OC CFO Forum Spotlights the Evolving Role of CFOs in M&A

There’s no question about it: 2018 is all about the deal.

With a strong economy as the catalyst, companies are increasingly turning to mergers and acquisitions as a means for growth, widening their consumer base and increasing overall productivity. In fact, $2.5 trillion in mergers was announced for the first part of this year — a number that is on track to surpass 2015’s record total of $5 trillion, according to The New York Times.

And a hot-button topic suitable for the theme of this year’s OC CFO Forum.


For its third installment, the exclusive event attracted an intimate gathering of leading area CFOs on Oct. 17 at Water Grill in Costa Mesa. Century Group, Mercer, Marsh & McLennan Companies and MetLife co-sponsored Wednesday’s forum, which aims to provide a unique resource for CFOs to sharpen their understanding of emerging trends, build and maintain relationships and discover new opportunities.

“The Mercer/Marsh partnership with Century Group is a terrific way to show our appreciation to the Orange County business community by connecting finance leaders with each other to develop relationships built on learning, collaboration and having some fun,” says Janet Vreeland, Principal of Regional Market Development at Mercer.


To tackle the multifacted role of CFOs in M&A, the forum tapped panelists Jim Heiken with Bourns, Inc., Paciolan’s Kimberly Boren and Mike Schantz at Jenny Craig to share their personal experiences and insights. Former NFL quarterback, TV analyst and Vice President of New Business Development at Marsh and McLennan Companies, Steve Beuerlein, helped set the stage and moderated the conversation.

“We all know that today’s CFO is a multifaceted role involving many focuses,” he said, opening the discussion. “But the CFO’s involvement with strategic development, and particularly M&A activity, can profoundly impact the finances and operations of the company for years to come.”

Three Keys to M&A Success as a CFO:

1. Creating the Financial Model

For Schantz and Boren, the financial model is paramount. “The financial model, from my perspective, is the life blood of the deal. It’s the financial summation of the investment thesis for the buyer and what the seller is trying to convey,” Schantz explained. Boren also highlighted the importance of modeling revenue synergies conservatively when buying another company. “That allows us to pay a fair price … and also protect ourselves from any downsides in the future,” she said. Heiken advised his peers to always focus on the core competencies of their organization and expand from there. Because, as he put it, “diversification equals risk.”

2. Building Your Dream Deal Team

While the CFO must wear different hats to bring a deal together, they still rely on experts to handle the intricacies and complexities of modern dealmaking. All three panelists stress the importance of having the right support throughout all phases of the transaction, which includes investment bankers, attorneys, tax specialists, insurance companies and management team. “They all have to deliver a similar message to not disrupt the process,” Schantz said.

3. Leading the New Culture

Boren noted that this area has taught her one of her greatest lessons in the CFO role. “I can be on the naïve side and assume everyone will just get along. I’ve seen alliances being made and leadership in the acquired business be let go.” Her advice: “If you’re going to make those type of decisions, make them quickly.”

Both Schantz and Heiken have experienced mergers between companies in different countries — requiring them to effectively form a single, unifying vision for the company moving forward. For Heiken, an acquisition Bourns, Inc. made four years ago in Japan helped him learn how to successfully adjust to companies’ unique cultural structures. “As a CFO, you have to make sure that you add value and are seen as a team player. That will help them accept your ideas and thoughts.”

The forum concluded with an open Q&A with guests and continued conversation over dinner.

“Building great teams, great cultures and helping clients succeed is at the core of who we are at Century Group,” says Barnaby Wang, Senior Director of Executive Search at Century Group’s Costa Mesa office. “The OC CFO Forum is another opportunity for us to bring financial executives together and connect them with each other and with new ideas that will make everyone a little bit better than when they came in the door.”

Century Group Sponsors 12th Annual OCBJ CFO of the Year Awards

On Jan. 31, more than 700 professionals attended this year’s Orange County Business Journal CFO of the Year Awards held at Hotel Irvine. The well-attended event is a highlight for the Orange County business community, which recognizes senior financial executives who’ve demonstrated excellence in their roles as corporate stewards.

Century Group sponsored the OC CFO of the Year Awards for the 7th year — viewing the reception as an opportunity to mingle with the community its serves and helps set the tone for the rest of the year.

