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Ten CFOs to Watch in 2010: Tom Mutryn, CACI

Ten CFOs to Watch in 2010: Tom Mutryn, CACI - top government contractors - best government contracting event

tom mutrynPresent: Chief financial officer of CACI. Also heads CACI's mergers and acquisitions program.
Career highlights: Eighteen years in the airline industry (American Airlines, United, and US Airways) in finance, pricing, and treasury activities. Later served as CFO at GTSI before joining CACI in September 2006.
Personal: Every year, Mutryn takes an international trip. He also enjoys running and, despite a “high handicap“ (his words), golf.

2010 Tips:

  • Don't delay financing. “If a company has a financing need they should borrow money when they're able “” and not wait for some future date. Don't assume the credit markets will be available when you need them. We saw periods in the past 12 months when the markets were effectively shut down; it was virtually impossible for companies to borrow money.“
  • Focus on compliance. “The DCAA and the DCMA are setting higher standards for compliance. Oftentimes, when companies are trying to control expenses they're reluctant to make the necessary investments in back office compliance-related activities. My advice is not to fall into that trap; make sure your compliance organization always has the necessary resources to perform well.“
  • Build a strong finance team. “People have some uncertainty in their personal lives with the uncertain economy in this period. It's important to communicate with your people. It's important to be visible. It's important to recognize people and reward people. Basic human capital management 101 needs to be stressed.“

Full Interview:

ExecutiveBiz: Despite rough economic challenges, you've maintained double digit organic growth. What's your secret?

Tom Mutryn: Until there are clear indications of a stable financial market, we've been in the process of deleveraging; repaying some of our debt, reducing any re-financing risks that we may have.  We have  slowed down our acquisition activity this past year because capital was more precious and scarce than it has been. We've altered some of our capital structure and our M&A processes to accomplish that.  The good news is that the markets have improved materially in the past few months.

ExecutiveBiz: To what degree are you continue to invest in business development activities?

Tom Mutryn: We continue to invest heavily, managing our accounts deliberately, looking for longer term, large-scale contracts and awards that we can win. We plan to continue to build and diversify our portfolio. Our primary focus for many years has been DoD and intelligence business. We're continuing to build some of our cyber information assurance activities. We've been actively growing some of our C4ISR business. And we have some growing activity in government healthcare for the Veterans Administration and medical logistics. We're also continuing to focus on transformation of government activities, looking for ways to help government customers do things more effectively and efficiently amid large deficits and budget pressures.

ExecutiveBiz: CACI has been active in growing through acquisitions over the past 15 years, acquiring well over 40 companies. What can we expect in 2010?

Tom Mutryn: I expect you will continue to see us active in acquisitions. We continue to aggressively look for candidates.  We believe that there are some interesting companies available with star distinctions, access to new customers, and exciting technology. We're particularly focused on the energy and healthcare sectors “” which are newer areas for us “” as well as existing areas: cyber, intel, and security types of services.

ExecutiveBiz: In tough economic times, communicating with investors is all the more imperative. So is internal communications. What are you doing on that front?

Tom Mutryn: Two words: Social media. Obviously, it's not a brand new development but it is gaining more prominence in how  organizations communicate internally. We're in the beginning, but very deliberate, stages of putting together an infrastructure to allow our employees to communicate more effectively with us and among themselves. We'll be using collaboration tools, exploring ways to create department blogs, bulletin boards, and postings with existing technology. We're in the process of rolling out some tools and capabilities to take advantage of what I consider a very exciting technology.

ExecutiveBiz: Lastly, what's your prognosis of industry and economic challenges ahead?

Tom Mutryn: There are a multitude of challenges facing the financial market, the economy and our government. There is significant uncertainty as to the outcome of various policy debates that we are all familiar with on the Hill. Still, I view this as an exciting period in our country's history. Yes, there will be many changes and with those changes come opportunities. CACI, as a company, is embracing those changes and looking for opportunities to help our customers do the same.

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