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James Costello

James Costello

Calgary, AB, Canada
Member since October 17, 2017
A chartered accountant with 20 years of experience in hotels, casinos, real estate and emerging technologies, James has successfully completed a $4.5 billion real estate joint venture and has provided strategic corporate and governance work, resulting in over $15 billion in transactions. Now freelancing, he enjoys helping entrepreneurial companies plan for strategic growth, capital raises, corporate finance, and M&A transactions.
James is now available for hire
Career Highlights
Academic Highlights
Case studies
  • Real Estate Development Partnership
  • Business Financing for a High-growth Cafe
  • Large City Redevelopment Project
Industry Expertise
  • Casinos & Gaming
  • Film & Entertainment
  • Hospitality
  • Real Estate
  • Technology
Other Expertise
  • Annual Budgets
  • Cash Flow Forecasting
  • Private Equity
Employment
  • CEO
    New Globe Consulting, Inc.
    2014 - 2018
    • Raised over $300 million in private equity for small-to-midsized businesses. The businesses included a high-growth coffee roaster, a wholesale food manufacturing business, a golf course resort development, a hemp-processing facility, an organic skincare retail business, an oil-rig campsite acquisition, a hotel succession plan, and a marketing agency merger opportunity.
    • Raised over $200 million in debt financing for a number of small companies and for an indigenous First Nation debt restructuring effort, which was valued at over $150 million in debt facilities and successfully reduced their total lending costs by over $500,000 per year.
    • Reduced overheads by 10% in 45 days while serving as the interim CFO for a small consumer goods business.
    • Implemented a new board skills matrix as well as the budgeting and reporting process for a growing local charity.
    • Produced comprehensive business plans including ten-year forecast models (cash flow, income statements, and balance sheets) for a mortgage brokerage, a large-scale mining processing facility, a marketing agency, and a coffee roasting business and retail operation.
    Focus areas: Private Equity, Debt Raises, CFO, Finance Strategy, Financial Strategy, Budgeting, Budget Forecasting
  • Board of Directors
    Grey Eagle Resort and Casino
    2014 - 2017
    • Formalized the board of directors; coordinated regular meetings as well as ensured comprehensive succession planning strategies and board reporting by senior management. Also served as a member of the compensation committee, audit committee, and operations committee.
    • Implemented long-range planning and strategy processes to facilitate the board reporting by management. This change improved the communication and strategic direction for operations.
    • Created a protocol for regularly reporting on the strategy-to-actual results which dramatically increased the controls over budgeting and ownership distribution planning.
    • Opened an event center and hotel; audited construction costs and expenses as well as established management reporting and communication procedures with new staff and ownership.
    • Restructured the reporting and authorization protocols between the management corporation and ownership. The facilities operated through a third-party hospitality management corporation and ownership was not happy with the processes in place. As a result of the restructuring, the management corporation was able to enhance efficiency and the ownership group was able to increase their trust in the processes; overhead expenses were also reduced measurably.
    Focus areas: Finance Strategy, Budgeting, Budget Controls, Budget Forecasting, Investment Summaries, Cash Flows, Cash Flow Forecasting
  • Independent Director
    Tsuut'ina Nation
    2014 - 2016
    • Planned, recommended and established the first independent director program for the Tsuut'ina Nation. The program allowed the board to objectively guide the business without the ability to reap any personal financial gain. I was the first individual to serve as one of these board members, as the group had previously not allowed non-indigenous members to provide insight and direction to businesses.
    • Created an end-to-end strategy and partnership guideline for a $4.5 billion real estate development project. After approvals by the owners, I completed a real estate partner search by selecting strict criteria, conducting corporate research and launching a comprehensive request for proposals (RFP) program. The result was securing a joint-venture partnership with Canderel Developments and negotiating a 20-year deal for a 1,240-acre commercial real estate development.
    • Evaluated the existing businesses owned by the Nation. The businesses included a retail gasoline operation, a retail gift store, a construction contracting agency, and the overall administration facilities operations within the Nation's business. Identified multiple cost-saving opportunities, supplier contract errors, and management inefficiencies. Results included significant loss mitigation, profit increases in some businesses and employment generation in others.
