Briggs and Morgan
Search for Chief Financial Officer
Briggs and Morgan (“Briggs”), Professional Association, is one of the Midwest’s most trusted names in business law and litigation services. For 135 years, the Firm has moved their clients and communities forward with a blend of creativity, collective understanding and perspective that comes from experience. The Firm’s attorneys represent clients across virtually every industry segment in litigation, transactional and regulatory matters locally, regionally and nationally. The Firm is known for its business mindset, depth of experience, collaborative mentality and a practicality that informs their legal counsel and strategic advice.
Briggs is a forward-thinking law firm with an impressive client base, a group of talented professionals committed to innovation and a solid financial foundation with annual revenues exceeding $80MM. The Firm’s new brand platform gives voice to the Firm’s purpose and serves as an authentic guide to the way in which they approach the delivery of legal services. It is a signal to clients, and to the market, that the firm understands the need to provide more than traditional law services delivered in a traditional manner.
At the heart of everything the Firm does is a set of core values that has served them well for more than a century: their passion for the law and their commitment to impeccable client service. These values guide and directly impact the day-to-day activities of the Firm and continue to influence every aspect of the professional lives of the Firm’s 140 attorneys and 120 professional and support personnel.
Over the course of the Firm’s history, Briggs has proudly accepted the call to lead. Whether related to the legal profession, the business or civic community, or philanthropic and charitable endeavors, the Firm and its professionals have contributed time and talents to causes and organizations that have had a positive impact on the community as a whole.
As one of the Twin Cities’ largest law firms, Briggs recognizes the importance and value of engaging different perspectives in everything they do. This principle applies to everyday life at the Firm, and governs their interactions with each other and with their clients. Their passion for the profession reflects respect for the law and the ideals of equity, fairness and opportunity within a welcoming, inclusive workplace environment.
For more information, please visit the Briggs and Morgan website at: www.briggs.com.
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will provide strategic and financial leadership to the Firm while ensuring its financial integrity.The CFO will oversee all financial operations and will be responsible for maximizing the Firm’s financial performance by providing direction and insight into the planning, development and control of financial operations in support of the Firm’s objectives. S/he will serve as a thought leader and strategic partner to the President/Managing Partner and COO and be a key member of the Firm’s leadership team. The individual will provide strategic input on financial and profitability matters to Firm Management playing a daily role in the direction of the Firm. The CFO will join the Firm at an exciting pivotal point and will advise Firm Management on the financial considerations and implications of moving to a more client centric service model as the Firm establishes itself as the best upper middle market firm in the Midwest.
Chief Operating Officer, Ann Rainhart
Billing and Collections Manager
Other Key Relationships:
President and Managing Partner
Board of Directors, Treasurer
Department and Section Chairs
Firm Strategy and Leadership
- Serve as a strategic partner to the President/Managing Partner and COO by providing thought leadership and input regarding relevant financial considerations, serving as an objective evaluator, and offering a unique, finance-oriented perspective.
- Provide leadership on implementation of all financial initiatives as part of a senior management team.
- Work with Operations Departments and Practice Management, to develop and manage toward budgets and financial objectives.
- Make recommendations to Firm Management concerning the effective use of financial systems to enhance efficiency and maximize profitability.
- Stay abreast of relevant industry and economic trends that could impact the business and share and make recommendations accordingly.
Financial Planning and Analysis
- Implement appropriate financial reporting and analytical tools and metrics. Provide financial analysis and advice regarding profitability, revenue goals, rates, utilization, realization and leverage. Develop an effective program of financial reporting and provide assistance and training in the interpretation of financial reports where necessary.
- Drive performance and profitability improvement through effective financial analysis to identify the key drivers of profitability and to assist lawyers in implementing programs to improve profitability.
- Prepare and present monthly reports for Firm Management that include summary analyses, trends of key indicators, comparisons between actual results for the key financial indicators to planned performance (with detailed reasons for variation from budgets), issues that require management’s attention and recommendations.
- Develop systems, training and procedures that will monitor and report on Firm, Department, client and individual lawyer profitability. Ensure that the Firm’s financial systems can generate the appropriate financial information to effectively analyze profitability and the key drivers of profitability at a Firm, Practice Group, client and lawyer level and by matter type.
- Assist individual lawyers in assessing the impact of alternative pricing arrangements on profitability.
- Provide financial data and comparisons used in annual billing rate setting process.
- Advise on the financial considerations on the admission and retirement of partners and on the Firm’s compensation policy and prepare financial analyses used to analyze the practice economics of potential lateral lawyers.
