Mikhail Sklyarov, MBA, Ph.D.
Verified Expert in Finance
Mikhail is a senior finance executive with 20+ years of experience, an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a PhD in economics, and a robust financial, operating, and global business background. With robust leadership, analytical, and problem-solving skills, he is a finance and strategy expert in the FMCG, retail, and eCommerce industries. Mikhail has experience working with multi-billion companies like Metro Cash & Carry, Global Fashion Group, L'Etoile, and IFF.
Monthly KPI Overview
Chicago University Polsky Center for Enterpreneurship and Innovation
- Fundraised $1.5 million for Chicago Booth Alumni, a startup in the healthtech industry.
- Developed a fundraising strategy for an AI startup. Identified a target list of VC funds; developed intro mail and executed an outreach campaign.
- Supported a SaaS startup with an investor pitch. Gave clear feedback after several investor meetings on the areas of improvement.
- Created and maintained a financial model for the business.
- Raised $0.8 seed round and conducted negotiations with venture capital funds.
- Proposed a fundamental change from license to SaaS business model.
Co-founder | COO
- Executed a project from idea to MVP in six months, including idea generation, team setup, branding, product launch, community setup, and management.
- Raised a $1.5 million seed round from community and family offices.
- Built an extremely loyal customer base—no money withdrawal occurred despite market turnaround.
Chicago Booth Angels Network
- Oversaw the successful expansion of the Chicago Booth Angels Network, increasing the number of active angel investors to 100+.
- Syndicated seven deals with a total invested capital of $5 million.
- Established and nurtured strategic partnerships with a worldwide network, including branches in New York, London, Chicago, San Francisco, and Hong Kong.
- Developed and implemented a comprehensive mentorship program for portfolio companies, providing them with access to industry experts, advisors, and specialized resources.
International Flavors & Fragrances
- Led finance, procurement, IT, and G&A post-merger integration with an over 60 headcount. Redesigned the finance and accounting departments with 10% full-time employee (FTE) savings, harmonized reporting, and improved quality.
- Completed the post-acquisition tax due-diligence task and developed an action plan to mitigate the $4-million tax risk.
- Initiated IT systems harmonization which resulted in service cost reduction. Implemented an electronic doc flow that enabled work from home during the COVID-19 lockdown.
- Improved group cash management which enabled a dividend payout of $4 million to the parent company.
- Ensured a procurement service level of more than 95% despite team reshuffling and COVID-19-related disruptions in the supply chain.
- Developed a product rotation and contribution margin analysis that resulted in a 15% SKU reduction, inventory, and COGS optimization that significantly enhanced profitability.
- Implemented SOX controls which were vital for group reporting and successfully passed the PWC audit.
- Implemented a monthly rolling forecast that enabled detailed cash flow planning and cash burn control.
- Implemented a path-to-profitability methodology with key value-driving projects which were prioritized by impact and deadlines. The EBITDA impact totaled $15 million.
- Initiated IT costs capitalization that resulted in an EBITDA increase of $1 million.
- Conducted an in-depth analysis of categories and suppliers that enabled an improvement in assortment and terms negotiation.
- Conducted monthly CPO (cost per order) reviews with key functional leaders to ensure cost efficiency and proper management of unit economics.
- Analyzed and modeled various factors influencing customer buying decisions (advertising, promo coupons, and delivery terms) to optimize revenue and gross margin.
Executive Director | CFO
- Managed finance, IT, legal, HR, and G&A functions. Initiated and implemented the Shared Service Center with a $0.5 million cost decrease per year despite a 12% CAGR sales increase.
- Prepared the company for a Eurobond placement in the amount of $300 million.
- Managed and optimized the company's $500 million credit portfolio; also negotiated the interest rate decrease and withdrawal of the company's shares and brand from the bank collateral.
- Initiated daily monitoring of KPIs and implemented an early warning system in case of a profit drop.
- Ran due diligence, acquisition, and integration of two competitive retail chains in the Ukraine (EV $100 million and EV $50 million).
- Conducted an in-depth assortment and supplier analysis that enabled delisting of slow-moving articles and improved purchase conditions from suppliers.
- Implemented ongoing monitoring of non-performing stores with clear improvement action plans or closure.
- Spearheaded monthly management performance review meetings and created a monthly reporting package with key metrics. It significantly improved management motivation and focus on key company value drivers.
- Initiated and led the company's project office with vital company innovative projects. It allowed us to significantly speed up execution and reduce CEO ongoing involvement.
Finance Division Manager
- Managed the control, accounting, tax, treasury, and invoice control functions with over 100 full-time employees. Supported company growth and development from a greenfield start to becoming a $4 billion dominant market player.
- Implemented innovative projects, including a digital invoice recognition system and e-invoicing, which resulted in a 20% headcount reduction in the finance department.
- Adopted and successfully implemented an EVA performance measurement and incentive system. Thanks to the system's clear motivation mechanism and no payout limit, the company had been significantly overreaching budget targets for three years in a row.
- Implemented a new Oracle merchandise management system with higher performance and more detailed analytics.
- Automated daily operational and monthly financial reporting using Excel VBA.
- Conducted an operating cost analysis and generted proposals for saving.
- Analyzed the subsidiaries' performance and prepared proposals for optimal production allocation which resulted in $0.8 million in costs saving.
- Developed a motivation system for sales managers which resulted in a 15% sales increase.
Executive MBA in Executive Business Administration
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business - Chicago, United States; London, UK; Hong Kong
Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
Institute of Management Accountants
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