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Building Blocks of a Successful IPO: A Conversation with Brian Kinion, CFO of MX

March 7, 2022 | 20min read

Brian Kinion joined MX a year ago as the new Chief Financial Officer. Recently, he sat down with the CFO Thought Leader Podcast to discuss his journey to CFO, his IPO experience, and what lessons he’s using to make MX operate as if it were a public company.

Brian’s experience spans more than 30 years of experience — taking 4 companies public and leading financial departments at private and public companies, including Upwork, Marketo, and SuccessFactors. His goal as the CFO at MX is to make the business scalable, operating as if we are a public company to ensure that the finance team can properly support the business now and in the future. 

When preparing for an IPO, here are some important practices Brian mentions during the conversation: 

  • Create predictability in the business: Consistency creates confidence, especially with all the questions that can inherently come when preparing for a potential IPO. This also builds trust and confidence with employees and investors, who have a stake in the company’s financial position.
  • Ensure that essential processes and systems are in place: If you’re looking to climb a mountain, you’re not doing it without all of the equipment that’s going to guarantee your safety and success in getting to the summit. If you skip essential steps, you risk the financial safety of your company and slow the progress towards your ultimate goal.
  • Run checks and solve for unforeseen problems: Put your processes and system to the test, long before you execute any decisions that you can’t take back. Assume that there will be something you missed and go into your tests anxious to create solutions. The hours of work you do prior to a potential IPO will pay dividends when it comes time to take the next steps.
  • Build processes that can scale with the business: If the plan is to grow, preemptively construct a process that not only allows for growth but fosters it. While there will always be growing pains in expansion, don’t limit your opportunity to use growth to propel your business forward.
  • Hire a team that is diverse, exceptional, and driven: A diverse team means different perspectives, methods, and opportunities to learn together. Fostering a diverse team of talented individuals will create a support system for your goal and benefit each team member in their own professional growth. 

You can listen to the full podcast at CFO Thought Leader: Episode 771 - Embracing Change | Brian Kinion, CFO, MX.