Fresh from closing a $20 million series A financing in December, biotech firm Ratio Therapeutics’ new CFO is focused on helping his young company build a sophisticated finance department.
Before Reed Malleck, the company’s finance chief, arrived in October there was a part-time contract CFO, a part-time contract controller and four or five people in the company who did some of the finance and accounting work, including the CEO, Jack Hoppin.
“There was really no structure, no cadence,” Malleck said in an interview this week. “When I came in the door I said, ‘there’s no such thing as a soft close, we either close the books or we don’t.’”
A U.S. army veteran who spent the first 22 years of his career in various finance roles at Hewlett Packard before taking multiple CFO positions in a range of companies, Malleck has quickly taken steps to build a strong financial structure for Ratio, which was founded in 2021.
One of his main goals: to set up the people and systems needed to be due-diligence ready every day, meaning that the Boston-based firm is capable of answering any questions potential investors may have at all times.
To achieve that, Malleck is establishing departments in the company, with each department having what he termed an owner or individual who is responsible for employment and the management of the department’s resources. He’s also applying a system which he invented about 20 years ago, that he calls a “framework for everything.”
Most companies have some elements of it, he said. It is roughly composed of vision and mission statements and strategic objectives for the company. Objectives, he said, can last for about a year.
“We’re setting up the cadence for the monthly close and monthly published financial statements,” Malleck said. “That’s where we’re going and that all supports many other things, it supports command and control of the business and it also supports the communication with potential and existing investors.”
Hoppin, the firm’s CEO, said in an interview that he tapped Malleck knowing his vision was exactly what his growing company needed. Reed has set up a plan that syncs what he called the budget burn down with the company’s plans for growth this year. Hoppin said he’s also adopted Reed’s framework for everything.
In another measure of the company’s growth, the firm moved out of WeWork space and into new 19,000-square foot space this week in Boston’s Seaport District. The space contains offices and a research facility.
Founded in 2021, the firm now has about 30 employees and expects to continue to expand its hiring this year. The work that Malleck is doing will support that growth.
“This all speaks to maturing Ratio in the financial management dimension,” Malleck said.