focus on results and execution. A driver and a doer of work. Able to get ones hands dirty.
  • Creates followership in the organization – wins the hearts and minds of colleagues and his/her team.
  • Resilient, won’t get discouraged by what needs to be done and challenges along the way over next one - three years.

Competencies / Behaviors:

The CEO, Board of Directors, and Windjammer expect the CFO to embrace specific competencies and behaviors which are viewed critical to the desired culture and the future success of the business.  These competencies and behaviors can and must be continuously improved and are thus an important element of every performance development and evaluation conversation.  While all are important, given the current state of the business, the successful candidate will be able to demonstrate, with specific examples, ways in which they have both successfully demonstrated, and continue to develop, three especially critical areas: Strategic Vision; Drives Team and Organizational Excellence; and Champions Change.

  • Strategic Vision – Able to craft a vision, communicate it clearly, and translate into business objectives with accountability; ability to assimilate various information or opinions into a well-considered decision; understands implications of a decision on broader systems, markets, processes and functions; strategy informs critical priorities.
  • Drives Team and Organizational Excellence – Encourages excellence in peers, team and managers and self; builds high performing teams and an inclusive culture; holds self and others accountable; focuses time and energy on staff and organizational development; leverages others’ strengths; committed to coaching, motivating and inspiring teams; hires and develops top talent; builds succession depth; drives and supports delegation to the most appropriate level in the organization; able to build relationships throughout the organization; supports and improves/enhances employee engagement/satisfaction yet able to make unpopular but critical people/organizational decisions when required.
  • Champions Change – Role models positive change behaviors and actions to gain commitment to, influences and drives change; encourages innovation and leverages various ideas and thinking styles; shapes and supports strategic, organization, process, and culture change in the long-term interest of the business; acts as a source of positive attitude and influence; adapts to change; makes difficult decisions; achieves change results with a healthy sense of urgency.
  • Customer Focus – Demonstrates empathy for internal and external customers; strives to provide great and relevant customer experiences efficiently and effectively; goes above and beyond to solve problems; develops rich customer insights and brings those perspectives to business decisions.
  • Money-Making DNA – Converts understanding of customer needs to business growth opportunities; aggressively pursues growth opportunities through world class financial and business acumen; demonstrates courage to take action with incomplete information or where outcomes are uncertain; takes intelligent, measured risks to achieve superior returns.
  • Respect/Integrity – Demonstrates openness, honesty and transparency in the way s/he works, as well as, with others; builds positive relationships and demonstrates interpersonal sensitivity; appreciates diversity of people and various thinking styles; promotes a culture of mutual respect.
  • Managerial Courage – Highly transparent; doesn’t hold back anything that needs to be said; provides current, direct, complete, and actionable positive and corrective feedback to others; lets people know where they stand; is not afraid to take negative action when necessary.
  • Self-Aware/Learner – Possesses high emotional intelligence (EI); demonstrates self-awareness and awareness of others’ needs, strengths and motivators; recognizes own behaviors and how they affect others; understands own strengths and weaknesses and is open to feedback; takes action to continuously Improve.
  • Functional/Industry/Technical Excellence – highly competent in area of expertise; stays current.
  • Leadership Impact – Thinks like a leader regardless of role; accountable and takes ownership for results; consistently meets commitments; Able to: 1) Conceptualize an issue, 2) Develop action plans, 3) Communicate, and 4) Execute; Focused on critical few priorities; Demonstrates passion for work and people; Role model of positive behaviors and Company Values.
  • Problem Solving – Continuous improvement mindset; knows how to work productively within a structured business system; confronts difficult problems; gets “below the surface” to identify and analyze root causes; resourceful and collaborative in seeking facts and input; decisive; demonstrated bias for action.

Compensation:

Compensation will be competitive and commensurate with experience.  It will include a base salary and an annual performance bonus, an opportunity for equity ownership, and other benefits and perquisites.

Interested candidates should send resumes for consideration to Ann Behringer at: abehringer@componenthardware.com.  Please mention that you are a member of EisnerAmper's Friends of the Firm program.  Make sure to include Job #1113 in the subject line and to copy Nkrumah Pierre and Isabella Brilliant at friendsoffirm@eisneramper.com on your email.