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Case Study 1 - Interim CFO

Company Profile

Publicly-traded financial services firm 

Problem

The company's CFO had decided to pursue other interests and the controller was not ready to step into the CFO role.  It was determined that an experienced, interim financial executive was necessary, while the Company proceeded with a CFO search.  There were several challenges as the finance department lacked leadership and morale was a concern given the recent change.  Communication was poor within the finance department and with other departments.  Management was unable to produce timely financial reports or accurate cash forecasts.  Lastly, the current line of credit was about to expire.

Action

Interlochen's CFO started the day after the Company's CFO departed and then quickly met with the financial staff, officers, and outside auditors to understand the problems and issues with the operations of the financial function. With that input, an assessment of the issues and proposed solutions, including some changes in the organization, was provided to the CEO. These proposals were implemented and the Interlochen CFO provided on-going mentoring for some of the key financial managers. Furthermore, various critical projects such as a new line of credit and arranging for a new bank to take over all of the accounts, were successfully completed. Other projects included moving the investment portfolio to a new manager and restructuring the portfolio. The Interlochen CFO made presentations at Audit Committee and Board meetings and assisted with the interviewing process for the full time CFO. Interlochen was also involved in the closing of two quarter-ends, including reviewing the public information that was released.  Interlochen was engaged for four months until the permanent CFO was identified.

Results

Due largely to the leadership of an experienced, interim CFO, the finance function was stabilized and morale improved. The company completed a refinancing and two quarterly closings without issues. Last, but not least, the new CFO was able to easily assimilate due to the improved performance of the finance department. Worth noting, Interlochen's fees declined each subsequent month as improvements took hold and less time was required.
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