Alex Highstein, Finance Expert in Denver, CO, United States
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Alex Highstein

Verified Expert  in Finance

Management Consulting Expert

Location
Denver, CO, United States
Toptal Member Since
June 20, 2022

Alex is a corporate development professional who has helped guide strategy and raise over $230 million for startups across various industries. He has deep expertise in financial and operational modeling, valuation, fundraising, and creating investor materials. Alex's ability to distill complex ideas into actionable advice has been key to success. Joining Toptal gives Alex control over his time while continuing to help companies strategize, innovate, and grow.

Career Highlights

Education Highlights

Bachelor of Science Degree
Binghamton University

Case Studies

Work Experience

Corporate Development Manager

2020 - 2022
Planterra
  • Assisted with creating a corporate strategy for Planterra by mapping company capabilities and through various SWOT, market, and competitive analyses.
  • Led the creation and execution of a joint development agreement with a strategic partner to collaborate on mutually beneficial research and development (R&D).
  • Headed a process to select an ingredient co-development partner to enhance product flavor, texture, and cooking experience.
  • Guided the decision of how to produce a plant-based meat product by assessing various production and ingredient technologies. Worked with R&D to assess novel ingredients and cross-functionally to determine the best path.
  • Identified long-term saving opportunities that could be attacked inorganically or through a scale by creating a product cost curve.
Focus areas: Early-stage Venture Capital, Financial Modeling, Foodtech, Pitch Decks, Forecasting, Revenue & Expense Projections, Three-statement Modeling, Due Diligence Consultant, Early-stage Funding, Business Models, Early-stage Startups, Spreadsheets, Excel Expert, Market Research, Valuation Modeling, P&L Forecasting, Consumer Products, Technology, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Strategy, Cash Flow Modeling, Investment Return Scenario Analysis, IRR, Investments, ROI, Gross Profit Margin Growth, United States, Banking & Finance, COGS Analysis, Gross Margins, DCF Modeling, Scenario Analysis, Cap Tables, eCommerce, Retail & Wholesale, Cash Flow, Food & Beverage, B2C, B2B, Fundraising Strategy, Direct to Consumer (D2C), Data Visualization, Dashboards, Project Evaluation, Visual Storytelling, Investment Presentations, Storytelling, Data Analysis, Google Sheets, Accounting, Shopify, Corporate Finance, Business Strategy, CAPEX, Accounts Receivable, Reporting, Operating Expenses (OPEX), Business Analysis, Variance Reporting, Financial Reporting Dashboards, Internal Financial Reporting, Fundraising Consultant, Financial Analysis, Consolidated Reporting, Financial Reporting, Climate Change, Investment Banking, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Manufacturing, Financial Forecasting, CPG, Venture Capital, Investor Presentations, Information Memoranda, Growth Strategy, Startup Consulting, Analysis, Discounted Cash Flow (DCF), Expense Reports, Data Reporting, FMCG, Finance Reports, Private Equity, Loans, Operating Models, Project Management, M&A (Buy-side), Investment Analysis

