August 19, 2021 – Chief financial officers continue to be in high demand. Finding them is keeping many of the nation’s top recruitment operations busier than ever. Mercedes Chatfield-Taylor, managing partner of the private equity and venture capital practice at Caldwell, has assisted in the placement of Jeneen Minter as the new CFO of GoFundMe, the largest global fundraising platform.
“Jeneen’s experience and successful track record with taking high-growth companies to the next level will be invaluable in helping GoFundMe sustain momentum as we look to accelerate the growth we have experienced as more people turn to the platform to ask for and to give help,” said Tim Cadogan, CEO of GoFundMe. “Her deep financial acumen and analytics expertise, along with her passion for entrepreneurialism, will help shape the strategic direction of the company as more people continue to turn to GoFundMe to address needs and realize dreams.”
Ms. Minter joins GoFundMe with decades of financial and operational leadership experience and a successful track record with both private and public companies. She led analytics, finance, accounting and governance functions at industry-leading start-ups and large public companies, where she successfully scaled them through hyper-growth, operationalized reporting infrastructure, and charted new and long-term growth strategies. Most recently, Ms. Minter was the chief financial and analytics officer at Material Bank. Prior to that, she was the head of finance for sustainable shoe retailer Allbirds, CFO for REVOLVE Clothing, and held leadership positions at Zappos and Coors Brewing Company.
In her role with GoFundMe, Ms. Minter will be responsible for leading the company’s finance, accounting and business intelligence functions as the company looks to expand into new international markets, build new products and enhance its existing offering. She will join the company’s executive team, reporting to and working closely with Mr. Cadogan to set the company strategy.
“GoFundMe is a unique company that allows people to help each other in an incredible variety of ways,” said Ms. Minter. “The company’s mission resonates deeply with me and I am delighted to help enable GoFundMe’s expansion into new products and markets to make an even bigger positive impact in the world.”
Ms. Minter joins GoFundMe at a pivotal moment for the company. Last month, GoFundMe announced that $15 billion has been raised on the platform from over 200 million donations since the company’s founding in 2010.
GoFundMe is the largest global fundraising platform that empowers people to give and receive help. Since then, more than $15 billion from over 200 million donations has uplifted those with needs and dreams, while making an impact at scale. GoFundMe is building a global support system
Ms. Chatfield-Taylor runs Caldwell’s global venture capital and private equity practice. She focuses on executive-level search for high-growth technology companies, with deep expertise in B2B SaaS, DevOps, E-commerce, consumer, and other transformative technologies. She has completed more than 50 CEO searches as well as hundreds of high impact investor and C-level assignments for her clients, with a deep passion and expertise in helping to diversify VC and PE firms, and their portfolio company boards and their leadership teams. Ms. Chatfield-Taylor recently placed Sarah Patterson as CMO of Samsara, Derrick Ware as CTO of Newsela, Sun Lee as CMO of Sisu, Heidi O’Neill as a board member at Spotify (IPO), and Prashanth Chandrasekaran as CEO for Stack Overflow.
Recruiting CFOs for VC/PE Companies
Executive search firm Caldwell recently conducted a survey on the CFO role to fine-tune its understanding of the skills and experiences that define success today for a CFO of a PE-backed portfolio company and, equally importantly, which attributes may sound appealing but are not essential. More than 300 private equity CFOs shared candid responses on their backgrounds and how they landed in their current role. The results provided a clearer picture of who sits in the CFO chair at many PE-backed portfolio companies, and the skills and credentials that are truly impactful in their leadership role.
When asked to describe their previous experience, 10 percent of the participants said, “I was a divisional CFO or No. 2 finance executive in a PE-backed company,” while 20 percent had the same status at a public company. Another 35 percent had been a CFO of a public or private company. And only 34 percent had been CFO of a PE-backed company. So just a third of the CFOs in the Caldwell survey had previously held a PE CFO role.
Among companies with less than $25 million in revenue, only 15 percent of the CFOs had prior experience as CFO of a PE-backed company, while 56 percent of the companies with greater than $500 million revenue hired a CFO with prior experience in a PE CFO role. In the three other revenue categories, the companies hired a CFO with prior PE CFO experience 40 percent of the time, or less. These findings would seem to indicate that hiring a CFO with prior PE CFO experience is a “nice to have,” but not a must-have credential for all companies, said the firm.
Caldwell also asked the CFOs: “What were the key factors in your hiring?” and asked them to check all relevant factors. Among the total population of participants, the No. 1 factor was industry experience, and the second factor was PE experience. Tied for third were a previous successful exit and a prior role as a stand-alone PE CFO.
Looking at the responses by company revenue size, private equity experience was the first or second response in all revenue categories. Likewise, industry experience was first or second in the four lower revenue categories. Among companies with greater than $500 million revenue, however, private equity experience was the top response, selected by 64 percent of the respondents, while a previous successful exit and experience as a stand-alone PE CFO were each chosen by 48 percent of respondents. Only in this largest revenue category did industry experience drop to the fourth answer, tied with public reporting experience. These responses would seem to reflect that among the largest companies, investors are more likely to be anticipating and hiring for an exit via a public offering.
By comparison, among companies with less than $25 million in revenue, public reporting experience was cited as a hiring factor only eight percent of the time, while a previous successful exit was cited by 17 percent of respondents. Across all revenue categories, the CFO had Big Four experience a quarter of the time, or less.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media