Chris Hearing, Finance Expert in Rockville, MD, United States
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Chris Hearing

Verified Expert  in Finance

Finance Expert

Rockville, MD, United States
Toptal Member Since
March 29, 2017

Chris has launched startups creating $50 million in value and restructured organizations to realize $20 million in annual savings. He has held senior finance roles at public and private companies in the marketing, consumer products, and live entertainment spaces. With 25+ years of experience in identifying and implementing operating strategies to grow profits and enterprise value, Chris continues to add value in challenging situations.

Career Highlights

Managing Partner
Navigare Advisory Partners
Direct Holdings Global
Chief Financial Officer
Direct Holdings Worldwide

Education Highlights

Master's Degree
University of Maryland
Bachelor's Degree
Villanova University

Case Studies

Work Experience

Managing Partner

2017 - PRESENT
Navigare Advisory Partners
  • Founded Navigare Advisory Partners to provide strategic services to middle market clients. Quickly built a robust multi-service practice with clients across the US.
  • Built financial models and pitch decks for external fundraising, resulting in achievement of investment goals of startup medical/retail operation within 6 months of project launch.
  • Led exercise to identify opportunities for growth and resource requirements needed to execute for a $35 million live entertainment promoter; resulted in 3-year plan to double profits with a reduced risk profile.
  • Created an efficient and lower risk legal and tax structure for start-up to minimize owner tax liabilities and personal risk. Led multi-discipline team with company leaders, accountants, and legal team to determine optimal structure.
  • Led assessment of acquisition opportunities for private equity group in the data modeling and omni-channel marketing space. Sourced potential targets and led company/market assessments.
Focus areas: Profitability Optimization, Cash Flow Forecasting, P&L Forecasting, Operational Finance, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Strategic Planning & Execution


2007 - 2016
Direct Holdings Global
  • Directed all aspects of privately held $100 million entertainment marketing organization with 60+ employees.
  • Led bottom-up strategic plan to identify areas for growth, leading to $50 million increase in enterprise value through identification and exploitation of adjacent market opportunities.
  • Launched two new divisions, resulting in annual revenue of $50+ million as well as a reduction of overall risk and revenue seasonality.
  • Identified and implemented organization restructuring opportunities to reduce expenses and improve productivity.
  • Led business transformation from single-channel marketing to fully integrated omni-channel model.
Focus areas: Organizational Development, Market Opportunity Analysis, Market Research, Strategic Planning, Operations Management, Marketing, Product Development, Financial Management

Chief Financial Officer

2003 - 2007
Direct Holdings Worldwide
  • Directed all business planning and analyses across multiple business lines.
  • Identified and led exploitation of synergy opportunities in finance, human resources, and operations.
  • Led the complex disaggregation of all systems, facilities, benefits, and processes to establish stand-alone enterprise.
  • Reduced annual fixed costs by $20 million, improving overall effectiveness through strategic outsourcing.
  • Drove debt portfolio restructuring to gain operating room during subsidiary turnaround.
  • Led restructuring of underperforming business line, ultimately leading to sale to strategic buyer.
Focus areas: Treasury, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Budgeting, Strategic Planning

Chief Financial Officer

1999 - 2003
Time Life, Inc.
  • Led all financial personnel operating in Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America.
  • Prepared annual budgets and forecasts while leading operations reviews across all entities.
  • Successfully led the sale of the business from Time, Inc. to private equity group to position the company for future growth.
  • Led analysis and execution plan for the shutdown of unprofitable book publishing business. Maximized asset run-out while minimizing shutdown expenses.
  • Led M&A analysis, resulting in acquisition of a direct marketing business in Mexico and English language education business in Japan.
Focus areas: Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Management, Accounting, Budgeting, Strategic Planning
1985 - 1987

Master's Degree in Business Administration - Finance

University of Maryland - Maryland

1980 - 1984

Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration - Operations Research

Villanova University - Pennsylvania


Pro Forma Financial Statements, Business Advisory, Forecasting, Financial Modeling, Three-statement Modeling, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), CFO, Market Research, Cash Flow Forecasting, Private Equity, Operational Finance, P&L Forecasting, Profitability Optimization, Financial Management, Market Opportunity Analysis, Budgeting, Accounting, Financial Risk Assessment, Risk Analysis, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)

Output Software

Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel

Industry Expertise

Entertainment & Leisure, Retail & Wholesale, Nonprofits, Real Estate, Commercial Real Estate, Automotive, Higher Education

Geographic Expertise

United States, Mexico, Japan, Europe, Australia


Annual Budgets, Budget Modeling, Pro Forma Analysis, Business Models, Model Development, Pitch Preparation, Financial Forecasting, Rolling Forecasts, Business Planning, Business Analysis, Strategic Planning & Execution, Business Modeling, Marketing, Business Research, Pitch Decks, Product Marketing, Publishing, Corporate Restructuring, Product Development, Operations Management, Strategic Planning, Organizational Development, Treasury, Management, Legal Structuring, Financials, Market Risk, Acquisitions, Market Assessment, Debt Financing, Models, Modeling, Market Research & Analysis, Apps, Strategy, Strategy Planning, Investment Cases

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