Corporate Development Consultant

2018 - 2020
Self-employed
  • Acted as a CFO for a hardware startup. Led fundraising by developing financial models and pitch decks. Scouted and engaged investors. Raised over €1.5 million. Represented the company at startup competitions and fairs.
  • Co-founded a ghost kitchen startup in Italy, leveraging restaurant technology to provide better food and a superior customer experience.
  • Created new financial models and audited existing work for a food technology startup, resulting in a successful $100 million financing round.
  • Optimized inventory planning for an FMCG subscription company by analyzing subscriber behavior, resulting in improved use of company cash.
  • Assisted with the seed round fundraising of a unique meal kit startup by developing financial models, raising materials, guiding an overall strategy, and engaging with investors.
Focus areas: Early-stage Venture Capital, Financial Modeling, Fundraising, Foodtech, Food Delivery Services, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Pitch Decks, Forecasting, Revenue & Expense Projections, Three-statement Modeling, Due Diligence Consultant, Early-stage Funding, Business Models, Early-stage Startups, Mobile User Acquisition, Spreadsheets, Venture Capital, Investor Relations, Excel Expert, Market Research, Valuation Modeling, P&L Forecasting, Consumer Products, Pitch Deck Consultant, Technology, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Strategy, CFO, Europe, Incubator Management, Seed Fundraising, Business Plan Consulting, Cash Flow Modeling, Investment Return Scenario Analysis, IRR, Investments, ROI, Restaurants & Dining, Gross Profit Margin Growth, Restaurant Operations, Healthcare, United States, Financing, Banking & Finance, COGS Analysis, Gross Margins, DCF Modeling, Scenario Analysis, Cap Tables, Exit Strategy, Budgeting, eCommerce, Retail & Wholesale, Funding Strategy, Venture Funding, Cash Flow, Food & Beverage, B2C, B2B, Fundraising Strategy, Direct to Consumer (D2C), Excel Macros, Data Visualization, Dashboards, Equity Investment, Investment Consulting, Project Evaluation, Subscriptions, Visual Storytelling, Investment Presentations, Storytelling, Software as a Service (SaaS), Data Analysis, Microsoft Power BI, Startup Funding, Startup Growth Strategy Development, Google Sheets, Accounting, Shopify, Corporate Finance, Business Strategy, CAPEX, Accounts Receivable, Reporting, Operating Expenses (OPEX), Business Analysis, SAP, BI Reporting, Profitability Optimization, Variance Reporting, Financial Reporting Dashboards, Internal Financial Reporting, Fundraising Consultant, Financial Analysis, Consolidated Reporting, Financial Reporting, Angel/Seed Funding, Climate Change, Investment Banking, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), SaaS, Manufacturing, Subscription Pricing, Financial Forecasting, Interim CFO, CPG, Fractional CFO, Investor Presentations, Information Memoranda, Growth Strategy, Business Consulting, Startup Consulting, Analysis, Series B, Discounted Cash Flow (DCF), Expense Reports, Data Reporting, FMCG, Finance Reports, Private Equity, Loans, Operating Models, Business Transformation, Project Management, M&A (Buy-side), Investment Analysis

Corporate Development Manager

2015 - 2018
AeroFarms
  • Leveraged farm capabilities and led the analysis and business planning for collaborations with third parties, resulting in unique fundraising and business development opportunities.
  • Assessed a variety of new farming technologies for future incorporation into the company business model, illustrating pathways for future growth and improved profitability.
  • Built operational and financial models for existing and prospective farms, driving investment and business decisions.
  • Developed financial and valuation models, pitched investors, and supported due diligence for a Series D of $40 million.
Focus areas: Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Early-stage Venture Capital, Strategy, Fundraising, Pitch Decks, Forecasting, Revenue & Expense Projections, Real Estate, Three-statement Modeling, Early-stage Funding, Business Models, Early-stage Startups, Spreadsheets, Venture Capital, Investor Relations, Excel Expert, Market Research, Valuation Modeling, P&L Forecasting, Consumer Products, Financial Modeling, Pitch Deck Consultant, Technology, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Seed Fundraising, Cash Flow Modeling, Investment Return Scenario Analysis, IRR, Investments, ROI, Gross Profit Margin Growth, United States, Financing, Banking & Finance, COGS Analysis, Gross Margins, DCF Modeling, Scenario Analysis, Cap Tables, Budgeting, eCommerce, Retail & Wholesale, Funding Strategy, Venture Funding, Cash Flow, Food & Beverage, B2C, B2B, Fundraising Strategy, Direct to Consumer (D2C), Excel Macros, Macros, Data Visualization, Dashboards, Visual Basic, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), Equity Investment, Investment Consulting, Project Evaluation, Visual Storytelling, Investment Presentations, Storytelling, Data Analysis, Startup Funding, Startup Growth Strategy Development, Google Sheets, Accounting, Corporate Finance, Business Strategy, CAPEX, Accounts Receivable, Reporting, Operating Expenses (OPEX), Business Analysis, Variance Reporting, Financial Reporting Dashboards, Internal Financial Reporting, Fundraising Consultant, Financial Analysis, Consolidated Reporting, Financial Reporting, Angel/Seed Funding, Climate Change, Investment Banking, Manufacturing, Financial Forecasting, CPG, Investor Presentations, Startup Consulting, Analysis, Series B, Discounted Cash Flow (DCF), Expense Reports, Data Reporting, FMCG, Finance Reports, Loans, Operating Models, Project Management, Investment Analysis

VP of Counterparty Credit Risk

2013 - 2014
Bank of Tokyo | MUFG
  • Built a counterparty credit risk framework for the Americas as part of a two-person team, reporting to the CRO.
  • Established a risk management platform by working cross-functionally to understand various business units and their exposures.
  • Stayed current with counterparty credit risk regulation.
Focus areas: Risk, Finance, Investments, Scenario Analysis, Dashboards, Corporate Finance, Reporting, Financial Reporting Dashboards, Internal Financial Reporting, Financial Analysis, Consolidated Reporting, Financial Reporting, Investor Presentations, Analysis, Data Reporting, Finance Reports

