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Florida CFO Group
(877) 352-2367ASK A CFO
Florida CF Group
(877) 352-2367ASK A CFO
CFO Partner

John Cruickshank

I enjoy advising and supporting small- and medium-sized privately owned companies ($20M to $500M) to help them achieve their financial and operational strategic objectives in a structured and profitable manner, whether they are in the early stages, steady state, preparing to expand, or seeking an exit. Although operating at the executive level, I take a detailed, hands-on approach when necessary. I aim to develop good interpersonal relationships at all levels and to help build strong, communicative teams.
John Cruickshank
My Primary Focus:
  • Strategic planning
  • Turnarounds and restructurings
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Exit preparation
  • Sell-side/buy-side due diligence
  • Board and stakeholder interaction/presentations
  • Debt financing and negotiations
  • IT system upgrades and implementations
  • KPI/dashboard identification and measurement
  • Cash flow optimization
  • Working capital (inventory, AR, AP) management
  • Cost control and reduction
  • Budgeting and forecasting
  • Product costing/pricing strategy
  • Management/financial reporting development
  • Internal controls assessment
  • Audit and regulatory compliance management
I am an operational CFO with the proven ability to position companies for long-term growth and profitability. My career includes domestic and international public company, private equity, and family company experience. I enjoy being a strategic partner to the CEO and senior management team and utilizing my strong change management skills to achieve agreed objectives.

I have broad experience in manufacturing, processing, distribution, consumer products, and B2B/B2C. As a strategic partner to the CEO and board, I provide strong change management skills with expertise in the finance, IT, and HR functions. I have “Big Four” and internal audit experience and have held board positions at several companies. 
A few accomplishments where I have led or played an integral role include:
  • Improving product costing/pricing techniques, enhancing gross margin by $0.5M
  • Exiting unprofitable product lines and customers, improving gross margins by 3%+
  • Reducing working capital by $3M (20%) and using cash generated to pay off all debt
  • Outsourcing manufacturing to a Mexican maquiladora facility, saving $0.4M per year in labor costs
  • Turning around a $70M family-owned business, resulting in selling to a PE group
  • Assimilating newly acquired specialty tubes business ($40M sales, 5 locations, and 60 people)
  • Delivering an exit strategy for non-core, under-performing commodity division and selling at NBV
  • Re-evaluating cost base, including 28% workforce reduction over 17 sites, saving $4.5M/annum
  • Restructuring and simplifying legal entities to reduce a wide range of related administrative costs
  • Centralizing all back-office functions and reducing headcount by 25, saving $1.8M/annum
  • Cutting working capital by $8.5M (19%) through a continuous focus on inventory turns and A/R days 
  • Completing the sale and leaseback of 10 freehold properties, generating a net $12M in cash flow
  • Successfully implementing common, customized, IT systems across all divisions (14 locations)
  • Leading an appraisal/due diligence review for $1B South American acquisition
  • Implementing U.S. and Canadian cash pooling arrangements, saving $0.5M/annum
  • Acting as a key member of steering committee for implementation of a new $2.5M ERP system
  • Relocating Montreal and New York offices to operate with 26 fewer staff members, saving $1.3M/year

I have over 30 years of experience as a CFO in a variety of companies in the USA, the UK, the Netherlands and Canada. I am a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, a CPA equivalent, and attended Herriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. I also studied at the IMD International Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland. I am a member of Financial Executives International (FEI) and the Chartered Accountants Worldwide (CAW) Network USA.

Other than my leadership roles as an EOS Implementer and fractional CFO for various companies, some specific titles that I hold or have held during my career include: 

  • VP Finance & CFO of Block and Company, Inc.
  • VP Finance & CFO of Designed Alloy Products, Inc.
  • VP Finance & CFO of New Star Metals, Inc.
  • VP Finance CFO & Treasurer of Reliance Steel Canada Limited
  • VP Finance & CFO of Corus America, Inc.
  • Chief Audit Executive of British Steel Plc

John is an excellent CFO with an eye for not only the numbers but also the business and transactional context of the CFO's office. I have known John since early 2006; HSBC Capital (Canada) was Houlihan Lokey’s client in the Reliance Steel transaction, and I worked very closely with John during all stages of the sell side process. He has significant experience in accounting and finance and has worked for major corporations as well as for PE-owned companies, giving him a broad view of his role as a CFO. John is driven and professional, and he was a pleasure to work with; I can recommend him without hesitation.”

Michael Jenny, Partner at Livingstone – Metals & Manufacturing Investment Banker
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