Businesses are looking for financial leaders who recognise and respond to the key financial priorities of 2021.
With a Masters in Accounting and over 10 years experience in the financial services industry, Frank Jiang, CFO of ORB Alternative, has extensive knowledge in asset management, corporate finance, corporate taxation and financial analysis.
Read the interview below to gain insight into enhancing your client relationships and organisational efficiency as a professional services provider.
Q: What would you consider when looking for funding for a business?
A: Firstly, cash flow fluctuation and financial risks, secondly, the gap in funding requirements and the alternative sources of capital available to fill these gaps.
Q: What does flexible financing mean to you?
A: Flexible financing provides greater options for borrowers who operate non-traditional businesses deep in the technology/IT realm such as fintechs. These companies usually hold a significant amount of intellectual property and no bricks and mortar security which makes it difficult to obtain traditional bank loans.
Q: In 2021, what should CFO’s consider that they may have not before?
A: The post pandemic era means a number of companies require extra funding to reactivate their businesses and pursue the new growth strategies which arrive out of impetus for change. Strategic growth strategies which have been put on hold for the last year, but already approved at board level, are ready to be executed.
Q: What are the biggest challenges as a CFO in 2021? What have you found that has helped you through these challenges?
A: Major challenges:
- Growth and profit expectations
- Rapid business environmental changes, pivoting of consumers’ habits
A CFO needs to be more agile and vigilant than ever to meet the digital transformations occurring across all industries, whether it be working remotely or automating business processes. To align business interests with stakeholders, a CFO needs to consider sustainable business strategies and funding solutions. These funding solutions need to align with future-facing strategic growth of the business, often found through alternative flexible financing structures.
Q: What external resources can CFO’s use to assist them?
A: It is important to stay abreast of new technologies, engage external consultancy for financial structure recommendations and have external funding sources on hand.
Q: What financial partnerships would you recommend to have in place?
A: Non-banking partners who are willing to commit resources to the company and aim for the enhancement of business value on a long term basis.
Q: Why is it important to engage financial partnerships that align with your business strategy?
A: If the financial partners do not agree with your business strategy, they will be seeking exit from time to time which could potentially cause liquidity issues and extra business resources to fill in the short-term gap.
Q: How do you ensure you secure the best financial structure/product for your business?
A: Sufficient communication with your dedicated funding partner and understanding of your counterparties and stakeholders. This comes with a clear understanding of the business needs and a solid financial plan.
Q: Why would you look to alternative sources of financing in the first place?
- Greater flexibility with loan structure e.g. Converting notes, equitable mortgage
- Negotiability with terms
- Greater efficiency than the big 4, less time consuming with more streamlined application processes
- Larger loan sizes
- Tailored service
Q: Why ORB?
A: ORB acts as a committed non-bank funding partner, aligning with business strategy and goals, specifically tailored to ASX listed companies.
ORB Alternative assists professional service providers overcome financial challenges their clients or businesses may be facing, whatever the catalyst or scope may be.