December 7, 2020 – Irvine, CA-based search firm McDermott + Bull recently placed Steve Adams as chief accounting officer of First American Financial Corp. in Santa Anna, CA. Chris Bull, managing partner and co-founder of the search firm, partner Craig Lipus, senior executive Sara Pizarro and director Anne Terry led the assignment.
With over 25 years of experience in accounting and finance at SEC reporting companies, Mr. Adams has expertise in leading, managing and building large, motivated teams. He has experience leading companies through growth and change with an emphasis on improving productivity, including building a team, systems, and processes to IPO readiness. He most recently served as chief accounting officer for WASH Multifamily Laundry Inc., and he has served as chief accounting officer for notable companies such as Tanium Inc., DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. and DIRECTV.
First American Financial Corp. is a financial services company that provides title insurance and settlement services to the real estate and mortgage industries. The First American Family of Companies’ core business lines include title insurance and closing/settlement services; title plant management services; title and other real property records and images; valuation products and services; home warranty products; property and casualty insurance; and banking, trust and investment advisory services.
McDermott + Bull serves clients in the technology, financial services, manufacturing, biotech and life sciences, retail and professional services sectors. Since the advent of MB Interim Leaders in 2011, the firm has met both the permanent and interim needs of its clients. The firm has served a range of domestic and global mobility clients, including MNX Global Logistics, AAA, Panasonic Corp., United Pacific Industries, Hyundai Capital America, Denso, Mitsubishi Motors, Delta Electronics and SAIC Motor.
Mr. Bull is a co-founder of the firm. In addition to leading a team of executive search consultants, he has built his own executive search practice catering to a variety of clients, including Experian, First American Financial, Fluidmaster, Kelley Blue Book, SC Fuels, Thomas James Capital Homes, Trojan Battery, Union Bank and Vizio, among others.
Mr. Lipus serves as a practice leader in the healthcare and technology practice supporting both private and public companies, private equity firms and their operating companies. His clients include Broadcom, AECOM, ICU Medical, The JT Posey Co., Wound Care Specialists, Alliance Healthcare, AccentCare and ModernHealth Pharmacy.
Ms. Pizarro collaborates with private and public organizations, as well as highly-regarded private equity firms and their operating companies. Her responsibilities include candidate research and recruiting, pipeline management and candidate flow, and performance feedback.
McDermott + Bull Welcomes New Managing Director In New York
Sun-Sun de Swaan joins McDermott + Bull as a managing director to help drive the firm’s real estate practice. “As we continue to expand throughout North America, we are excited to grow our presence in the New York market,” said Rod McDermott, CEO and co-founder of McDermott + Bull. “Sun-Sun’s success and achievements leading a real estate practice and finding and securing top-talent for industry-leading companies will greatly benefit the clients she serves at the firm.”
Ms. Terry works alongside Mr. Bull assisting in business development, marketing strategy, research and search execution. She joined the firm with over three decades of diverse roles, which include manufacturing sales, corporate volunteer recruiting, corporate management, corporate training and corporate events.
Chief Accounting Officers
“The need for a chief accounting officer has grown significantly in response to the increased demands of operating in a digital and global landscape,” said Denise C. Amari, partner and head of the financial officers practice at RM Nephew and Associates. “As a company officer, the CAO is responsible for global financial reporting, regulatory compliance, and audit but the role also demands a broad and strategic mindset. The CAO must understand the long-term financial impact of the company’s business plans and will interact regularly with the company’s board. The board will often take particular interest in the CAO role, as it is viewed as a steppingstone to the chief financial officer position.”
“When recommending candidates for chief accounting officer, we look for individuals with a meaningful public accounting background and experience working in publicly-traded companies in compliance and strategic roles,” Ms. Amari said. “It is critical that the CAO have the soft skills to lead, motivate, and inspire global teams.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media