Sean Heberling, CFA, Finance Expert in Bryn Mawr, PA, United States
Sean Heberling, CFA

Finance Expert in Bryn Mawr, PA, United States

Member since October 12, 2017
With Morgan Stanley, BNY Mellon, Sailfish Capital, and Marion Street Capital, Sean has analyzed 10,000+ companies, built complex models, and helped facilitate $1+ billion in investment transactions. He freelances to leverage his expertise in financial modeling, investor presentations, investment analysis, and M&A. He is on the boards of several early-stage companies, advising on operations, growth strategy, and fundraising.
Sean is now available for hire

Career Highlights


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Case studies

Industry Expertise

  • Restaurants & Dining

Other Expertise


  • Finance Screener & Finance Expert

    2018 - PRESENT
    • Served as an outsourced CFO for a niche consulting firm and advised the CEO on how to best prepare for an increase in revenue from around $4 million per year to over $40 million per year.
    • Served as an outsourced CFO for a startup software company. Wrote a business plan, created a ten-year forecast model, created investor material, and structured investment terms.
    • Served as a finance expert for an international nonprofit. Built a five-year forecast model, wrote a strategic plan, and recommended a contract fundraiser that enabled the client to increase its reserves 200x in approximately one year.
    • Recruited to become a finance screener at Toptal, a hiring manager for future recruits.
    • Authored "The Undeniable Importance of a Business Plan," a synopsis of which was published in The Triangle, Drexel University's independent student-run newspaper.
    Focus areas: Financial Modeling, Financial Forecasting, Business Planning, Business Strategy, Nonprofit, Startups
  • CFO & Director

    2018 - PRESENT
    Canyon Star Network
    • Created investor materials, including the private placement memorandum, teaser, and investor deck for an early-stage streaming television service focused on country music and Americana lifestyle programming.
    • Used comparable company and discounted cash flow analyses to create a private company valuation that shaped the seed and series A equity financing.
    • Directed fundraising strategy for soliciting early equity investors and delivered in-person and phone presentations as part of the equity fundraising.
    • Developed a five-year financial model for the company.
    • Created cap tables and term sheets.
    Focus areas: Equity Financing, Equity Raises, Private Company Valuation, Investor Decks
  • Director

    2017 - PRESENT
    Global Interdependence Center
    • Elected to the board of directors for this Philadelphia nonprofit with a global reach that is headquartered inside the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank and which sponsored The College for Central Bankers during January 2017.
    • Refocused the organization's efforts around a core group of directors, fewer and smaller-scale but more exclusive events with higher average tickets, such as "Monetary and Economic Policies on Both Sides of the Atlantic," which attracts attendees from well-capitalized financial institutions.
    • Negotiated $15,000 of ongoing financial support from a related professional association.
    • Helped secure financial support from an international asset manager by programming "Beyond Abenomics - The Bull Case for Japan's Economy" ahead of "Central Banking Series: Japan."
    Focus areas: Strategy, Finance, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Programming
  • Adjunct Professor

    2017 - PRESENT
    Villanova University
    • Structured and taught equity markets and valuation for the finance department.
    • Developed a series of 12 weekly Bloomberg assignments to guide undergraduate finance majors to produce actionable investment recommendations (long and short) with quantifiable alpha and asymmetric risk/reward.
    • Integrated CFA exam questions into midterm and final exams for this course.
    • Received a 4.8/5 overall rating and several top quartile scores from student surveys. Three former students have registered and two have indicated interest in registering for the CFA Level I Examination.
    • Integrated the fundamental value equity team from Brandywine Global Investments, an $80 billion active manager located in Philadelphia, into student evaluations.
    Focus areas: Equity Research, Equity Valuation, Capital Markets
  • Vice President and Director

    2016 - PRESENT
    CFA Society of Philadelphia
    • Elected to the executive committee in July of 2019.
    • Served as a member of the finance, audit, and investment committee from the fall of 2016 to present. Assisted in the draft of a committee charter and the re-draft of an investment policy statement. Resolved legacy accounting challenges stemming from a change in nonprofit management companies.
    • Served as chair of the education committee from July 2017 through June 2018. Successfully launched a new CFA Exam preparatory course that increased education revenue by 50%. Taught review courses in financial reporting and analysis, corporate finance, quantitative methods, alternative investments, portfolio management, fixed income, private wealth management, and performance evaluation. Received a 9.5/10 rating from students during fall 2016.
    • Served as chair of the investment research challenge from fall 2015 through spring 2017. Selected as a judge for the CFA Institute's Global Final in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during May 2018. Selected as a judge for the North American semifinals during April 2016, April 2017, and April 2019. Implemented a detailed grading rubric for research reports.
    • Served as co-chair of the programs committee from 2015 through June 2019. Designed, promoted, and managed five member programs. Hosted a major annual conference during May 2017. Assisted with three different joint Villanova University/CFAP programs.
    • Honored as Volunteer of the Quarter, Spring 2016.
    Focus areas: Equity Research, Investment Portfolio Management
  • CEO and CFO

