Zeljko Kecman, CPA

CFO Consultant
847-778-2228
406 N Beverly Ln, Arlington Hts, IL 60004
ZKecman@CFOAccountingSolutions.com

EDUCATION

Illinois Institute of Technology
Master of Science—Finance / Financial Markets, Trading & Regulation

Purdue University
Bachelor of Science—Accountancy
Minor—Computer Information Systems

 

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

Results-oriented CPA and finance executive with extensive experience in full cycle accounting and operations processes across numerous industries. Former Chief Financial Officer of a large, single family office and a background that spans 25+ years in accounting and finance roles within industry and global Big 5/4 Public Accounting and Consulting. Proven change agent, impact player, and creative thinker with consistent track record of adding value by improving processes and driving cost savings.

• Enthusiastic leader and trusted business partner with demonstrated success in roles with increasing accountability and leading key change initiatives.
• Strong communication skills and ability to effectively collaborate with all organizational levels and internal and external stakeholders.
• Experienced in managing teams of 40+ on a global basis and passionate about mentoring and developing talent.
• At various points in my career, managed large finance and accounting teams, including HR payroll and administration, operational budgets (including insurance placement) and have led several multi-year finance transformation programs.
• Highest level of ethics and integrity in all my dealings.

 

KEY COMPETENCIES

Financial Reporting & Management
Forecasting
Budget Development & Analysis
Acquisitions/Divestitures/Integrations Risk Analysis
Finance systems implementation
Business Strategy
Cash Flow Planning and Management
Bank/Legal Negotiations
Client Relationship Management
Cost/ Benefit Analysis
Developing and mentoring talent

 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Briar Hall LLC
Chief Financial Officer
2020 – 2021

• Large, single family office providing private equity partnership investments, trust services, and integrated wealth management to three generations of one of Chicago’s founding families.
• Led all aspects of finance and accounting for family office and the diverse investments portfolio.
• Managed 12 accounting professionals with 4 direct reports.
• Responsible for operating budget, insurance placement, tax filings and compliance, treasury, cash management and forecasting, payroll system selection (Software as a Service), finance systems and general ledger, accounts payable, and financial reporting and internal controls.

Ernst & Young LLP
Managing Director
2014 – 2020

• Served as the Central Region co-lead for accounting and finance transformation programs within the financial services and insurance industries.
• Managed teams as large as 35 professionals on a global basis.
• Led multi-year regulatory compliance and finance transformation engagements focused on improving clients’ finance systems, financial risk management, accounting and reporting processes, and internal controls.
• Assisted clients to enhance accounting processes and implement various finance systems, including Workday HR and Financials and multiple investments accounting subledgers.
• Awarded EY’s “On the Job” Coaching award for coaching and mentoring colleagues (multi-year recipient).

Allstate Investments LLC
Accounting Director – Investment Operations and Finance
2007 – 2013

• Managed 5 teams and 38 accounting and finance professionals for the Investments Division of Allstate Insurance, consisting of >30 legal entities.
• Identified over $200 million in statutory capital and operating expense savings using strategies such as asset abandonment, asset transfers and dispositions, and accounting process improvement, respectively.
• Identified >$2 million in expense savings annually utilizing strategies such as BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) and process improvement.
• Implemented numerous complex accounting standards on a GAAP and (NAIC – National Association of Insurance Commissioners) Statutory basis.
• Committee memberships: Valuation and Pricing Committee (Chair), Watchlist Committee (Chair), Finance Committee (Secretary), Performance Measurement Committee (Secretary), Disclosure Committee, Derivatives Technology Steering Committee.

Zurich North America (Zurich NA)
Assistant Vice President – Reporting & Analysis, Reinsurance Operations
2006 – 2007

• Zurich NA is one of the largest providers of insurance solutions and services to businesses and individuals.
• Analyzed and reported the North American segment’s ceded and assumed reinsurance results, estimate of bad debt reserve, and Schedule F analysis, preparation, and reporting on a GAAP, IFRS, and NAIC (Statutory) basis. Managed a team of 12 professionals with 2 direct reports.
• Identified more than $100 million is surplus penalty reductions by researching and resolving the underlying issues contributing to the potential penalty.
• Developed and implemented a multi-year technology strategy and approach to automate key processes.

Exelon Corporation (Parent of ComEd)
Manager: Financial Planning & Analysis
2004 – 2006

• Successfully resolved the internal control and process deficiencies in the Company’s Cash Accounting and Revenue Recognition function and enabled the Company to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and obtain a “clean” internal controls opinion from the external auditors.
• In-sourced the department from a team of 12 external contractors to 9 permanent team members.
• Identified over $1 million in cost savings by centralizing the cash accounting function to Chicago from 3 different locations.
• Identified and resolved over $7 million of aged reconciling items, including collection of more than $4 million of unclaimed property from the State of Illinois Treasury Department.

Ernst & Young LLP (Andersen Team acquired by E&Y in 2002)    
2002 – 2004
Arthur Andersen LLP (Acquired by EY due to Andersen’s collapse) 
1993 – 2002
Staff Auditor through Senior Manager

• Performed domestic and global consulting and assurance services (including business development) in financial risk management, treasury, derivatives and trading operations, regulatory compliance, and associated technology platforms. Led multi-location teams of 40+ professionals in the U.S. and internationally.
• Performed financial statement audits and managed audit teams serving clients in the utilities, financial services, real estate, and government sectors.
• Received Arthur Andersen Sequoia Award for mentoring and developing talent (multi-year recipient).

 

PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATIONS & MEMBERSHIPS

CPA—Illinois
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Illinois CPA Society