Demand grows for temp finance chiefs who can jump in to help companies through reorganizations and turnarounds. -BY RUSS BANHAM
Lisa Donahue is not your usual CFO. Although her career includes finance chief positions at sportswear manufacturer Umbro, energy producer Calpine and battery maker Exide Technologies, none of these companies paid Donahue’s salary. Rather, her compensation came from Alix Partners, a firm that helps companies through operational reorganizations and corporate turnarounds. Donahue is an interim CFO at the companies she serves, a role she is presently filling at Boston-based Atlantic Power, a publicly traded power producer.
A cottage industry of CFO providers has emerged in the last 20 years, spurred initially by the failed leveraged buyouts of the mid-8os and more recently by increased competition brought on by globalization. Each of the firms involved, including Alix Partners, Tatum, Cerius, B2B CFO, TechCFO and several others, has its own value proposition.