Neil Portus | CFA, CMA, Finance Expert in New York, NY, United States
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Neil Portus | CFA, CMA

Verified Expert  in Finance

Finance Expert

New York, NY, United States
Toptal Member Since
March 17, 2017

Neil is a CFO for growth companies and a former equity analyst at Goldman Sachs in NY where he helped lead numerous transactions including Zipcar's $1.1 billion IPO. He was also an equity analyst at Barclays Capital & Lehman Brothers and began his career at a boutique investment bank (M&A, restructuring, debt financings). He's built his operational skills both as a startup founder and as the CFO of an East Africa-focused impact investment firm.

Career Highlights

Unity Development Group
Vice President, Equity Research
Barclays Capital & Lehman Brothers

Education Highlights

Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
Institute of Management Accountants
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina

Case Studies

Work Experience

CFO | Advisor

2012 - PRESENT
Tailored Partners
  • Retained by early stage and growth companies to provide CFO and financial advisory services. The core industry focus was on consumer, hospitality, retail, and tech.
  • Advises companies as a CFO through their entire capital raising (equity and debt) and M&A processes: create investor presentations and financial models, lead due diligence efforts, negotiate terms, and close on transactions.
  • Leads all the financial activities of the company and manage the appropriate teams: financial planning and analysis, define KPIs, and prepare forecasts, budgets, and operating plans.
  • Develops financial reporting cadence and make presentations to internal decision makers—board of directors, C-Suite, and senior management.
  • Formulates and executes on corporate development initiatives.
  • Manages external relationships with strategic partners, investors, and investment banks.
  • Serves as a personal vehicle to seed startups.
Focus areas: Working Capital Management, Strategic Planning & Execution, Entrepreneurial Finance, Investor Relations, Investment Summaries, Investor Presentations, 409A Valuation, Valuation Multiples, Valuation Modeling, Valuation, Financial Reporting, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Project Finance, Due Diligence, CFO, Fundraising, Strategy, Financial Modeling


2014 - 2017
Unity Development Group
  • Worked for UNITY which was the consortium lead for the world-class American group of companies that was in consideration for the $4 billion Central Corridor Railroad (CCR) project in East Africa in order to provide Tanzania, DRC, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi with efficient market access to accelerate regional social and economic prosperity.
  • Led the fundraising for a transformative railroad project in East Africa—secured interest for $340 million in equity from private funds and $1.2 billion in debt from the US Export-Import Bank.
  • Acted as a strategic partner to the CEO and COO.
  • Drove the firm financial planning and analysis and oversaw cash management in order to meet operational targets.
  • Prepared and communicated weekly financial summary to the C-Suite.
  • Coordinated tax and audit filings for the US and foreign subsidiaries.
Focus areas: Three-statement Modeling, Strategic Planning & Execution, Working Capital Management, Entrepreneurial Finance, Investor Relations, Investor Presentations, Valuation Modeling, Valuation Multiples, Valuation, Market Research, Investment Summaries, Financial Risk Assessment, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Financial Management, Asset-based Finance, International Finance, Project Finance, Equipment Finance, Financial Modeling, Due Diligence, CFO, Fundraising

Vice President, Global Investment Research

2009 - 2011
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
  • Acted as the lead equity research analyst covering the rental car and small cap casino sectors—companies under coverage included Avis, Dollar Thrifty, Hertz, Ameristar Casinos, Pinnacle Entertainment, and Penn National Gaming.
  • Helped to lead Zipcar's $1.1 billion IPO while covering the rental car sector.
  • Handled team coverage responsibilities for the gaming, gaming technology, lodging, cruise, and restaurant sectors.
Focus areas: CFO, Three-statement Modeling, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Portfolio Analysis, Break-even Analysis, Price Analysis, Fund Analysis, Credit Analysis, Return Analysis, Ratio Analysis, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Data Analysis, Investor Relations, Investor Presentations, Capital Investment Appraisals, Capital Structure Analysis, Capital Structuring, Capital Raising, Fundraising, Due Diligence, Investment Summaries, Valuation Modeling, Valuation Multiples, Valuation, Financial Reporting, Financial Modeling, Equity Research

Vice President, Equity Research

2005 - 2009
Barclays Capital & Lehman Brothers
  • Initiated Lehman's equity research coverage of IGT (international game technology) and the gaming technology sector.
  • Handled team coverage responsibilities for the gaming, lodging, leisure, cruise, and toy sectors.
  • Promoted to vice president.
Focus areas: CFO, Three-statement Modeling, Due Diligence, Profitability Analysis, Break-even Analysis, Portfolio Analysis, Return Analysis, Price Analysis, Credit Analysis, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Ratio Analysis, Fund Analysis, Fundraising, Data Analysis, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Investor Relations, Investment Summaries, Investor Presentations, Valuation Modeling, Valuation Multiples, Valuation, Financial Modeling, Financial Reporting, Equity Research