“It’s a great platform to share insights from different industries, market trends, geo-political influence on our respective businesses and building new relationships,” says Barnaby Wang, Managing Director of Century Group’s Orange County office. “Our guests seem to enjoy the opportunity to step away from their busy schedule to rub elbows with their colleagues.”

Fourty-seven of OC’s finest made up 2019’s class of nominees, and exhibited the ethical behavior and guiding principles necessary to drive the success of their companies. But five stood out among their peers:

  • Outstanding CFO of a Public Company – Mike Henry, Tilly’s
  • Outstanding CFO of a Private Company – Allan Dicks, Montrose Environmental Group, Inc.
  • Outstanding CFO of a Not-for-Profit Organization – Guita Sharifi, Radiant Health Centers
  • Corporate Controller of the Year – Phil Carter, Skyworks Solutions, Inc.
  • Rising Star – David Sunderland, Emerald Expositions

Century Group congratulates all of this year’s winners and nominees, and is proud to be apart of an event that celebrates Orange County’s leading financial talent. “The tone at the top really sets the tone for a company’s success, culture and employee morale,” Wang says. “Meeting these finance leaders helps us deliver better matches.”

Century Group Sponsors 11th Annual Orange County CFO Awards

The Event

For the sixth year, Century Group proudly sponsored the Orange County Business Journal’s CFO of the Year Awards — an annual reception that recognizes area Chief Financial Officers who demonstrated superior leadership and corporate stewardship in the preceding fiscal year.

More than 500 financial professionals and guests gathered at Hotel Irvine on Thursday, Feb. 15, representing the local financial talent making notable strides within the software, technology manufacturing, genetic testing, medical device distribution and non-profit industries. Thirty-six nominees were presented to the awards committee to receive one of the evening’s five coveted accolades: Outstanding CFO of a Public Company, Outstanding CFO of a Private Company, Outstanding CFO of a Not-for-Profit Organization, Rising Star and Lifetime Achievement. The applicants were judged on their ability to drive the success of their respective organizations, and overall contribution to the industry’s advancement.

The Awardees

This year’s honorees included Alteryx Inc.’s Kevin Rubin (Outstanding CFO of a Public Company), Debby Morris with Apria Healthcare (Outstanding CFO of a Private Company), John Luker of Orangewood Foundation & Samueli Academy (Outstanding CFO of a Not-for-Profit Organization), Michael Martinson with Ambry Genetics (Rising Star) and Todd Schull of TTM Technologies (Lifetime Achievement). Schull’s Lifetime Achievement award was the capstone of the night’s honors, where he was acknowledged for the foresight and innovative work he’s performed throughout his esteemed career.

“It’s certainly an honor to be selected for this award, but this award is more than just about me. It’s about the people you work with, the teams we are a part of and the organizations you are a member of,” he explained during his acceptance speech. “And I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank Barnaby Wang from Century Group for nominating me for this year’s award.”

Each awardee also expressed their appreciation for their individual teams and families, and shared thoughtful takeaways from their unique professional journeys — highlighting the range and impact financial professionals have in our region.

“This year’s event was entertaining as always with an impressive group of nominees that show the strength, diversity and promise of Orange County’s business community,” says Tim Calley, Managing Director of Century Group’s Orange County office.

“Century Group would like to congratulate all of the winners and nominees, and show our appreciation to the financial executives that took the time out of their busy schedules to join us as our guests for the event. Your presence and conversation help make the event one of the most anticipated nights of the year.”

Photo credit: Orange County Business Journal

OC CFO Awards 2018 OC CFO Awards 2018
OC CFO Awards 2018  11th annual Orange County Business Journal's CFO of the Year Awards

Century Group Sponsors the 2018 San Fernando Valley Business Journal’s CFO & HR Professionals of the Year Awards

The San Fernando Valley Business Journal honored the area’s preeminent financial and human resources talent on Wednesday, June 13 at its CFO & HR Professionals of the Year Awards held at Hilton Woodland Hills. A total of 32 industry professionals were recognized at the luncheon, with nine finalists receiving awards for their outstanding work in the community.

Century Group proudly sponsors this annual celebration — happy to bring their financial insight and expertise to the afternoon’s collection of local industry professionals.

