Chief Financial Officer for industry-leading, disruptive global biologicals crop protection company

A crop protection company has retained Kincannon & Reed to recruit a Chief Financial Officer to lead all aspects of the financial function, including private and public equity capital-raising, asset financing, capital planning/management, and strategic transactions, including mergers and acquisitions. The CFO will serve as a close supporting partner to the CEO in driving significant growth in the Company’s operations, sales, and franchise.

The Organization

This Company is taking a novel approach to control insect pests in a sustainable way, not by killing insects, but by disrupting insect-specific mating cycles through low-cost pheromones, leading to a progressive reduction in pest population. Not only does this approach avoid the build-up of resistance, but pheromones as natural compounds have a very benign toxicological profile, rendering them well-suited for sustainable agriculture and biodiversity preservation.

They use proprietary (bio)catalysts and low-cost raw materials to reduce the steps needed to synthesize natural pheromones and increase yields. This enables them to produce pheromones at significantly reduced costs, expanding their application from specialty crops to broad acreage-commodity crops.

Founded in 2013 this is a company with a mission to apply state-of-the-art technologies to improve the lives and aspirations of farmers across the globe. Supported by a high profile Board of Directors and top tier investors, the founders built a dynamic team to discover, develop, market, and scale-up production of pheromones, targeting the fall armyworm in corn, rice stemborer, soybean looper, and a further variety of insect pests for the tree, fruit and vine markets.

To date, the Company has secured two commercial agreements with major global corporate partners, raised $160MM in capital, and achieved two critical registrations in Brazil and Mexico earlier this summer. Headquartered in CA, they employ about 130 people.

The Position

As a key member of the Executive Management Team, the Chief Financial Officer will report to the CEO and assume a strategic role in the overall management of the company.  The CFO will have primary day-to-day responsibility for planning, implementing, managing, and controlling all financial-related activities of the company.  This will include direct responsibility for accounting, finance, budget-setting, forecasting, strategic planning, scaling projections, legal, property management, deal analysis and negotiations, investor relationships and partnership compliance, and private and institutional financing.

More specifically, the role will perform the following key responsibilities:

  • Developing and tracking performance against short to long-term financial objectives.
  • Providing timely financial analysis and budgeting, including appropriate assessment of trends and forecasts and competitive benchmarks.
  • Assuming hands-on lead position of developing, implementing, and maintaining a comprehensive fixed cost analysis, including headcount projections.
  • Providing financial leadership in core strategic projects.
  • Presenting to potential investors and at investor conferences. Must be able to clearly articulate their story and value proposition to the investment community.
  • Leading financial aspects of potential M&A activity, including evaluation, structuring, negotiation, and systems integrations.
  • Directing and overseeing all aspects of the Finance & Accounting functions of the organization, including audit compliance and internal procedures.
  • Refining and reporting on the business Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) & Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).
  • Establishing and maintaining constructive relationships with senior executives so as to identify their needs and seek full range of business solutions.
  • Providing executive management with advice on the financial implications of business activities.
  • Managing processes for financial forecasting, budgets, and consolidation and reporting of the Company.
  • Providing recommendations to strategically enhance financial performance and business opportunities.
  • Ensuring that effective internal controls are in place and ensure compliance with GAAP and applicable federal, state, and local regulatory laws and rules for financial and tax reporting.

Candidate Profile

We seek an energetic and entrepreneurial financial executive, with strong strategic and tactical abilities to lead an agile organization through a period of strong anticipated growth. The ideal candidate excels in investor and stakeholder communications has navigated equity financings through an IPO, is well-grounded in public company governance, and has managed strategic transactions, including strategic partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions.

The following experiences and knowledge are required or desired:

  • 10+ years in progressively responsible financial leadership roles.
  • Experience working in a high growth company in a financial leadership role.
  • Demonstrated strong financial and accounting background, including an understanding of profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow management, and general finance and budgeting.
  • Excellent knowledge of data analysis and forecasting methods.
  • Experience having raised and closed equity investments and navigating a company through an IPO is desirable. A solid network of contacts with leading investment banks and equity research analysts is preferred.
  • Results-oriented; understands financial requirements and provides solutions in a rapidly changing funding environment and growth-oriented organization.
  • International strategy and business experience in their core markets.
  • Knowledge of global treasury management and controllership.
  • Experience working in a company with a complex global supply chain.
  • Outstanding business acumen, balancing financial strategy with day-to-day fiscal excellence.

Specific skills and education include:

  • Exceptional entrepreneurial judgment that fosters independence over micro-management.
  • BS in Accounting, Finance or Business, MBA, Advanced degree and/or CPA highly desirable.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, ability to communicate and manage well at all levels of the organization and with staff at remote locations essential.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills, capable of connecting to and relating to diverse internal and external constituents.
  • Ability to inspire confidence and create trust internally and with the finance and investment community.
  • Strong problem solving and creative skills and the ability to exercise sound judgment and make decisions based on accurate and timely analyses.
  • Ability to work under pressure in a rapidly changing, entrepreneurial environment.
  • High level of integrity and dependability with a strong sense of urgency and results-orientation.
  • Proven critical thinking skills and abilities. Constructively seeks to challenge assumptions and beliefs.
  • Highly respectful of fellow workers of all levels of the organization.
  • Experience with Accounting systems and Excel.

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