Investment Banking Associate

2000 - 2005
US Bancorp Libra | Libra Securities
  • Closed 15 transactions totaling $1.3 billion; directly reporting to the managing director at a boutique investment bank founded by Drexel Burnham Lambert and Salomon Brothers veterans.
  • Worked on a variety of deals spanning M&A, bankruptcy, restructuring, fairness opinion, valuation analysis as well as high yield and mezzanine financings.
  • Led buyer diligence visits.
  • Drafted investor materials.
  • Constructed LBO models.
  • Promoted to associate.
Focus areas: CFO, Profitability Analysis, Break-even Analysis, Portfolio Analysis, Price Analysis, Fund Analysis, Credit Analysis, Return Analysis, Ratio Analysis, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Due Diligence, Data Analysis, Financial Reporting, Financial Modeling, Fundraising, Working Capital Management, Capital Investment Appraisals, Growth Capital Raising, Capital Structure Analysis, Capital Structuring, Capital Raising, Debtor & Creditor Management, Debt Capital Markets, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)
2016 - 2017

Certified Management Accountant (CMA) in Accounting

Institute of Management Accountants - Montvale, NJ, USA

2000 - 2003

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) in Finance

CFA Institute - Charlottesville, VA, USA

1998 - 2000

Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance

Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina - Columbia, SC, USA

1993 - 1997

Bachelor of Science in Recording Industry Management

Middle Tennessee State University - Murfreesboro, TN, USA


Due Diligence, Venture Funding, Credit/Debt, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Investment Summaries, Equity Research, Fundraising, Angel/Seed Funding, Private Equity, Valuation Multiples, Asset-based Finance, Valuation, Comparable Company Analysis, 409A Valuation, Return Analysis, Discounted Cash Flow (DCF), Three-statement Modeling, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Financial Systems, CFO, Project Finance, Capital Budgeting, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), DCF Valuation, Debt Raises, Funding Strategy, Asset Valuation, Asset-backed Securities (ABS), Accounting, Capital Raising, Capital Structuring, Credit Analysis, Budgeting, Cash Flow, Forecasting, Financial Modeling, Equipment Finance, International Finance, Financial Management, Financial Risk Assessment, Market Research, Valuation Modeling, Entrepreneurial Finance, Working Capital Management, Financial Reporting, Capital Structure Analysis, Capital Investment Appraisals, Data Analysis, Ratio Analysis, Fund Analysis, Price Analysis, Portfolio Analysis, Profitability Analysis, Debtor & Creditor Management, Growth Capital Raising, Budget Controls

Output Software

Microsoft Word, Google Slides, Google Sheets, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel, Google Docs

Data & Analysis Software

Bloomberg, Factset, Capital IQ

Industry Expertise

Retail & Wholesale, Travel & Leisure, Capital Markets, Banking & Finance, Asset Management, Venture Capital, Technology, Consumer Products, Debt Capital Markets, Consumer Finance

Geographic Expertise

Macao, Tanzania, United States, Africa, EMEA, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Europe, Asia


Pitch Books, Communication, Pitch Decks, Operations, Sales Strategy, Consulting, Business Operations, Financials, Debt Financing, Investor Presentations, Excel Modeling, Operating Models, Operations Strategy, Operations Research, Operations Management, Business Planning, Strategy Planning, Analysis, Project Delivery, Project Review, Projects, Analytics, Event Planning, Credit Modeling, Break-even Analysis, Capital Allocation, Early-stage Funding, Earnings Analysis, Joint Venture Development, Partnerships, Strategic Partnerships, Capital Advisory, Public Speaking, Models, DCF Modeling, CAPEX, Investment Cases, Investments, Investment Ideas, Investment Strategy, Investment Modeling, Investment Research, Equity, Investor Relations, Investment Banking, Investor Agreements, Communication Strategy, Investor Reporting, Hedge Funds, Investment Funds, Equity Investment, Private Placements, Private Capital Markets, Assets, Impact Investing, Value Proposition, Company Analysis, Company Research, Company Strategy, Chart of Accounts, Planning, Emerging Growth Companies, Initial Public Offerings, Loan Valuation, Investment Consulting, Interim CFO, Finance, Virtual CFO, Managerial Finance, Fractional CFO, Family Office, Investor Relations Consultant, Writing & Editing, Family Office Management, Part-time CFO, Financial Analysis, Financial Writer, PPP Projects, Emerging Markets, Strategic Planning & Execution, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Strategy, Financing, Business Models, Business Research, Business, Business Ideas, Post-merger Integration, Equities, Trading, Manufacturing, Budget Modeling, Legal, Corporate Legal, Legal Contract Drafting, VAT Return Preparation

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