1 hr 5 min

825: The Leader's Intent: Helping Others | Bona Allen, CFO, KBD Group CFO THOUGHT LEADER

    • Business

Bona Allen was never a country doctor—but he recollects feeling like one at one point in his finance career. Or, rather, being paid like one.     
By the early 2000s, Allen had served in multiple CFO/controller roles, a series of consecutive appointments that from time to time had led different Georgia business owners to seek out his financial advice.     
These discussions—which frequently focused on raising debt—opened his eyes to opportunities in the realm of financial consulting.
“Often, I’d be engaged to raise debt for specific deals—a couple of clients were in the renewable energy sector, and then there were other deals involving big equipment,” recalls Allen, who notes that it was not uncommon to have his consulting fees structured as a “success fee” or a fee contingent on the success of the deal.
Still, the owner was always expected to pay a small fee up front to cover some expenses, explains Allen, whose portfolio of clients would geographically grow beyond the greater Atlanta metro region to frequently send him to the state’s outer reaches to meet clients.
It was from one such client visit in northeast Georgia that Allen returned home with a couple of cartons of fresh eggs.
“My wife was like, ‘So now you’re getting paid in eggs?,’” remembers Allen, who recounts the story when asked to identify experiences that have influenced his mind-set as a finance leader. 
He observes that the experience of being face-to-face outside of a traditional business environment with people tackling debt and other business challenges left a lasting impression.
Says Allen: “The lesson that I learned there was stay humble because it’s the chicken farmers and the manufacturers and the people who often don’t work in a high rise who keep this country going.”  
It’s mind-set that certainly any country doctor would understand. –Jack Sweeney

Bona Allen was never a country doctor—but he recollects feeling like one at one point in his finance career. Or, rather, being paid like one.     
By the early 2000s, Allen had served in multiple CFO/controller roles, a series of consecutive appointments that from time to time had led different Georgia business owners to seek out his financial advice.     
These discussions—which frequently focused on raising debt—opened his eyes to opportunities in the realm of financial consulting.
“Often, I’d be engaged to raise debt for specific deals—a couple of clients were in the renewable energy sector, and then there were other deals involving big equipment,” recalls Allen, who notes that it was not uncommon to have his consulting fees structured as a “success fee” or a fee contingent on the success of the deal.
Still, the owner was always expected to pay a small fee up front to cover some expenses, explains Allen, whose portfolio of clients would geographically grow beyond the greater Atlanta metro region to frequently send him to the state’s outer reaches to meet clients.
It was from one such client visit in northeast Georgia that Allen returned home with a couple of cartons of fresh eggs.
“My wife was like, ‘So now you’re getting paid in eggs?,’” remembers Allen, who recounts the story when asked to identify experiences that have influenced his mind-set as a finance leader. 
He observes that the experience of being face-to-face outside of a traditional business environment with people tackling debt and other business challenges left a lasting impression.
Says Allen: “The lesson that I learned there was stay humble because it’s the chicken farmers and the manufacturers and the people who often don’t work in a high rise who keep this country going.”  
It’s mind-set that certainly any country doctor would understand. –Jack Sweeney

1 hr 5 min

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