    2016 - PRESENT
    Marion Street Capital
    • Actively worked as an outsourced CFO for a 23-month-old consumer electronics distributor generating over $50 million in sales, to secure $5 – 15 million for working capital to facilitate continued 100% to 300% growth per year.
    • Served as CEO and CFO for a restaurant concept that MSC purchased, turned around, and sold inside of three years for 4x the purchase price. Negotiated entry and exit terms, as well as the financing for the purchase, increased sales by 300% through creative marketing strategy, and maximized cash flow by implementing inventory control systems and improving working capital management.
    • Served as CEO and CFO for an auto repair franchise that MSC purchased, turned around and sold inside of three years for 2x the purchase price. Increased sales by 75% through operational efficiency improvements designed to maximize throughput, grew cash flow by improving vendor financing terms, and negotiated entry and exit terms.
    • Designed a menu of alternative investment offerings with IRRs of 15%+ and 3x more reward than risk for accredited investors.
    • Consulted for a startup hedge fund, providing guidance on capital raising, investments, risk management, strategy, and vendor selection.
    • Managed nine analysts and evaluated thousands of investment opportunities.
    Focus areas: Investment Thesis, Value Investing, Equity Raises, Private Equity, Private Company Valuation, Investor Decks, Credit Investing, Capital Raising
  • Director of Research

    2015 - 2016
    Valdes & Moreno
    • Built an institutional research product for a minority-owned broker-dealer offering best execution for institutional equity, equity option, and fixed income investment firms.
    • Developed relationships with public company management teams, which allowed the firm to offer its institutional clients access to corporate executives.
    • Presented on various topics including negative interest rate policies, homebuilder versus apartment REITs, master limited partnerships (MLPs), the transportation industry, nonresidential construction, and the Puerto Rican debt crisis to well-established institutions.
    • Recommended establishing a long position in Virgin Airlines and a short position in SunPower, which generated annualized returns of 345% and 55%, respectively.
    Focus areas: Equity Research, Fixed Income Analysis
  • Middle Market Sales Representative

    2013 - 2015
    Morgan Stanley
    • Presented the firm with $7.5+ million in potential new revenue.
    • Built an institutional practice focused on banks, family offices, and investment firms.
    • Designed an absolute return money management product that targeted 15% annual returns with single-digit volatility.
    • Recommended establishing a long position in Citizens Financial and a short position in Enable Midstream Partners, which generated annualized returns of 40% and 70%, respectively.
    Focus areas: Equity Research, Fixed Income Analysis
  • Senior Analyst

    2008 - 2009
    Very Independent Research
    • Helped expand the distribution of mining and metal-focused equity and credit research to 300 well-known institutions.
    • Proposed a new research vertical with the potential to increase sales by 100%.
    • Investigated launching a hedge fund as a complement to our research offerings.
    • Recommended establishing a long position in Century Aluminum's convertible bonds and a short position in Alumina, Ltd., which generated annualized returns of 35% and 89%, respectively.
    Focus areas: Equity Research, Fixed Income Analysis
  • Senior Analyst

    2006 - 2007
    Sailfish Capital Partners
    • Oversaw $100+ million in investment capital that was allocated to equity and credit securities for a $2.5 billion multi-strategy hedge fund.
    • Launched a $100 million equity hedge fund. Responsibilities included establishing and implementing the strategy, authoring investor letters, fundraising, staffing, evaluating and selecting the prime broker and other vendors, and handling any outstanding legal issues.
    • Recommended establishing a long position in Hasbro and a short position in National City, which each generated annualized returns of 80%+.
    Focus areas: Equity Research, Fixed Income Analysis, Equity Derivatives, Fixed-income Derivatives
  • Analyst

    2000 - 2001
    BNY Mellon
    • Co-developed a zero-beta product that helped the company division grow from $2 billion to $18 billion in assets.
    • Evaluated private investment partnerships that employed a variety of sophisticated investment strategies including convertible debt arbitrage, credit arbitrage, distressed debt investing, risk arbitrage, and long/short equity.
    • Utilized FBI investigative interviewing techniques to reveal investment manager fraud and deceit.
    Focus areas: Risk Analysis
  • Senior Consultant

    1997 - 1999
    Navigant Consulting, Inc.
    • Designed expert witness testimony for mass tort litigation involving billions of dollars.
    • Managed the division’s largest engagement with oversight of a staff of ten.
    • Prepared and presented proposals for new business development.
    Focus areas: Risk Analysis, Risk Models

Other Experience

  • The Undeniable Importance of a Business Plan (Publication)
    We often hear about business plans in the context of early-stage companies; however, constructing excellent business plans is difficult and time-consuming, so many entrepreneurs avoid them. But, is this a mistake? While most people may be aware of the “soft” arguments for and against writing a business plan, in this article, a Toptal Finance Expert takes a data-driven approach to addressing the debate. In it, he finds strong evidence to support the notion that writing an excellent business plan is time well spent.


  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) in Investment Management
    1997 - 1999
    CFA Institute - Charlottesville, NJ
  • Bachelor's degree in Finance
    1993 - 1997
    Villanova University - Villanova, PA


  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
    CFA Institute

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