Accounting and Control
- Ensure that the Firm has in place a comprehensive financial management system that embraces principles of sound financial control and management and is supported by policies and procedures.
- Ensure the financial accounts are produced in accordance with the appropriate regulatory rules. Ensure the systems for recovery and movement of client funds and accounts for costs comply with the appropriate regulatory rules.
- Ensure the timely generation of reports on the Firm’s financial results and status of unbilled time, expenses and general accounts.
- Manage the Firm’s year-end close process, including prompt closing of financial statements and immediate calculation and preparation of year-end distributions and compensation reports.
- Provide timekeepers with regular and timely reports to assist in the monitoring of financial performance at a Firm, Department and individual lawyer basis.
- Ensure the Firm has in place procedures for dealing with accounts receivable problems and work with billing lawyers in resolving accounts receivable problems. Provide regular reports to appropriate members of Firm Management to address billing problems and to discuss specific problem areas with individual lawyers, as appropriate.
- Advise on and ensure appropriate internal and external capital funding.
- Ensure the Firm has in place a program of cash management that will manage cash flows effectively, including billing, collecting fees and disbursements from clients, controlling cash receipts and investing funds.
- Advise on the financial implication of the ownership of Firm’s physical and intellectual property assets.
- Develop trust and maintain a leadership presence throughout all parts of the Firm in order to effectively collaborate with and influence others to achieve results.
- Effectively develop and retain a high performing team.
- Foster a collaborative culture that enhances engagement and results-orientation while encouraging innovation and creativity.
As a leader at Briggs and Morgan, the CFO is expected to demonstrate the following Leadership Competencies:
Understands the market, identifies trends and drives the organization to create comprehensive, competitive and breakthrough strategies. Prioritizes strategically, leading the organization to pursue and capitalize on the best opportunities.
Possesses strong intellectual curiosity and the ability to analytically, conceptually and critically evaluate information to determine relative strengths and weaknesses of ideas and proposals. Comfortable managing ambiguity and balancing action with the appropriate level of risk.
Constructively challenges the prevailing wisdom or accepted ways of doing things. Pushes the organization to identify new approaches and uncover unconventional ideas that drive value using data and insights. Supports well-reasoned risks and new ideas.
Proactively anticipates future needs and creates a mechanism for overcoming hurdles, setting high standards for the organization and holding others accountable. Ensures organizational strategies are translated into measurable objectives and actionable plans.
Possesses a high level of self-awareness, empathy and social awareness. Effectively manages personal emotions and behaviors to foster productive relationships and influence others.
Creates an environment that supports collaboration by facilitating communication and coordination across all parts of the organization. Builds an intentional and cohesive culture that aligns functional agendas and unites the team.
Ideal Candidate Profile
The ideal candidate will be a strategic CFO with strong FP&A and accounting background or finance number two who has worked with and learned from a strategic CFO. The individual will be a leadership minded strategic thinker with strong business and financial acumen.A broad finance background and successful track record of progressive strategic leadership within a law firm or professional services firm is ideal.
A strong foundational proficiency in all financial operations, including financial planning and analysis, banking relationships, accounting, expense control, audit, tax, cash management, accounts payable, billing, accounts receivable, collections and systems is required. The ideal candidate will have experience balancing big picture strategic leadership, driving business execution, and day-to-day operations. S/he will be a strategic business partner and possess a track record of developing and implementing financial strategies that support the achievement of business objectives.
The ideal candidate will be a sophisticated professional with executive presence and the ability to instill confidence in others. S/he will be confident without being arrogant, adaptable, comfortable with ambiguity and enjoy building business processes to support profitability growth. A forward thinking, innovative, outside of the box thinker with the ability to provide a long-range strategic perspective is desired.
The ideal candidate will have high EQ and highly developed interpersonal skills with the ability to work with an eclectic group of people. S/he will be an effective communicator with a direct communication style, and an ability to effectively articulate and translate facts and figures and make clearly stated and understandable recommendations.
Proven team leadership capability and commitment to assessing and developing talent is desired. S/he will be a collaborative leader by nature and possess well developed interpersonal skills as well as the ability to develop chemistry with the existing team. This leader will be decisive and approachable with a demonstrated ability to build successful relationships across all levels of an organization.
Law firm leadership experience ideal, other professional service firm leadership experience is acceptable. Experience working with a governing board and familiarity with board governance is helpful.
A minimum of fifteen years of progressive financial experience in a professional services environment is required. Significant experience with accounting, financial reporting, budgeting and financial planning and analysis required. Experience with Aderant or other law firm financial systems preferred.
A Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Business Administration or related field is required. CPA, MBA or other advanced degree strongly preferred. The highest ethical standards are expected.