Get to know ADN Capital Ventures’ Lisa Amini, winner of North Bay Business Journal’s CFO awards.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE ESSENTIAL ROLE OF A FINANCIAL LEADER IN THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENT?
Accurately assessing the business environment and complex business situations; adapting to change; valuing and encouraging teamwork and diversity of opinion to effectively make decisions and best achieve results in the face of those challenges. Always maintaining integrity and striving for excellence.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHANGES YOU’VE SEEN IN YOUR INDUSTRY?
Rapid technological and information management changes impacting types of projects being financed and communication between financiers and developers; staying current in this continually and rapidly changing environment.
TELL US ABOUT THE PARTICULAR CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES YOUR ORGANIZATION HAS MET IN THE RECENT PAST.
Through the economic recession and shortly after, it was critical that the business remained small, nimble, and efficient while maintaining the ability to deliver high quality services to our clients. As we grow, the biggest challenge is transitioning from a small, boutique international advisory firm to a larger, broader service, corporate advisory firm so we can respond to our ever-increasing client workload, while maintaining the hands-on personal touch required to give each of our clients service that exceeds their expectations.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG EMERGING FINANCIAL LEADERS?
Pursue your passion; find areas where you can develop strong skills and eventually create transformative value. Work with people and business leaders you admire and who support you. Find one or two mentors you trust to advise you. Learn from others, but be yourself. Work through adversity and persevere through challenges.
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE FOR WEATHERING TODAY’S ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT?
A two-pronged strategy of finding a niche in which you excel while maintaining sufficient diversity to weather changes that cannot be anticipated and adapt as and when necessary.
HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR BUSINESS WILL CHANGE IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?
We plan to grow into a larger advisory firm, offering more lines of services; hire more employees at the right time as we continually generate new business; and use the latest information management technology to stay close to our clients and be there when they need us.
WHAT IS A DECISION YOU WISH YOU HADN’T MADE? WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM IT?
None comes to mind. I am who I am because of the decisions I’ve made and what I’ve learned from them.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE BUSINESS EXPERIENCE?
All of my international travels to finance projects around the globe, especially the emerging markets, are very memorable. When working in different countries, I remember often being the only woman in a room full of men for high-level negotiations and meetings on large project financings. I love working in and learning from different cultures; seeing things from a different perspective.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST BUSINESS SUCCESS?
Developing the complex financial plan to bid for and the negotiating and successfully closing of the financing for the first build, own, operate, transfer 685 megawatt power project in Egypt ($480 million in credit facilities). This was the first major, international power project financing where I took a lead role, after which I worked on the closing of many others. The experience confirmed for me how much I enjoyed my work.
Chief financial officer
ADN Capital Ventures, Inc.
810 College Ave., Ste. 7, Kentfield, CA 94904
Employees: International project finance advisory firm with two employees, as well as many long-time subcontractors and independent contractors to match client requirements as needed.
Professional background: Banking, including leveraged buyouts, structured and corporate finance; project finance and development; financial advisory.
Education: U.C. Santa Barbara, B.A. in biology; U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business, MBA finance.