Market Risk Analyst

2009 - 2013
Natixis
  • Acted as the market risk controller for the emerging market rates trading desk and the Latam FX desk.
  • Established risk limits for various exposures and total VAR. Worked with trading desks to navigate those limits.
  • Developed and automated quantitative models and reports to streamline the assessment and reporting process.
Focus areas: Market Risk, Finance, Trading, Forex Trading, Scenario Analysis, Excel Macros, Macros, Dashboards, Visual Basic, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), Corporate Finance, Reporting, Financial Reporting Dashboards, Internal Financial Reporting, Financial Analysis, Consolidated Reporting, Financial Reporting, Investor Presentations, Analysis, Data Reporting, Finance Reports, Loans

Quantitative Analyst

2007 - 2009
McKinsey & Company
  • Collaborated as a part of a small risk management team for the portfolio of McKinsey & Company pension plan and partner assets.
  • Gained exposure to many different asset classes and investment strategies through engagement with hedge fund portfolio managers.
  • Developed sophisticated benchmarks to track the performance of various investment funds and direct investments.
Focus areas: Finance, Risk, Market Risk, Financial Modeling, Macros, Dashboards, Visual Basic, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), Corporate Finance, Reporting, Variance Reporting, Financial Reporting Dashboards, Internal Financial Reporting, Financial Analysis, Financial Forecasting, Investor Presentations, Analysis, Data Reporting, Bloomberg, Finance Reports, Investment Analysis
2003 - 2007

Bachelor of Science Degree in Quantitative Economics

Binghamton University - Vestal, NY, United States

Finance

Financial Modeling, Valuation, Fundraising, Forecasting, Revenue & Expense Projections, Three-statement Modeling, Cash Flow, CFO, Seed Fundraising, Startup Funding, Cash Flow Modeling, Projected Cash Flow, Five-year Projections, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Valuation Modeling, P&L Forecasting, Investment Return Scenario Analysis, ROI, Budgeting, Funding Strategy, Venture Funding, Project Evaluation, Data Analysis, Accounting, Corporate Finance, Operating Expenses (OPEX), Profitability Optimization, Internal Financial Reporting, Financial Reporting, Angel/Seed Funding, Series B, Discounted Cash Flow (DCF), RiskMetrics, Market Research, Personal Finance, Private Equity, M&A (Buy-side), Risk, Forex Trading, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Cash Management

Output Software

Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Sheets

Data & Analysis Software

Visual Basic, Bloomberg

Industry Expertise

Early-stage Startups, Consumer Products, Technology, Banking & Finance, Retail & Wholesale, Food & Beverage, Mobile User Acquisition, Restaurants & Dining, Pets, Sports, Real Estate, Venture Capital, Healthcare, Oil & Gas

Geographic Expertise

United States, Europe

Other

Operational Modeling, Excel VBA, Foodtech, CPG, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Startup Consulting, Startups, Pitch Decks, Growth Strategy, eCommerce, Financial Statements, Revenue Projections, Early-stage Funding, Spreadsheets, Excel Expert, Pitch Deck Consultant, Business Plan Consulting, IRR, Investments, Gross Profit Margin Growth, Financing, COGS Analysis, Gross Margins, DCF Modeling, Scenario Analysis, Cap Tables, B2C, B2B, Fundraising Strategy, Direct to Consumer (D2C), Excel Macros, Macros, Data Visualization, Dashboards, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), Equity Investment, Investment Consulting, Visual Storytelling, Investment Presentations, Storytelling, Startup Growth Strategy Development, Shopify, Business Strategy, CAPEX, Accounts Receivable, Reporting, Business Analysis, Variance Reporting, Financial Reporting Dashboards, Fundraising Consultant, Financial Analysis, Consolidated Reporting, Climate Change, SaaS, Manufacturing, Subscription Pricing, Financial Forecasting, Interim CFO, Fractional CFO, Investor Presentations, Business Consulting, Analysis, Expense Reports, Data Reporting, FMCG, Finance Reports, Loans, Operating Models, Project Management, Investment Analysis, Early-stage Venture Capital, Food Delivery Services, Strategy, Nutrition & Supplements, Clothing, Inventory Management, Acquisitions, Business Models, Investor Relations, Incubator Management, Restaurant Operations, Exit Strategy, Subscriptions, Software as a Service (SaaS), Personal Finance Management, Investment Banking, Information Memoranda, Business Transformation, Healthcare Services, Due Diligence Consultant, Finance, Market Risk, Trading, Microsoft Power BI, SAP, BI Reporting

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