HBM Finds a Winning Formula for Building Finance Talent

Attracting, building, and retaining talent is critical for HBM’s success. Several years ago, HBM recognized the need to increase our Finance expertise to drive our growth plans and to support increased analysis across the portfolio. At the same time, Alex Aubel was contemplating his next career move beyond public accounting at PwC and was intrigued by an HBM job posting for a newly created Controller role. Following our interview and assessment process, it was clear that Alex was going to be a great fit for HBM. Alex was a significant asset to both our finance and corporate development teams as we brought two new companies into our portfolio in late 2017.

One of those companies – Schafer Industries – needed a CFO soon after we acquired them, and Alex got the call for that role. The Schafer knowledge he acquired during the acquisition process, his technical accounting skills, his exceptional work ethic, and his ability to partner with the portfolio leaders and within HBM made him a perfect candidate for this promotional opportunity. Alex was a natural fit to become part of the Schafer leadership team.

Alex’s promotion opened the Controller role at HBM and – recognizing how successful Alex had been – we wanted to replicate our success. We deployed our HR team and Alex to recruit for someone with a comparable profile. We successfully recruited Justin Lammert in the summer of 2018. Having been a prior colleague of Alex at PwC, Justin had the opportunity to work alongside him at HBM and be quickly “trained up” so we didn’t lose anything in transition. Justin hit the ground running, adding Tax to his responsibilities and introducing more best practices to the role as our company was growing.

When HBM’s new CEO, Andy Fincher, joined the company in late 2018, we soon identified a need for a dedicated role in Financial Planning & Analysis at the HBM level. Justin was a great match for this opportunity based on his ability to partner with our businesses and leaders effectively, leverage his technical accounting capabilities, and his strong analytical skills. By summer 2019 he was promoted to this new position, resulting in yet another opportunity to add to our Finance talent.

Since our strategy of recruiting this profile had been so effective, we opted to go back to it once more for our third swing at our Controller role in 4 years. HR worked with Alex and Justin to identify Nathan Matt, who joined us from PwC in August 2019. Consistent with the success of Alex and Justin, Nathan is already making terrific contributions to HBM as the Controller. He jumped into the 2019 budget process, is providing oversight of the Tax function, and has the added benefit of learning from Alex and Justin as he takes the reins of the Controller role.

In addition to our successful backfilling of the Controller role at HBM, we are pleased to add specialty talent in Tax. Kate MacDonald is another excellent recent hire to the Finance group. She joined us from a manufacturing company, Electrical Components International, and brings prior experience from the professional accounting firm Grant Thornton. Kate’s specialty expertise enables the team to reduce our reliance on outside parties and to bring more of our tax work in-house as we increase our complexity.

HBM’s SVP and Chief Financial Officer Don Roberts had the opportunity to hire and lead the work of these emerging leaders, and is proud of the contributions of the Finance team. Don recognizes the value of having top talent added to his team, especially for the innovation and fresh ideas they bring to HBM’s growth and added complexity. Our talented finance team members continue to positively impact broadly across the organization. They have the ability to tell the story behind the numbers, expertise to assess the financial health of prospective deal opportunities and to provide critical details to inform business and people-related decisions.

One thing Alex, Justin, Nathan, and Kate have in common besides their financial chops is that they are all raising daughters; three of them are pictured here at a work gathering in pre-pandemic conditions. At HBM, we take a long-range view of talent planning and are advocates of women in leadership. Who knows, maybe these women will grow up to become CPAs and CFOs for our operating companies!?