“Century Group is pleased to be involved in the SFVBJ’s annual recognition of CFOs, and now, HR professionals,” says Century Group Managing Director Phil Bruno. “It stands out as a unique opportunity to celebrate those who drive business specifically in the San Fernando Valley, and it compliments our goal of connecting top-tier finance and accounting professionals with the San Fernando Valley companies that need them.”

Five Orange County CFOs Honored at Annual Awards

Financial professionals and guests gathered at the Orange County Business Journal’s CFO of the Year Awards on Wednesday, February 4 in Irvine to honor this year’s nominees and recipients. Century Group proudly sponsors the event each year to honor area financial professionals who have shown the highest level of talent and commitment as corporate stewards for their respective companies in the preceding fiscal year.

The awards went to Sunstone Hotel Investors’ Bryan Giglia, Outstanding CFO of a Public Company; Vizio’s Kurt Binder, Outstanding CFO of a Private Company; Discovery Cube’s Mike McGee, Outstanding CFO of a Not-for-Profit Organization; Razor USA’s Larry Rosolowski, Lifetime Achievement Award; Incipio Technologies’ Ann Fong, Rising Star. The awards committee selected this year’s winners from 42 finalists, all nominated for the award by colleagues in the profession. Each of the nominees were said to have certain attributes, including the ability to successfully promote and support excellence as a CFO; establish procedures; set an example of ethical behavior; act as a team-builder, mentor and innovator; and contribute to the advancement of the industry and community.

Orange County CFO of the Year Awards 2014 - Photo by Laurel Hungerford PhotographyWinners Bryan Giglia, Mike McGee, Ann Fong, Larry Rosolowski and Christine Binder, who accepted the award for her husband (Photo by Laurel Hungerford Photography)

Each winner’s speech, while different, had a common theme – they shared their awards with their teams and expressed gratitude to those behind them for their support. In addition to honoring his “incredible team at Vizio,” honoree Kurt Binder – who was traveling for business and delivered his acceptance speech remotely – gave a special shout out to the individual who nominated him for this honor: Tim Calley, Managing Director of Century Group’s Orange County Office.

“It was an honor to nominate Kurt Binder for the award,” Calley said. “I’ve known Kurt since he was a partner with Ernst & Young, focusing on pre-IPO and publicly-traded companies in the technology and medical device space, and he has really flourished in his role with VIZIO. He has led their accounting and finance team through a period of tremendous growth, as well as cost-effectively managing some of the world’s largest suppliers and retailers, all the while maintaining or increasing margins throughout the process. VIZIO is fortunate to have Kurt Binder as their CFO, and Orange County is proud to have Kurt as a CFO in our market.”

Calley described the awards as one of the premier events in the Orange County business community. “Century Group’s professionals, guests, business partners and clients look forward to this evening every year – and this year’s event didn’t disappoint. As we celebrated five new winners, we had the opportunity to spend time with the financial leaders from many of the nation’s ‘A-List’ companies. We are looking forward to participating again next year.”

More details and photos from the event can be found online. You can also read a profile on each honoree in the February 16 issue of the Orange County Business Journal.

Orange County CFO of the Year Awards 2014 - Photo by Laurel Hungerford Photography
Century Group’s Ron Blair, COO; Tim Calley, Managing Director of the Orange County Office; and Ron Proul, CEO (Photo by Laurel Hungerford Photography)

Orange County CFO of the Year Awards 2014 - Photo by Laurel Hungerford Photography
(Photo by Laurel Hungerford Photography)

Orange County CFO of the Year Awards 2014
Tim Calley, Managing Director of Century Group’s Orange County Office with nominee Brian Scharkey, CFO of Olive Crest, and his wife Cindy

Orange County CFO of the Year Awards 2014
Century Group’s Marcus Gardner with nominee Nicole Carrillo, CFO of Opus Bank

Orange County CFO of the Year Awards 2014
Ron Blair, Century Group’s COO, with nominee Kurt Altergott, CFO of MIG Capital

Orange County CFO of the Year Awards 2014
Century Group’s Kevin Udink and Barnaby Wang with nominee Chris Lawrence, CFO of American First CU and Century Group guests

Century Group Co-Hosts Annual Orange County CFO Forum

Costa Mesa, CA – The Orange County CFO Forum convened a panel of CFO’s from leading Orange County companies at its mid-year forum meeting on Tuesday, June 20 at the Water Grill. The Forum was co-hosted by Century Group, Workday and Mercer to explore and learn how the role of the modern CFO has evolved over the years into a multi-faceted role involving many different focuses. The forum attracted nearly 50 CFO’s from a cross section of Orange County organizations to participate in a conversation about the role of the modern CFO and how it is changing and how it is likely to continue evolving in the coming years.

