This is part five of a seven-part series of tips for interim CFO’s at companies in the portfolio’s of private equity groups. These tips are intended for financial professionals who already have the skills and experience to be a successful CFO at a typical mid-market company. They specifically address the differences between being a CFO at a typical mid-market company and being an interim CFO at a growth-oriented mid-market company in the portfolio of a private equity group.
Tip #1: Be an ambassador
Tip #2: Be the advance team
Tip #3: Understand the exit strategy
Tip #4: Get to know the portfolio
Tip #5: Be an agent of change
You are not there merely to maintain the status quo or fill in the gap between permanent CFO’s. The company probably does not have adequate budgeting, forecasting or financial reporting in place. They may not have been audited and their tax strategy may need to be overhauled. You may need to implement radical changes, but you need to do it in a way that is respectful to the folks who built the company that way. Help them understand that their efforts helped the company get where it is today, but changes need to be made to get to the next level. Embrace your role as an agent of change.