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554: Achieving a Strategic Capital Structure | David Moss, CFO INmune Bio

CFO Thought Leader

Release Date: 12/08/2019

567: When Growth & Risk are Synonymous  |   Kevin Jacobson, CFO, LogicGate show art 567: When Growth & Risk are Synonymous | Kevin Jacobson, CFO, LogicGate

CFO Thought Leader

Step inside CFO Kevin Jacobson’s office at LogicGate, and there’s little question that you’ll think you’ve entered a realm where growth and risk are often two sides of the same coin. In fact, LogicGate’s fast path to achieving “product market fit” was no doubt shortened by early customers who today wield a similar growth/risk mind-set. Four-year-old LogicGate, a provider of governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) software, now expects its workforce to expand to 170 employees before 2021. Says Jacobson: “I tell our team that going forward, we are going to be breaking records...

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566: Building Your P&L Culture | Scot Parnell, CFO DailyPay show art 566: Building Your P&L Culture | Scot Parnell, CFO DailyPay

CFO Thought Leader

We are nearly at the end of our interview with Scot Parnell when we ask him to explain what led him to accept the CFO position at DailyPay, a company with a pioneering technology inside the human capital management realm. This is a question that we had asked a little earlier in the interview, but this time we want to know what other factors may have contributed to his decision. Although Parnell has already put forth a compelling explanation of DailyPay’s unique offerings, he is happy to share a bit more with us. “This role was absolutely fascinating. I was at a place in my life where I...

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565:  A Fintech Unicorn Burnishes its Risk Management Brand  | Michael Tannenbaum, CFO, Brex Inc.  show art 565: A Fintech Unicorn Burnishes its Risk Management Brand | Michael Tannenbaum, CFO, Brex Inc.

CFO Thought Leader

Tannenbaum: At Brex, pretty early on, I was kind of familiar with the banking landscape from when I had been in investment banking. The group that I had been in actually served regional banks, so I did a lot of regional bank mergers and acquisitions. Then, at SoFi, I had built a lot of relationships with regional banks. I think that when you start in fintech, there's always this belief that you're competing with big banks. That was a lot of the marketing positioning of my former employer, SoFi, but at Brex I saw this opportunity to partner with banks because I was familiar with the card...

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564: Synchrony Steps Beyond the Shadow of its Historic Roots  | Brian Wenzel, CFO, Synchrony show art 564: Synchrony Steps Beyond the Shadow of its Historic Roots | Brian Wenzel, CFO, Synchrony

CFO Thought Leader

CFOTL: Having splitout from GE- we would imagine there were certain business processes already in place at Synchrony, while others processes had to be reestablished or developed. Wenzel: The processes that have been developed are probably the core part of our business. We had to build everything from scratch. Even the processes for things like very mundane benefits in HR, and paying people, and for some of the regulatory reporting–we had to build all that up. But we did take a process from GE that was a very good process in the credit risk world, a very traditional process. You go out...

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563:  Energizing Your Entrepreneurial Mind-set | Stephen Grist, CFO, Bohemia Interactive Simulations show art 563: Energizing Your Entrepreneurial Mind-set | Stephen Grist, CFO, Bohemia Interactive Simulations

CFO Thought Leader

It was back in 2002, Stephen Grist says, when he first punched through a surface of rigid assumptions to grasp the innovative levers that would propel him into the ranks of strategic CFOs. At the time, Grist was the CFO of Viatel, a technology company whose management and sales teams were eagerly seeking to reestablish the company’s footing along a growth path after having recently emerged from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. With its bankruptcy in the rearview mirror, the company emerged with an unbridled appetite for growth—but one that was perhaps lacking in long-term vision. Says Grist:...

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562:  A Window Into the Future | Anna Brunelle, CFO, Kinestral Technologies show art 562: A Window Into the Future | Anna Brunelle, CFO, Kinestral Technologies

CFO Thought Leader

Asked to reflect on those experiences that she feels prepared her for a finance leadership role, a cash flow statement quickly comes to mind for Anna Brunelle, CFO of Kinestral Technologies. Only months into her first industry finance job, Brunelle was tasked with preparing her company’s cash flow statement, and she didn’t like some of what she discovered about the business. “I realized that there were a couple of businesses that the company had acquired a few years earlier that had some elements that were kind of dragging down our profitability,” explains Brunelle, who after digging a...

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561: Identifying the Levers for  Efficient Growth |  John Evarts, CFO, Mediafly show art 561: Identifying the Levers for Efficient Growth | John Evarts, CFO, Mediafly

CFO Thought Leader

Ten years or so ago, the expression “never waste a downturn” became a popular maxim among business leaders who viewed the economy’s downward spiral as an opportunity to trim waste and restructure portions of their businesses. The expression also summed up the mind-set of a unique class of executives who, despite a bleak hiring environment, viewed the period as being potentially transformational for their careers. Such was the case with CFO John Evarts, who entered the downturn as a CFO for a not-for-profit and exited as CFO of Mediafly—a small content asset management company that in...

