Biotechnology – VP Finance & Administration/CFO – Ontario


About the Company

Our client is a Canadian biotechnology company contributing to innovations in agriculture. Currently, they are undertaking the commercial marketing of a non-food oilseed that can be produced under a sustainable production scheme and supports the biofuels industry. They are working with partners to achieve a billion gallon feedstock scale and security for the aviation renewable fuels industry.

Scope of Position

The VP Finance & Administration/CFO will report to the CEO, and thereby will have significant input to the direction and operations of the Company and its ultimate financial success. The CFO will be the key architect, driver and implementer of the Company’s financial strategy with direct responsibility to ensure the Company has sufficient capital to execute its business plan and ultimately to assist the CEO in engineering liquidity and attractive returns for shareholders.

The CFO will be a key member of the senior management team with contribution expected to most strategic and major operational decisions, including the creation and execution of the business plan and implementation of the necessary internal systems and processes. S/he will be responsible for working with all members of the senior management team to help ensure the Company has fiscal discipline and meets all financial and fiscal objectives.

The CFO has direct responsibility for directing the company’s finance, accounting, tax, information systems, risk management, human resources, facilities management, investor relations, reporting and administrative functions for the company. A priority is ensuring that the company has business processes, systems and controls in place and functioning to ensure efficient and effective business operations and to prudently manage cash.

Functional Tasks

  • Serve as a member of executive leadership team
  • Working closely with the CEO, implement any financing strategy which may include an IPO, RTO, private (i.e. venture capital) or debt (including venture debt).
  • Work closely with the CEO on all strategic, operational, and capital formation matters and participate as a key member of the leadership team responsible for determining the strategic direction and management of the Company.
  • Articulate the Company’s value proposition to all key constituencies along the value chain and to key stakeholders.
  • Assist the CEO in development of the Company’s business plan. Provide financial strategy and guidance to ensure the business plan is achievable. Assist in the development and implementation of corporate strategies.
  • Work with the senior management team to develop the Company’s annual and long term budget. Ensure that the budget and actual/budget variances are clearly understood and are a key element of decision-making at all management levels. Review the appropriateness and feasibility of all capital expenditures and major outlays and effectively communicate guidance to the management team regarding said expenditures.
  • Prepare and maintain regular financial planning reports including monthly or quarterly financial statements and cash flow forecasts.
  • Develop and utilize forward-looking, predictive models and activity-based financial analyses to provide insight into the organization’s operations and business plans.
  • Develop and execute analysis of various business initiatives (e.g. capital asset acquisition, product launches).
  • Assess organizational performance against both the annual budget and company’s long-term strategy.
  • Develop tools and systems to provide critical financial and operational information to the CEO and Board of Directors in order to make actionable recommendations on both strategy and operations.
  • Engage the Board of Directors finance and audit committee around issues, trends, and changes in the operating model(s) and operational delivery.
  • Oversee cash flow planning and ensure availability of funds as needed. Oversee cash, investment, and asset management.
  • Identify and analyze proposed transactions to advance the Company’s goals and strategies, including business partnerships/acquisitions, licensing arrangements, product/service deals, and financial support of sales activities. Contribute to negotiating, managing and closing all agreements having financial consequences to the Company.
  • Ensure all necessary policies, procedures, systems, controls and administrative resources are in place and are effective in managing all Company operating functions. Be the champion for efficiency in all Company functions.
  • Coordinate the development and monitoring of budgets. Develop financial business plans and forecasts. Participate in corporate policy development as a member of the senior management team.
  • Engage the finance committee of the board of directors to develop short-, medium-, and long-term financial plans and projections.
  • Represent the company to financial partners, including financial institutions, investors, auditors, public officials, etc.
  • Manage day-to-day financial and administrative operations, including accounting, auditing, billing, financial reporting, budgeting and planning, tax, treasury, information systems, asset and risk management, and human resources. Ensure that all financial and administrative functions follow procedures that are in full compliance with all applicable laws, standards and professional guidelines.

Key Performance Deliverables

In light of the identified responsibilities, the following are specific deliverables that the position is designed to achieve.

  • To be agreed upon with the successful candidate

Competency Profile

The following competencies listed below define the role of VP Finance & Administration/CFO  at our client –

Role Expertise
Demonstrates critical technical or professional knowledge/skills related to the role. Has thorough knowledge of relevant products, services and methods. Expands technical knowledge/skills and keeps up-to-date in own area of expertise.

Industry & Market Awareness
Seeks to anticipate and respond to industry and market changes/challenges by understanding key characteristics, issues and the factors driving them. Aware of competitor’s products, services and position.

Commercial Acumen
Applies appropriate commercial and financial principles. Understands situations in terms of costs, profits, added-value and return on investment. Appreciates the commercial impact of own work on the organization’s total expenses and revenues.

Strategic Approach
Develops a strategic plan to realize the vision. Revises strategy in light of changing circumstances. Takes a long-term view of organizational success. Works to clarify long term organizational goals. Able to stand back from immediate problems in order to focus on more far reaching ideas.

Planning & Objective Setting
Systematic in approach to work. Produces action plans in which objectives are defined and steps for achieving them are clearly specified. Plans by breaking down large task into subtasks. Develops plans that anticipate obstacles. Is realistic about time-scales and builds in appropriate checkpoints, milestones and controls in order to ensure that desired results are realized.

Information Seeking
Consults widely for business or technical advice, probes for facts and obtains information from a wide variety of sources. Differentiates the critical from the irrelevant or trivial.

Results Orientation
Focuses strongly on achieving agreed upon outcomes and ensures that key objectives are met. Conveys a sense of urgency and drives issues to closure. Aims to improve upon past performance. Establishes aggressive personal targets and strives to achieve them.

Articulates the key points of an argument persuasively. Negotiates skillfully and convinces others to own point of view. Directly and indirectly impacts the decisions/opinions of others. Mobilizes people into action.


Preferred Experience / Education

The following indicates specific industry, academic and functional experience/qualifications that are important to the successful achievement of the identified responsibilities and performance deliverables.

  • Require a CA or CGA designation
  • Previous experience in the agricultural or energy sectors and asset
  • At least five years experience as CFO or equivalent, experience in small cap public companies an asset
  • Experience working with information technology staff to manage finance and accounting software packages.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated leadership ability, team management, and interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent analytical and abstract reasoning skills, plus excellent organization skills.
  • Experience in a senior financial-management role, partnering with executive staff, resulting in the development and implementation of creative financial management strategies.

Remuneration & Benefits

  • Highly competitive base, variable and stock package.

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