The panel was moderated by Orange County native Steve Beuerlein, Vice President of Marsh and McLennan Companies, current NFL analyst and former NFL quarterback. The CFO panelists included:

  • Kurt Binder, CFO – Vizio
  • Colin Severn, CFO – William Lyon Homes
  • Bob Vreeland, CFO – Clean Energy Fuels

Tim Calley, Managing Director of Century Group’s Orange County practice offices commented on the unique energy and experience that occurs when you bring together great leaders.

“There’s a real interest and thirst for this type of peer-to-peer leadership development and networking for CFOs in Orange County. Once again we had an overflow crowd of finance executives from many of the premier Orange County based companies. The panel did a fantastic job “Profiling the Modern CFO” and our moderator Steve Beuerlein made sure there were no lulls in the action. As we normally do – we wrapped up the night with a gourmet dinner and lively conversation about the evening’s panel and topic for the night. We’re all looking forward to the next meeting.”


The moderator, CFO panelists and CFO guests’ discussion focused on four key themes:

1. Key Relationships at all Levels – The Board, The CEO, Peers & Colleagues, Your Team

Kurt Binder, CFO of Vizio focused on the importance of key relationships in your CFO career noting that “relationships get built over time and they’re cultivated through continuous interaction, says Kurt Binder, “and when you do that in a healthy way, that over time will pay dividends, so when you’re in those difficult situations, you get that lifeline.” He continued – “My perspective has always been that if you’re not out and about meeting and cultivating relationships, gaining information and insight into what’s going on in the industry, in accounting or in a business group, you can’t be an effective leader. It all comes through your availability to develop those relationships and to be able to communicate it effectively with that particular individual or that particular group – you need that information to make good decisions.”

2. Key Challenges – Cost Discipline and Hiring Great People

Colin Severn of William Lyon Homes shared some of his foundational challenges around cost – labor restraints and having predictable costs, “We invest a lot of resources into predictability and making sure we’re being disciplined.” Bob Vreeland of Clean Energy Fuels articulated the “priority of hiring good people, and wanting to have an environment that people love to work in and part of that becomes the tools they’re using.”

3. Data Analytics

All three panelists emphasized how data analytics has become a large part of what they do as a CFO, and that wasn’t the case 10 years ago. They highlighted that hiring highly analytical people and purchasing the best tools possible is critical to making financial decisions today and will only become more important as time goes on.

4. Professional Development

The final section of the evening’s conversation centered on professional development for CFO’s which Tim Calley pointed out is the primary reason for the existence of the Orange County CFO Forum. Colin Severn agreed and lamented the fact that “We’re in a time where there isn’t a true place or training to learn how to be a CFO.” He continued, “Local networking events like this are important, industry breakfast and lunch meetings, and serving on boards.”



Orange County CFO Forum is a unique resource network for Chief Financial Officers and top finance executives of leading area mid-market companies. This forum offers: Informative, thought-provoking meetings and networking opportunities for gaining fresh perspectives on how CFOs are defining and executing the CFO role in their companies; sharing insights, perspectives and experience with other CFOs in a stimulating environment; building and maintaining friendships with like-minded peers and sharpening your understanding of emerging trends; discovering new opportunities and contributing to Southern California’s economic growth and development.


Century Group is a premier recruiting and interim services firm focused exclusively on professional, mid-management and executive level roles in Accounting and Finance. Our four offices in Southern California deliver leading talent through leveraging our unique methodology that ensures: Selection, Speed, and Security. We utilize the tools of executive search to select the most qualified candidates in the timeliest manner while reducing the risk associated with hiring through other methods. With over 85% of our business from returning, satisfied clients, and 80% of clients making their final candidate selection within 30 days, our methodology speaks for itself.