    • Performed a feasibility study for a community center building and provided recommendations on the tendering project. Produced a ten-year financial analysis for demand and cost recovery.
    • Devised a plan to successfully tender new business related to the $5 billion ring-road development. The result was over $50 million in contracted work in the first year and hundreds of jobs for the First Nation group.
    • Planned, recommended, and executed the implementation of the first finance and treasury board for the Canadian First Nation's group. The board was established to provide a better reporting system to the chief and council and to strengthen financial reporting through increased accuracy and internal controls.
    Focus areas: Financial Options, Specialty Finance, Finance Strategy, Budgeting, Debt Raises, Debt, Real Estate Finance, Operations Finance, Debt Restructuring, Financial Restructuring
  • Partner
    Citrus Capital Partners
    2012 - 2014
    • Analyzed possible investment opportunities, developed recommendations on the purchase prices, and presented my findings to investor committee. Produced over 50 proposals to the committee, several of which we placed offers on.
    • Devised and planned the annual, quarterly, and monthly budgets for the organization. This included strategies on how to maximize the cash flow and retained income for future investment purposes.
    • Pursued networking opportunities at conferences and networking events to identify potential new opportunities. Successfully identified over 100 unique opportunities for investment analyses and proposals.
    • Occasionally served as interim CFO and CEO for privately-owned investments. Attended board meetings and strategy sessions to ensure investments performed to maximum potential. Industries included construction, hotel & golf resorts, and retail operations.
    • Created a business plan and marketing strategy for private equity corporation, resulting in focused strategy meetings, investment opportunity analyses, high-end branding, corporate gifting and stationery, and a high-end website with deal flow opportunities.
    Focus areas: Private Equity, Finance Strategy, Investment Summaries, Investment Memoranda, Cash Flows, Capital Budgeting, Venture Funding
  • Group Financial Controller
    Universal Pictures International UK
    2009 - 2012
    • Performed an in-depth analysis of contracts and royalty programs to assess corporate liability, increasing overall corporate income by over 3% (measured in millions of US dollars) for the global organization.
    • Executed annual budget planning process across multiple departments; consolidated information across global market producers (outside of USA) into a single budget for the CFO.
    • Worked closely with CFO to assess new acting talent by analyzing long-term revenue generation based on acquisition costs for the individuals and by creating a 10-to-15 year revenue analysis. Efforts enhanced talent agents' ability to assess the investment opportunity from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective.
    • Produced detailed cash flow reports from over 15 global divisions to maximize cash flow and payment timing.
    • Created templated financial reporting packages, including instruction manuals for replacement staff, for succession planning of entire finance department.
    • Helped owners sell the business which resulted in GE divesting 50% of their holdings to Comcast. Specific work included the maximization of cash flows and earnings to enhance the sale price and the review of accrued liabilities to minimize expense impact.
    Focus areas: Budgeting, Cost Estimation, Cost Reduction & Optimization, Finance Strategy, Financial Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)
  • Senior Assurance
    KPMG
    2006 - 2009
    • Audited over 100 clients, including US corporations reporting in US GAAP. Clients consisted of construction, real estate, oil and gas services, as well as exploration and production companies.
    • Compiled private business financial statements (including cash flow, income statements, and balance sheets), tax filings, sales tax work as well as additional financial analyses such as ratio analyses.
    • Mentored ten junior accounting staff.
    • Secured large new client for the firm in the first year of employment (a very rare achievement).
    Focus areas: Audit Management, IFRS Audit Planning, Financial Model Auditing, Specialty Finance, Finance Strategy, Taxes
Education
  • Institute of Corporate Directors Designation (ICD.D) in Directors Education
    Rotman School of Management - Toronto, Ontario
    2014 - 2016
  • Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA.CA) in Accounting
    Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants - Edmonton, Alberta
    2006 - 2008
  • Bachelor of Management degree in Accounting
    University of Lethbridge - Lethbridge, Canada
    1998 - 2005
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