BSG From the Boardroom

A curated selection of executive opportunities, industry highlights, and unique insights in executive search.


    • Chief Financial Officer
    • Reporting to: Chief Executive Officer
    • Location: Commutable to downtown Chicago, IL

    BSG has commenced an executive search for Chief Financial Officer for our client, a business event management firm.  The CFO will provide strategic financial input and leadership on decision-making issues affecting the organization by the development of sophisticated financial planning, budgeting and forecasting models for operating and capital purposes, analyzing sales performance, product/service profitability and contribution analyses and special project analyses as needed.


    Opportunity Overview

    Chief Financial Officer


    Our client is a business event management firm that has been in business for over 40 years. Offering unique and transformative experiences for their customers’ events is how our client has driven a positive change to the industry. In order to deliver a consistent customer experience, our client has worked hard to develop a comprehensive technology platform and sets of standards.

    Through their ownership of an event and communications agency, our client is able to offer a menagerie of strategic, innovative, production solutions around content that pairs with their event production and logistics solutions. Our client’s experienced teams are able to deliver a differentiated expertise in any destination they service, across North American and the entire world. In addition, our client has formed a strategic partnership with a destination management company which serves international program needs for their customers across the Asia Pacific region.


    As a key member of the management team, the CFO will provide strategic financial input and leadership on decision-making issues affecting the organization by the development of sophisticated financial planning, budgeting and forecasting models for operating and capital purposes, analyzing sales performance, product/service profitability and contribution analyses and special project analyses as needed. Key to the role is an ability to bring a strategic level of leadership to the finance function, serving as financial strategist while managing the day-to-day requirements of the finance department. Success in this role will lean on 3 pillars of skills and experience:

    • Deliver fully scalable and stable finance and accounting function: through technology and team, through full integration of CPQ to NetSuite for customer invoicing and other functionality
    • Create efficiency of the accounting and finance function: as defined through staff and technology resources employed as a % of business volume
    • Deliver full detailed forecast and further refinement of KPIs: to include 12 month forward looking forecasts and related KPI's on an office, function and enterprise basis

    The CFO will be part of the senior operating team with principal responsibilities including:

    • Oversee and direct finance, treasury, budgeting and forecasting, audit, tax, accounting, forecasting, and metric management activities for the organization.
    • Provide strategic and tactical thinking, as well as broad business insight. Take a leadership role in developing the financial strategy to support the growth of the business, while continuing to drive operating efficiencies.
    • Interact with the company’s Board of Directors, including audit committee and outside independent auditor firm, including producing monthly financial statements for Board, CEO, lenders and other management.
    • Support and partner with senior management team with improved ongoing analytical and financial management data and insight, developing and utilizing forward-looking, predictive models and activity-based financial analyses to provide insight into the organization’s operations and business plans.
    • Ensure that the information technology platform for financial and operational reporting meets the needs of the organization. The CFO will be the liaison between the finance and IT organization, providing guidance on the requirements, alignment of the priorities and preparation of the longer-term strategy for the technology landscape in the finance organization.
    • Develop and maintain a strong relationship with lending institutions, investment bankers, financial analysts, shareholders and the financial community in general.
    • Ensure compliance with lenders various reporting requirements and adherence to loan covenants.
    • Support the CEO on conducting and completing M&A analysis on future target companies.
    • Oversee all regulatory and tax reporting.
    • Direct the preparation of annual operating and capital budgets and cash flow projections.
      Drive any additional capital raising efforts, if needed.
    • Establish best practices, identify and implement operational and system enhancements, and recommend new initiatives.
    • Maintain and improve “dashboard” of key metrics and distributing weekly and monthly reports.
    • Oversee cash, funds, investment and asset management.
    • Oversee and coordinate tax reporting and annual audit.
    • Analyze, consolidate and direct all cost accounting procedures together with other statistical and routine reports.
    • Direct and analyze studies of general economic, business, and financial conditions and their impact on the organization's policies and operations.
    • Ensure financial compliance with company procedures, programs and government regulations.
    • Evaluate and recommend business partnership opportunities.


