FierceMarkets LogoFierceMarkets Counts on Capital CFO to Support Growth and Exit Strategy

As an innovative email newsletter publisher that aggregated content to appeal to a variety of industries, FierceMarkets was riding the wave of growth in online publishing and advertising.  That turned out to be a good thing.

But it didn’t leave the founder much time to focus on the increasing complexities of the company’s accounting and finances—which he understood were critical to scaling the operation and increasing the value of their enterprise.

FierceMarkets engaged with Gary Guttman of Capital CFO Services to provide much needed guidance and oversight to FierceMarkets’ bookkeeper on day-to-day tasks as well as budgeting and planning.  Just as important was the task of getting the financials and key metrics in shape so that the founder could confidently communicate the company’s financial status to its board and external investors.

At a more strategic level, Gary helped the company recognize the important maxim that “time kills all deals.”  FierceMarkets had a window of opportunity to sell its business and the process had to be carefully managed to avoid missteps, which would result in delays.  After the fact because of basic changes in the general business environment, it was apparent that a postponement as short as just one week in the sale of the business would have caused a significant drop in FierceMarkets’ valuation—or even caused the deal to fall through.

“One of Gary’s favorite expressions is that ‘time kills all deals.’  Quite simply, without his leadership, we would have missed our window of opportunity to sell our business for the highest price. So the investment in hiring Capital CFO paid for itself many times over.”

Sean Griffey

Capital CFO’s supported FierceMarkets throughout the following significant milestones:

  • Sold the business in 2008.

  • Increased the proceeds from the sale by $150,000 by identifying flaws in the acquirer’s calculation of working capital.

  • Increased revenue by an average of 35% per year.

  • Reduced Capital CFO’s monthly support requirements from 6 days per month to 1 day per month by effectively training the entry-level accountant.

  • Developed successful commission methodologies.

During the four year engagement with FierceMarkets, Capital CFO provided the following services:

  • Implemented accrual based financial statements.

  • Developed the first annual budget.

  • Trained the entry-level accountant to perform the day-to-day accounting functions and develop subsequent annual budgets.

  • Developed the tracking methodologies to assist with revenue recognition and commission payments.

  • Brought in a new CPA who identified transaction tax savings of $1.8M.

  • Coordinated due diligence activities with the investment banker, lawyers and CPA.

  • Negotiated the working capital requirement.

  • Assisted with human resource functions.

  • Provided general management advise to the President and CEO.

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