CFO of the Year Awards


Tuesday, January 28, 2014
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Hotel Irvine Jamboree Center
17900 Jamboree Road
Irvine, CA 92614

The CFO OF THE YEAR AWARDS are presented annually in January to area financial professionals for outstanding performance as corporate stewards for the preceding fiscal year. Awards are presented in five categories: Outstanding CFO of a Public Co.; Outstanding CFO of a Private Co.; Outstanding CFO of a Not-for-Profit Organization; Rising Star and Lifetime Achievement. The program is in its seventh year and is presented in association with the California Society of CPAs.


WE’RE CENTURY GROUP. And we execute an average of 1,500 searches a year in finance and accounting. Promptly. Precisely. Reliably. Delivering the kind of talent that doesn’t just make a team complete. It makes it better.

Century Group connects top tier finance and accounting professionals to the companies that need them. That’s it. No operations directors or marketing VPs or CIOs. Just finance and accounting, professional to executive level, project to permanent. It’s what we know. And what we’re known for.

With our singular purpose, ongoing recruitment process and elite network of financial talent, Century Group clients see results with unrivaled speed and accuracy. Which is why we see the same clients again and again.

Presented by:

CG_logo ocbj_logo

Century Group Congratulates the Winners of the 2013 Orange County CFO of the Year Awards

Public Company: Frank Martell of CoreLogic Inc. in Irvine

Private Company: Stephen Dixon of Fluidmaster Inc. in San Juan Capistrano

Not-for-Profit Organization: Donald Voska of Goodwill of Orange County in Santa Ana

Rising Star: Kent Ratzlaff of Niagara Bottling LLC in Ontario/Irvine

Lifetime Achievement: Kevin Manion of Young’s Market Inc. in Aliso Viejo

Century Group Brings Unique Perspective to 10th Annual Los Angeles Diversity Mixer

On April 26, the intimate space at the Los Angeles Athletic Club bustled with nearly 250 high-performing professionals — all seeking new job opportunities or a chance to expand their professional networks. The 10th Annual Los Angeles Diversity Mixer was in full swing, with Century Group offering attendees a unique perspective as one of the few staffing and recruiting firms to sponsor the event.

Since 2009, the Los Angeles Diversity Mixer connects motivated candidates with a handful of Fortune 500 companies in a wide range of industries — and the array of guests is just as diverse. The Riordan Programs Alumni Association’s signature event caters to up-and-coming talent of various ethnicities, educational backgrounds and industry experience, helping to make the mixer a special affair year after year.

“We very much look forward to partnering with The Riordan Programs and UCLA Anderson School of Business each year at the Los Angeles Diversity Mixer,” says Phil Bruno, Century Group’s Managing Director. “It’s unusual to get so many talented and in-demand people together in such an intimate setting.”

Sonia Aouriri, an Associate on Century Group’s Executive Search team, represented the firm for a second year, and shared resume advice, interviewing tips and insight on the current market landscape with attendees. “I enjoy meeting professionals and the networking experience,” she explains. “The mixer is a great way to connect with people who are eager to learn more about current job opportunities and how Century Group can be a resource in their job search.”

Century Group’s Associate Director of Recruiting Madison Garshman also participated in this year’s Los Angeles Diversity Mixer, and enjoyed using the firm’s expertise to help candidates find suitable opportunities.

“I think they liked that we came from a consultant background. We’re not trying to sell you on Century Group — we’re trying to sell our clients,” she says. “I also liked that there was a variey of industries and people who were from different walks of life.”

About The Riordan Programs Alumni Association

The UCLA Riordan Programs Alumni Association was established in 2000 to provide Riordan Programs graduates with continued educational, personal and professional leadership support, so they have the resources needed to become future leaders in our community. All proceeds from the LA Diversity Mixer benefited RPAA’s Saturday Business Academy, which presents underserved high school students with individual mentorship and college preparation curriculum.

Happy Hour for Tax Executives with Moss Adams – Thursday, March 19

Join Century Group and Moss Adams LLP  for a casual happy hour event to mix and mingle with fellow tax executives. Stop by for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres before you head to dinner or your next engagement, and unwind after a busy tax season. You deserve it!


Thursday, March 19, 2015
4:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Bluewater Grill
The District, 2409 Park Ave.
Tustin, CA 92782

Click here to register for the event


Tim Calley, (714) 361-6516, [email protected]

Carly Miller, (949) 517-9434, [email protected]

Jeff Boyd, (949) 872-5130, [email protected]