    A summary of key competencies required to be successful include the following:


    • Financial
      • Forecasting
        • Company
        • Customer
      • Cash management (AR/AP, treasury)
      • Board reporting
      • FP&A modeling
      • Audit and regulatory management (CPA and audit committee)
      • Operating and capital budget creation/management
      • Lender and bank covenant management
      • Accounting and monthly closes
      • Successful M&A and/or public exit experience
      • Tax, including revenue recognition and stock options accounting, etc.
      • Product pricing, modeling, and structure creation
      • Loyalty/incentive program liability management
      • Sales incentive compensation and commission structuring
      • Treasury and foreign exchange
      • Financial dashboard creation and management of KPIs
      • Professional and educational certifications: CPA
      • Creation of customer loyalty program
    • LEGAL
      • Contracts: creation, review and management
        • Suppliers and member customers
    • IT
      • SalesForce and Netsuite implementation, integration and management
      • Decision Support Systems and Management Support Systems driven intelligence gathering for operations performance improvement
      • Create processes/SOPs for Phase 2 of Netsuite implementation focused on people and process
    • Facilities Management
    • Security


    • Hospitality
    • Events Management
    • Travel Services
    • Franchise
    • Member-based for-profit networks
    • Sales organizations
    • Building processes and best practices without suffocating speed, innovation, and customer satisfaction
    • Working with Board of Directors comprised of PE investors
    • Sales growth from $150M—> $500M+
    • Build leader vs. optimizer leaders


    • Track record of hiring/upgrading to A players for A team
    • Driving creation and buy-in to KPIs, goals, metrics within own team and cross-functionally where appropriate/necessary
    • Communication of goals and performance to large global sales team


    • Destination management companies
    • Meeting planners
    • Incentive companies
    • Business travel companies
    • Luxury and upscale hotels, cruise lines and casinos
    • Leisure planning companies including travel agents, wholesalers


    Finally, this individual should have as many as possible of the traits required to succeed in this leadership position:

    • High levels of intelligence, analytical strength and conceptual ability.
    • Strong presentation and team management skills.
    • The ability, and willingness, to set and communicate demanding standards for professional staff and to hold people accountable for their performance; at the same time, sensitivity to, and insight into individuals’ capabilities and development needs, and the combination of firmness and likability that all good leaders possess.
    • Decisiveness when necessary, coupled with a willingness to seek input and build consensus as much as possible.
    • Unquestioned honesty and integrity; also, loyalty to colleagues and to the organization, and the ability to inspire loyalty. This person should have the ability to identify and focus on the
    • Company’s best interests, rather than the agenda of any individual or group within the firm.
    • A very high level of energy and commitment, combined with enthusiasm and a positive attitude.
    • Excellent writing and speaking skills; this individual must be able to communicate complex ideas and information clearly and concisely.
    • Outstanding planning and organization skills.
    • Good strategic instincts and long-term vision; the ability to address both big-picture issues and detailed, day-to-day management concerns.
    • In general, the business and personal skills, and the absolute commitment required to make a major contribution to The Company during the coming years.
    • Attention to detail required to deliver consistently accurate data, information and reporting on time and on budget.
    • A sense of ownership, not just of his or her own work, or that of their department, but a sense of ownership for the company as a whole.
    • Work ethic required to do what it takes to get the job done, and invest the time required to deliver on key responsibilities in a timely fashion.


    This CFO role will report directly to the CEO and will manage a team of approximately 15 people. The position will be based out of the home office in Chicago.


    An affiliate of a New York-based private equity firm has acquired a majority interest in our client.


    Compensation is competitive with the position’s requirements. In a performance-based environment, this will include base salary, bonus structure based on corporate qualitative and quantitative strategic KPIs, and a stakeholder position in the company.

    To Submit Resume:

    Submit Resume CFO Business Events Client

    -by Clark Waterfall on Jun 20, 2019 11:49:38 AM


    7 High-Risk Search Strategies to Avoid Guide Download

    Subscribe to BSG

    Recent Posts


    Ready to work with BSG?

    We help the best in the business find the best for their business.