The Family Business CFO
Family enterprises are a powerful driving force behind the US economy. In fact, the Service Corps of Retired Executives or SCORE.org reports that family-owned businesses generate more than 64% of the annual US GDP and employ more than 60% of America's workforce. In the energy sector, like many industrial sectors, there is a rich legacy of hard-working, independent, entrepreneurial family-owned enterprises that are involved in all aspects of the energy value chain and related verticals: petroleum operations, services, chemicals, technology, and manufacturing. Yet, most people are unaware of just how influential these family enterprises are.
A couple of years ago, we asked the leading economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas how much of the economic data in his presentation incorporated private companies (family businesses included) – the economist shared with a roomful of business chamber members that they really only have data on about 50% of the overall US economy. That “other half”, representing mostly private family enterprises, are extremely difficult to collect data on. We suspected this, after having worked for private companies for more than a decade but were still surprised to learn how little the public really knows about these firms.
Over the years, we have had worked for many closely held private companies owned and run by founding patriarchs, their family offices, or their children (now grandchildren). Our experience working for multi-generational business ranges from startups, direct investments in early-stage or mature companies, to massive mature vertically integrated enterprises with 20+ distinct businesses. We have been to areas in the US, where the main employer for 100 or so miles is one family-owned business. While we are not economists, we do know quite a bit about these organizations from our work histories, navigating sensitive issues including generational transitions, and many of the issues that families are focused on.
Like our clients, The Energy CFO is a family-owned business. Paula and Roland (CFO/owners) were raised by entrepreneurs involved in ranching, cotton farming, leathercraft, and bootmaking. Paula is the fourth generation in her family to work in the energy industry (she also has a brother who is an oil and gas professional).
The Energy CFO Is A Family Business
“Growing up, I remember my dad being very proud to carry on in his father's footsteps in the oil business and he was quite proud of me for doing the same, in spite of all they had been through the 80’s energy downturn. Likewise, I spent many summers in the Panhandle with my grandfather who was a successful rancher and farmer. He had a large operation and families in the community relied on him – he knew that. His sense of responsibility for his family and the community drove him to start working many hours before the sun rose each day.
Roland and I were raised by families with strong work ethics, high integrity, support for their community, having compassion, and taught those around them to understand finance and save because you can’t anticipate all the challenges your family is going to face in life. This is one of the reasons serving family businesses is a big deal at The Energy CFO – Roland and I realize that these families are placing an enormous amount of trust in our CFO team.
For us, we approach our CFO Advisor roles as if our clients were members of our own family. We understand they are entrusting us with their reputation, their family’s personal legacy, their communities, and their employees. Clients look to us to apply our knowledge and experience we gained while working for some of the most successful and well-run energy companies in the world to help them grow their operations, increase their profit margins, develop and prepare their next generation to navigate a highly competitive and volatile industry, and institutionalize their operations so they continue to deliver exceptional returns (or “alpha”) to their family portfolios.”
The Energy CFO is a family-owned business. Paula Waggoner-Aguilar is the CEO & Founder.
Confidential Family CFO Services
For Your Next Steps
Perhaps you are just starting to your family’s journey or you own a family enterprise that has experienced tremendous success and growth. You are contemplating what is ahead 12 months, 24 months, and 5 years in the future. You know you’ve reached a point where you recognize that you need help to maintain what you have and continue to grow your enterprise. This is not only crucial to your family’s legacy, but it may also be important to your community – especially if you are one of the larger employers in the area. The men and women in the community rely on you for jobs, contributing to the local tax base and indirectly to the education of future generations, supporting and attracting new businesses.
Because the structure of your family businesses is so unique, you need a unique solution.
The Energy CFO® provides custom-tailored solutions to help your family enterprise with startup ventures, adding new services or product lines, injecting new ideas to improve bottom-line profitability, creative ways to reduce costs of goods sold per unit or project, shortening cash flow working cycles, identifying new sources of capital, driving change, advising family boards, and coaching/mentoring executives and family members as they transition and/or begin their succession planning.
We work for privately owned or closely held companies that are:
Small family businesses – family starting through journeys, expanding their service and/or product offering, to established companies with $1 Million up to $10 Million in revenues.
Family-owned middle-market companies, which we generally categorize as companies with greater than $10 Million in annual revenues up to $100 Million in annual revenues (note, this is not a universal definition).
Large established private family businesses with annual revenues great than $100 Million. We have worked for several large private family enterprises.