Diane Charness and Tim Ward led the recruitment firm’s efforts to recruit Glen Lee, the former City of Seattle Treasurer, for this key role. “It was important to me that we hire a CFO with strong integrity who was ready from day one to build on the district’s financial success,” said Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. “I am convinced that Glen Lee is the right leader for this job.”
August 10, 2022 – ZRG Partners, a leading search firm backed by private equity firm RFE Investment Partners, recently helped appoint Glen Lee as chief financial officer for the District of Columbia government. Managing Directors Diane Charness, global head of the nonprofit practice, and Tim Ward, of ZRG’s Professional and Technology Services practice, led the search that led to Mr. Lee’s nomination.
“We are very pleased to be working with the District of Columbia in filling this critical role,” said Ms. Charness of her DC office. “Cities are working to overcome the pandemic and plan for a bright and secure future for their citizens and businesses. Your CFOs are a critical resource in strategizing such key initiatives. Everyone at ZRG would like to congratulate Glen and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser on this nomination in our nation’s capital.”
“It was important to me that we hire a CFO with strong integrity who was ready from day one to build on the district’s financial success. I am convinced that Glen Lee is the right leader for this job,” Mayor Bowser said. “I’m proud that the district has achieved many firsts in recent years: our first upgrade to a AAA bond rating; our first audit found no material deficiencies or material weaknesses, which we have now maintained for seven consecutive years; and the district’s first 60-day cash reserve, a milestone we achieved just before COVID and have maintained throughout the pandemic. Now we are ready to build on those successes and ensure a strong comeback for DC residents and businesses across all eight boroughs.”
Mr. Lee is a proven leader with several decades of experience, having previously served as Treasurer for the City of Seattle, where he was responsible for the city’s accounting, treasury, debt management, risk management and payroll functions. He also oversaw Seattle’s efforts to standardize financial processes and implement new financial and human resources systems. Additionally, Mr. Lee led the tax administration function and directed a coalition of Washington cities operating a multi-jurisdictional business licensing and tax reporting system for taxpayers in the Seattle area.
Mr. Lee was first appointed as the city’s finance director in 2010. Prior to his appointment, he oversaw the City Revenue Forecasting and Budget Development duties at the City Treasury Office. Mr. Lee has served on several advisory boards, including the Legislative Fiscal Subcommittee of the Association of Washington Cities, the Washington Department of Revenue’s Streamlined Tax Mitigation Advisory Committee, and the Seattle Public Schools Advisory Committee for Investing in Educational Excellence. Mr. Lee was also an instructor for the Government Finance Officers Association and served on the Advisory Board of the Economics Department at Seattle University.
As CFO of the nation’s capital, Mr. Lee is responsible for overseeing a $19.5 billion budget. The District of Columbia’s unique legal circumstances require the ability to effectively manage the financial well-being of a large city while regularly collaborating with the oversight committees of Congress and the US Office of Management and Budget. Mr. Lee is working closely with the Executive Branch of the Bowser administration to implement DC’s COVID-19 recovery plan, “A Fair Shot.” The plan makes important investments for its citizens in affordable housing, academic acceleration, quality childcare, safe and accessible transportation, reduction in gun violence, and relief for businesses and residents hardest hit by the economic crisis of the past two years.
See also: Crisis Management: CFOs Face New Levels of Risk in the Pandemic Era
Mr. Lee oversees the district’s financial operations, which are conducted by more than 1,700 employees engaged in tax and financial administration; Cashier, auditor and budget operations; the DC Bureau of Lottery and Gambling; economic/tax analysis and revenue estimation functions; and financial management in all district authorities.
Proven Search Advisors
Founded in 1999, ZRG is a mid-sized, global executive search firm and one of the fastest growing in the search industry. The company offers a full range of executive, middle management and custom search solutions through its offices in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. The company finds leaders in a broad spectrum of business markets, including aerospace, consumer, education, healthcare services and solutions, industrial, life sciences, nonprofits, private equity and venture capital, and technology.
Ms. Charness specializes in collaborating with leading organizations in education, healthcare, government, and organizations committed to the arts, research, and sustainability. It serves as a strategic partner for institutions looking to build multi-population leadership teams that inspire innovation and operational excellence in both the public and private sectors. Having served over 100 non-profit, government and industrial clients across the United States and beyond, Ms. Charness facilitates consensus on organizational design and leadership development, working with boards of directors and executives on C-suite and senior management talent selection together. She has been recognized by Hunt Scanlon Media as one of the top 40 Education Recruiters in the United States and one of the top 60 Nonprofit Recruiters for two consecutive years.
Mr. Ward brings over 20 years of executive search experience to ZRG’s Professional and Technology Services practice, where he specializes in senior placements in sales, operations, business development, delivery and technology with industry-leading companies. As part of his two-decade executive quest, Mr. Ward has also worked extensively in the government contract industry, representing and placing several US government officials and military flag officers in transition into private sector positions. Examples include the placement of two former directors of the Defense Information Systems Agency, the Undersecretary for Nuclear Safety, a former Secretary of Homeland Security, the Deputy Commander of the US Coast Guard and the Chief Information Officer for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Chief Financial Officers are still in high demand. Finding them keeps many of the country’s leading recruitment firms busier than ever. In recent months, HR consultancies of all kinds have placed CFOs with various companies. And there is no sign of slowing down.
Hunt Scanlon Financial Services Recruiting Special Edition.
Executive Search Review has published its newsletter in the Financial Services Recruiting Special! According to recruiters, the profile of modern financial services leaders continues to change given the sector’s renewed focus on clients for revenue growth, service digitization, a renewed focus on risk management, and increased investor and regulatory scrutiny. The COVID-19 crisis has only increased the need for top talent who have the ability to turn and steer. Company through hard times and on firm ground. For this reason, qualified executives are sought throughout the financial services sector and in a variety of roles
Hunt Scanlon presents its annual round-up of the top 60 executive search firms operating in the financial services sector. Click here and enjoy!
According to ZRG, the CFO is responsible for the single source of financial truth – from the collection, analysis and reporting of financial data, to strategic and financial planning, to risk assessment, management and mitigation. “Although the general responsibilities are the same across industries, there are nuances within specific sectors that are beneficial to remain within,” the company said. “Of course there are a lot of flip-flops in certain industries, for example regulation-driven financial services and healthcare have a lot in common.”
ZRG categorizes CFOs by skills, industries, core competencies and personalities. The company uses this data in its Z-Score process to ensure “the right candidate, in the right role, in the right place.”
See also: COVID-19 creates new pressures for CFOs
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Editor-in-Chief; and Stephen Sawicki, Editor-in-Chief – Hunt Scanlon Media