Kelly Janzen: The Evolving Role of the Modern CFO


Jun 4 2024 • 33 mins

In this episode, host Connor Bradley from Ayna.AI speaks with finance expert Kelly Janzen about the modern CFO role. Ms. Janzen, who has held leadership roles at GE Healthcare and Blue Links Corporation, highlights the need for CFOs to possess skills beyond finance, including operations and change management. She shares her experience in leading a strategic pivot during the pandemic, emphasizing the role of an innovative Investor Relations program in boosting financial stability and shareholder value. Kelly also talks about the importance of effective capital allocation, tax, and legal considerations for successful M&A activities.

Kelly Janzen is a finance expert with an impressive track record, currently serving as Executive in Residence at Fernweh Group. With a foundation in technical accounting, Kelly has a career that spans prestigious companies such as GE Healthcare, Westrock, and BlueLinx Corporation. Her journey from public accounting to strategic leadership in finance has equipped her to handle complex M&A deals and transform financial strategies. Kelly’s approach to the modern CFO role includes broadening skill sets to include finance and operations, emphasizing the importance of adapting and engaging with challenging projects to excel in dynamic financial landscapes.

Discussion Points

  • Kelly Janzen's journey in the field of finance began with public accounting and moving up the ranks to hold Chief Financial Officer roles in various organizations.
  • During the global pandemic, Kellys team shifted its focus to maintaining a just-in-time inventory system and specializing in specific products.
  • A significant part of Kelly’s CFO role involves capital allocation and managing investor relations. Kelly shares her experiences hiring a consultant to work with banks and financial analysts and provides valuable insights on how to secure stock coverage.
  • Janzen emphasizes the need for finance teams to focus on return on investment (ROI) and risk assessments when allocating capital. By doing so, they can ensure that every investment made contributes to the business's overall growth and success.
  • Discussion on insights into the considerations that come into play during mergers and acquisitions. How tax rules and operational integration strategies are significant factors in these decisions.

Ayna Insights is brought to you by Ayna.AI—a managed service provider that combines domain expertise and transformation capabilities to create alpha—performance superior to market indices—in the industrial and industrial technology sector. The host of this episode, Connor Bradley, is an Associate at Ayna.AI. Fernweh Group is an investment company that is adapting an engaged investor and operator model to create “segment of one” leaders in the industrial and industrial technology sector.

For More Information

Kelly Janzen LinkedIn

Book: The Titanium Economy

Ayna.AI Website

Connor Bradley Profile