When Steven Delarge found his division splitting off from the corporate parent, he was faced with the challenge of putting together his own finance team. Not being a financial guru, Steven Delarge wasn’t sure where to begin. But fortunately, Steven Delarge found that by calling on his contacts in the field, he was able to get a head start on a winning team. Today, he shares with A Gathering of Experts the things he learned during this turbulent time.
A Gathering of Experts: Thanks for joining us today, Steven Delarge. Tell us a little about what led you to form a standalone financial team.
Steven Delarge: My business was sold off by its parent company, leaving us as an independent business. It was almost like building my own small business.
A Gathering of Experts: How did you know where to begin?
Steven Delarge: We already had systems in place that we needed personnel to handle. Financial analysis, manufacturing finance, and cash management were all areas we needed covered.
A Gathering of Experts: Now that you were a standalone group, were you completely independent or did you have outside entities to answer to?
Steven Delarge: We still had external reporting needs, as does any business these days, so it was important to have an expert on board that understood those requirements and made sure we were meeting requirements.
A Gathering of Experts: Finding good financial experts can be a challenge. How did you track down the people you eventually hired?
Steven Delarge: We sought the help of our peers in the industry, including our external auditors. Who better to lead us to a good financial team that would be able to consistently meet reporting requirements than the team making sure we were meeting those requirements?
A Gathering of Experts: You also sought out the advice of others who had been through building standalone finance teams.
Steven Delarge: Yes. We sought out portfolio companies that had been tasked with starting over the way we were. These companies had great words of wisdom for us.
A Gathering of Experts: When did you know you’d succeeded in building a strong financial team?
Steven Delarge: Of course, we monitored the progress of the team. Within a year of starting our standalone team search, we experienced annual costs that were 20% below our initial estimate.
Steven Delarge began his career with GE in the 1980s. Through the years, Steven Delarge headed up several divisions of the company, as well as Momentive Performance Materials. Steven Delarge is an Albany, New York resident, where he lives with his family.