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560: When Your Tactic Becomes Your Strategy | Raman Kapur, CFO, Moogsoft show art 560: When Your Tactic Becomes Your Strategy | Raman Kapur, CFO, Moogsoft

CFO Thought Leader

Years from now, if Silicon Valley’s glitterati were ever to gather to celebrate the opening of a National Cloud Computing Museum, CFO Raman Kapur would make an excellent tour guide for the facility’s finance wing. In fact, he could just chart the trajectory of his career from the dot-com bubble forward to help the world at large to better grasp how the cloud opportunity has grown and reshaped the finance business function. Our tour could begin at Intuit, the accounting software developer that Kapur joined in 2001 while seeking shelter from the dot-com bubble burst, where he quickly found...

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559: Establishing  Your Work Ethos | Bea Ordonez, CFO, OTC Markets Group, Inc. show art 559: Establishing Your Work Ethos | Bea Ordonez, CFO, OTC Markets Group, Inc.

CFO Thought Leader

Perhaps, unlike most of her professional peers, when Bea Ordonez first interviewed for a CFO role, she got the job. At the time, perhaps no one was more surprised than Ordonez, whose finance resume—while impressive for a 26-year-old—still lacked a number of C-suite prerequisites. Twenty years later, she still resides in the C-Suite, having filled a number of consecutive CFO and COO roles over the years. Nonetheless, she credits her first CFO tour of duty with having opened the door for everything that has followed. “On paper, at least, I was woefully underqualified for the job. I...

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Holiday Bonus | Family, Discipline & the Roots of Leadership | Charmaine Spence Rochester, CFO, Chester County Hospital show art Holiday Bonus | Family, Discipline & the Roots of Leadership | Charmaine Spence Rochester, CFO, Chester County Hospital

CFO Thought Leader

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Among the many lessons that David Moss has learned along the trajectory of his 25-year finance career, the one to which he refers simply as “the $3 million sweatshirt” is perhaps the most enduring.

Even after 20 years, Moss can’t help but mention the sweatshirt bearing the logo of Pets.com, which he kept as a souvenir from an earlier career chapter involving a $3 million investment in the infamous dot-com retailing upstart. Pets.com began operations in November 1998 and shut down in November 2000, becoming one of the more high-profile victims of the dot-com bubble. However, looking back, Moss says that while the economy’s sudden gyrations certainly contributed to the firm’s demise, other mistakes also came into play, including the filling of leadership roles with executives from large enterprise companies.

“Someone from a large business often has a difficult time in adjusting to dynamic environments where you have to get your hands dirty and wear all of the hats and take the trash out,” says Moss, who clearly has kept his appetite for investing in early-stage companies—especially inside the biotech realm, where he now resides as CFO and cofounder of INmune, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. “We don’t have a lot of complexity when it comes to how we built the business or the way that our accounting works, ” adds Moss, who, along with two other cofounders, formulated a plan to self-fund INmune. “Our mantra is to keep things simple,” explains Moss, who says that the firm’s capital structure underscores this philosophy, along with a preference for selling only common stock. –Jack Sweeney

CFOTL: Tell us about a finance strategic moment?
Moss: One very strategic moment in our business at INmune Bio had to do with something that we did that was very unusual with regard to our financial situation. When companies go public, they typically go and hire an investment bank first. Then they go and draft all of their financial documents, and then they go and do their IPO and raise the money. We did the opposite here at INmune, which is probably very, very rare. We went and actually drafted our financial documents, got them approved by the regulatory authorities like the SEC and the NASDAQ, and then went and got our banks to do our capital raise. We did this because we wanted to be in the driver's seat. You know, we kind of have this view that you want to drive your own destiny. You put yourself more in the driver's seat, show that you can do it, and then try to bring your financial players on board. That's what we did here.

As a result, what does this mean? There are positives and negatives with everything that you do. One positive is that because we drove the deal, it was mainly on our own terms. We also were able to maintain a lot of insider ownership, because we're big believers in this business. We believe in simplicity, so we wanted a simple cap structure. We didn't want to go into preferreds, we didn't want to go into convertible debt. We didn't want to go into warrants or anything like that. So, we kind of drove that on our own. A negative is that we weren't able to attract investor audiences as large as we would have if we had been more flexible in our terms and our deal structure. But all of this led to us ringing the bell on the NASDAQ, where we were actually the first biotech IPO of 2019.

 

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