Chris is an established leader of high-growth companies with particular expertise guiding startups. As the VP of finance for an eCommerce company, Chris recently built an accounting department from scratch in support of sustainably scaling revenue resulting in a 6X valuation increase under his watch. His creativity and passion have been enlivened since going freelance to realize his dream of living abroad.
Provided financial, strategic, and operational leadership to this leading online retailer and technology company, in support of rapid revenue growth and geographic expansion from one to six countries.
Built an accounting department by creating month-end processes, designing and implementing all procedures and internal controls, and building a team to manage day-to-day accounting operations.
Prepared an annual consolidated forecast for the group of companies by contemplating multiple business lines, existing and new ventures, and various currencies—with actual results coming within 2% of forecast.
Acted independently and collaborated with external advisers to conceive and execute various strategic initiatives including; the identification of several opportunities to collectively increase annual revenue by >5%, management of online ad spending resulting in improved ROAS and reduced CPC—increasing profitability, and creating daily, weekly and monthly reports/dashboards providing management with visibility on KPIs in support of better decision making.
Led negotiations with vendors and partners across a wide range of products/services including; renegotiating agreement with payment processor on terms that resulted in savings of over $50,000 per year, negotiating a deal with a new payment processor that resulted in savings of over $75,000 per year compared the company's previous partner, managing the signing of new leases adding 8,000 square feet of office space to the company.
Designed company-wide compensation structure, including all monetary considerations (standardized base salaries, bonuses, stock options) as well as non-monetary components (vacation time, health, wellness, and other benefits), and then facilitated the in-housing transition of more than 20 independent contractors to employees.
Ensured that all compliance matters (tax, audit, 409A, and other regulatory) were effectively and promptly handled.
Focus areas: Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Accounting, Strategy, Treasury, Negotiation, Human Resources (HR), Financial System Implementation, Scaling, Foreign Currency
2016 - 2017
Cannabis Startup (Private Company)
Assisted a licensed producer (Ontario, Canada) startup with the preparation of marketing documents that led to securing a $10 million investment and a strategic partnership with Canopy Growth via Canopy Rivers.
Reviewed and commented on externally prepared investor presentation. Provided guidance on key areas of interest to prospective investors/partners and ensured that company strategy was clearly articulated and presented in a concise and compelling fashion.
Created a dynamic five-year financial forecast which was used to support the business plan. As this company was pre-revenue, in addition to considerable market and competitor research, the process required close collaboration with the company founder.
Authored several corporate strategy and finance communications including relevant sections of the company’s business plan, pitch deck, and other general communications to prospective investors and partners.
Arranged an initial kick-off meeting with Toronto-based investment bank.
Guided a startup VR company that operates in the film and television industry through an initial capital raise of $1 million.
Prepared, from scratch, a completely interactive five-year financial forecast model with easily adjustable vital assumptions and the ability to conduct "what if" scenario analysis. Management applauded the model's capacity to stress test the forecast, as it significantly aided their preparation for meetings with potential lenders and investors.
Developed strategic messaging which was consistently incorporated in all materials presented to potential lenders and investors.
Designed a compelling pitch deck for meetings with potential lenders and investors.
Authored the financial section of the company's business plan and ensured that strategic messaging was consistent with the company presentation and forecast.
Focus areas: Business Plans & Model Development, Financial Forecast, Financial Modeling & Valuation, Investor & Board Presentation Development, Business Writing
2014 - 2016
Bay Street Communications
Developed messaging and marketing materials for initial public offerings: HydroOne, Inc. (TSX:H) $1.83B, Spin Master Corp. (TSX:TOY) $253.1 million, and Automotive Properties REIT (TSX:APR) $81.2 million.
Worked closely with Scotiabank and CIBC to prepare strategic messaging and marketing materials for Northern Property REIT’s acquisition of True North Apartment REIT and an institutional portfolio of assets, creating a $3 billion national multi-family REIT.
Authored responses to tenders offered by companies for such needs as IPO consulting, ongoing investor relations services, and other special projects.
Worked directly with senior management of reporting issuers on the TSX to prepare and communicate strategic messaging by way of investor presentations, news releases, letters to shareholders, and conference calls.
Identified competitors and evaluated their strengths and weaknesses to better understand clients' respective competitive positions. Consequently synthesized resulting information for use in presentations made by the executive to their respective boards of directors.
Ensured that all external communications conveyed financial results and corporate actions in a manner consistent with big-picture strategic messaging.
Prepared quarterly and special presentations for current and prospective retail and institutional investors.
Reviewed competitor websites to identify best practices and utilized these outputs to create content for clients' investor relations websites.
Leveraged my business consulting expertise in preparing a strategic plan for ZSA Toronto's accounting business line, which addressed strategies related to marketing, business development, and candidate identification/attraction.
Prospected and developed relationships with existing and new institutional clients.
Consulted with senior professionals and identified solutions to human capital requirements. Subsequently executed head-hunting campaigns to ensure that the best talent in the area was consistently identified and presented to clients.
Successfully negotiated terms and conditions as well as statements of work on behalf of ZSA, balancing client satisfaction with profitability.
Focus areas: Business Development, Accounting & Finance, Recruiting, Executive Recruiting, Strategic Planning, Business Plans & Model Development, Tender Responses
2011 - 2013
Robert Half International
Generated a gross profit in excess of $300,000, resulting in a ranking of third globally among our peer group within the first year of the role.
Identified and successfully placed an interim CFO at a $50 million manufacturing company within a week of receiving the mandate. However, pleased with the exceptional quality of candidate's work, they ultimately hired him on a permanent full-time basis.
Sourced roles and identified candidates for various positions. These roles included financial reporting, accounting, finance, taxation, financial systems implementations, process improvements and redesign, audit and compliance, administration and operations management, and project management.
Focus areas: Business Development, Client Relations, Accounting & Finance, Recruiting
2007 - 2011
Veracap Corporate Finance, Ltd.
Applied valuation knowledge in the preparation of a fairness opinion concerning Alliance Grain Traders, Inc.'s proposed $105 million acquisition of the Arbel Group. Involvement on this mandate included readying the business valuation and contributing to the report.
Assisted in the successful disposition of a Canadian-based modular home builder to a private equity buyer. Involvement on this mandate included: preparing the confidentiality information memorandum, teaser, and investor presentation; identifying strategic and financial buyers; liaising with prospective buyers, and acting as a resource to management during negotiation of the purchase price ($15 million).
Prepared an annual valuation of a privately held oil and gas company (equity value above $2 billion) and real estate holding company (equity value above $300 million).
Demonstrated the ability to swiftly interpret and identify relevant strategic points of interest from a variety of business documents.
Prepared numerous comparable company and precedent transaction analyses in conjunction with valuation and M&A mandates.
Channeled legal knowledge to collaborate effectively with lawyers and company legal departments during the preparation of valuation reports relating to litigation matters.
Executed the complete valuation process, from drafting the letter of engagement and attending client meetings to synthesizing client information and preparing financial forecasts and valuation analysis.