History and Ownership
FocusCFO was started in Columbus, Ohio in September 2001 by Brad Martyn. Compared to other long established and mature service offerings like attorneys, banking, and CPA services, the CFO Services industry is relatively new, with its roots starting in the 1970s and 80s. We are beneficiaries of the hard work of the pioneers in the CFO Services industry in the US and around the world.
From the beginning, FocusCFO has always been viewed positively by attorneys, bankers, CPAs, and other trusted business advisors. Our services have generally been viewed as complementary to that of other trusted business advisors, as is the role of a good CFO in any organization. We have worked hard to be a friend to all and we have many strong alliances across the state of Ohio, and beyond.
Over the years, as CPA firms look to expand their services they have begun to look for ways to enter the CFO Services market. At times we have been approached by CPAs firms about us becoming a part of their firm. While we feel CPA and CFO services are complementary, we have felt it is better to work alongside, rather than as a part of, local CPA firms to best serve SMBs. For a time, we did experiment with having two Top 100, Ohio-based regional CPA firms as minority equity owners in FocusCFO (at the same time, which was interesting, to say the least). We did this as part of strategic alliances with each firm to bring CFO Services to each firm’s client base. In both cases, each CPA firm’s ownership was a minority interest and Brad Martyn has always maintained full operating and equity control of FocusCFO. While we were successfully able to support their clients, we found having CPA firms as equity partners began to confuse the market regarding both our loyalty and how CFO Services differ from CPA services. As a result, we amicably ended those equity relationships but maintain great relationships with those firms.
We also realize that our developing industry needs all CFO service providers to be successful and we work hard to be close to other individuals and groups who provide the CFO services. Our hope is to work together with them to serve the small and medium sized clients around the state of Ohio, the US and the world.
Today, FocusCFO is entirely owned by FocusCFO associates with our founder, Brad Martyn continuing to be our largest equity holder, as he always has been. We remain committed to work closely with each of our trusted referral partners and to ensure that none of the attorneys, bankers, CPAs or other trusted advisors in our markets view us as anything other than a partner in serving SMBs.