Business Profile: Rankin McKenzie

NCTechNews is publishing a series of business profiles to highlight innovation and entrepreneurism throughout North Carolina. Today we are featuring Rankin McKenzie, a Cary-based provider of high-quality and cost-effective financial personnel.

Q: When was your company founded and why?
A: The company was founded in 2002. The founders had been doing this type of work (contract CFO) and really enjoyed it.  They thought it would be great if they could share it with others and gain access to a collective group would bring so much more knowledge to each client.

Q: Where is your HQ and how many employees do you have? 
A: Rankin McKenzie is located at 1000 CentreGreen Way, Cary, N.C. and we have 20 partners.

Q: What are your company’s core products or services? 
A: To provide part-time or interim Controller or CFO services to private growth companies in the Triangle.  All of our partners have been in this field for 20+ years so we have a deep and broad financial knowledge.

Q: Who are some recognizable members of your leadership team?  
A: The three founders -  Lawson Rankin, John Autrey, Robert McKenzie.

Q: Who are your company’s competitors and what are your differentiators? 
A: Our key competitor is the contract, solo-CFO.  The key differentiator is that we have a group of folks with many pockets of specialty so if our CFO or the client has questions, it is a safe bet that someone will know they answer or has had the experience that can relate.  Also, we have an oversight partner on each engagement  at no extra charge.

Q: Does your company develop new technologies or re-apply existing technologies to solve a problem? 
A: Our partners take many hours of CPE credit each year to stay abreast of all new codes, ethics, regulations, etc.

Q: Who are your customers? 
A: Private, growth companies in the Triangle.

Q: What problems does your company solve? 
A: We typically come in when a company in experiencing a pain-point and we help find solutions.  Some areas of financial distress clients encounter with which Rankin McKenzie can help are:

· The lack of appropriate financial reporting for management decisions;
· Difficulties with cash flow and cash management;
· The need to streamline finance and administrative costs;
· The lack of risk management/internal controls over matters that could damage or destroy the  
· A sub-par capital structure and the need for good banking relationships, improved debt-to-equity
 ratios, and sources for long-term funding needs;
· The lack of adequate due diligence to help position the company for sale;
· Preparing for external audits, including tax, government contracts, and Department of Labor, among
 others; and
· The forecasting and budgeting needed to turn the CEO’s vision into reality.

Q: Please share examples of situations where your services achieved a positive result for clients.
A: Below is one example and a few more can be found at

The Challenge: The Client needed to raise considerable equity capital to fund the continuation of their product development and their sales and marketing efforts. Previously, the Client had raised limited capital from local Angel investors, but now needed to attract sophisticated institutional investors. This was the first time the CEO had headed a venture-backed start-up company and he needed prudent business counsel to avoid the typical pitfalls of a young company.

Additionally, the Client’s daily bookkeeping was being handled by an administrative assistant with little accounting experience. Accounting records were inaccurate and incomplete. The CEO was understandably concerned that his accounting records would not pass the rigorous due diligence conducted by the new institutional investors. The Client needed an experienced CFO who had successfully raised venture capital and who could serve as a trusted advisor to the CEO. He also needed to make sure the day-to-day was being handled in a professional manner that would give investors’ confidence.

The Solution: At the recommendation of the Client’s attorney, Rankin McKenzie was engaged to both assist the CEO in raising equity capital and to be responsible for the company’s accounting functions. Rankin-McKenzie utilized a team-approach to affordably meet the client’s needs. The team consisted of a part-time CFO who had extensive start-up and capital fundraising experience and a part-time Controller who was a QuickBooks expert. The Rankin McKenzie team helped the CEO successfully raise over $7 million in equity capital from a top-tier venture capital firm. Moreover, the team’s careful management of the company’s books and records made the VC due diligence a painless process. The CFO served as the CEO’s close confidant to help guide the Client through numerous challenging growth opportunities.

Q: What new products or services or services will you be rolling-out in 2014?  
A: We intend to add up to three new partners to continue our recent growth

Q: What makes your company relevant to the future of your industry?  
A: So many companies need sound, intelligent financial direction for their company but cannot afford or do not need a full-time resource.  Rankin McKenzie allows them to retain a high-performing, experienced resource for only the time they require.

Q: Will your company be participating in any upcoming trade shows or other events? 
A: Yes, we will be attending various shows and will have a booth at the CED Venture Tech Conference.

Q: Where can people go to find out more information?


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