Interview with NSS team member – Steve Dance

Steve Dance is part of the NSS team.  He brings over 30 years of high level financial expertise in Life Sciences and High Tech. Steve has raised over $500MM in capital.

Most Satisfying: In your CFO work you have done in the past, what is the most satisfying feedback you got from the CEO?

That the CEO could always count on me to be calm and focused during a crisis.

Most Inventive: Given that as CFO we understand the importance of providing our clients with more than just accounting and financial reporting, share with us a project that truly made you a value creator.

The sale of one of my previous employers to a major biotechnology company was a complex process, with many potential obstacles arising during the negotiation and due diligence process.  As CFO, I was part of the negotiation team and provided the bulk of the due diligence materials.  I was responsible for resolving the many issues that came up during the sale process.  I believe I was able to establish a strong level of trust with the acquirer’s team and we were able to reach agreement on all the issues, and the sale was successfully concluded.

Most Positive: CFOs have different skill set, yet often we are viewed as one of the same.  Tell us a story where your actions made a powerful positive change and why.

I was CFO for a biotech company in California that had 300 employees, over 200 of whom were located in Europe, principally in Lyon, France, following a recent acquisition.  Since I speak French, I was able to establish good relations with the finance group in France, and ultimately the rest of the management team.  I played a key role in ensuring that the needs of the European team were met and consequently was appointed President of European Operations in addition to my CFO duties.  The good relationships that I built with the European organization also enabled me to negotiate successfully with the French labor union to avoid a workers’ strike that would have halted manufacturing.

Best Business Book: What should every CEO be reading going forward in this tepid economy?

The Wall Street Journal – still a great way even in this digital age to keep on top of what is happening in the business world.

Funniest Fact: Tell us something funny about you.

I was raised in Wimbledon, England and when I was a kid I used to go and watch the tennis at Wimbledon every year.  In those days the players used to walk through the crowds on their way to the courts.  One time I got too close to a player and he accidentally trod on my foot.  My foot was sore for days afterwards; the player won his match.

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