567: Mining Opportunity Between Growth & Risk | Kevin Jacobson, CFO, LogicGate

Listen to the Episode Below (00:36:13)

Step inside CFO Kevin Jacobson’s office at LogicGate, and there’s little question that you’ll think you’ve entered a realm where growth and risk are often two sides of the same coin.

In fact, LogicGate’s fast path to achieving “product market fit” was no doubt shortened by early customers who today wield a similar growth/risk mind-set.

Four-year-old LogicGate, a provider of governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) software, now expects its workforce to expand to 170 employees before 2021.

Says Jacobson: “I tell our team that going forward, we are going to be breaking records across every metric in every quarter.”

With yet another year of impressive growth behind LogicGate, Jacobson says that the company’s foundation has been firmly laid for a new growth chapter to be built.

“We’ve grown significantly since last year, and my role is now about keeping a vigilant eye on what matters in this new context, this next stage of growth,” he explains.

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Guest: Kevin Jacobson

Company: Logicgate

Connect: www.logicgate.com

Headquarters: Chicago, IL

CFOTL: As a CFO, do you have philosophy or mind-set when it comes to managing risk?

Jacobson: There are many buckets of risk that our customers are trying to deal with. There’s IT security risk. There’s general business risk in terms of many different things, whether it’s your cash position, your competitive strategy, things like that. We’re a small and now ever-growing team, as we’ve continued to layer on how we manage risk at the company. For example, one of the hires that we’ve made this year is an assistant general counsel, who is leading the legal risk of the company. We sign a lot of contracts with customers and vendors, and there’s inherently risk that needs to be mitigated when you’re doing that type of business. We also brought on an information security leader, who is keeping an eye on all of our information security programs, policies, and procedures, so that we can tell our customers, “You know, we’re going to take care of your data as if it were our own and protect it.”

These are some of the things that are top-of-mind from a kind of truly operational risk standpoint: the legal risk and the information security risk. Inherently, there are other business risks, too. For example, for a venture-backed company, there’s financing risk: Are you going to be able to raise your next round of financing? That’s something that we’ve been thinking about basically since I got here, and closing our series B was kind of our near-term path for mitigating that financing risk.

I think that the ways in which we think about risk are pretty holistic. We’ve addressed them in many different ways, whether by bringing someone onto the team who we feel is really going to help us appropriately manage a risk or during things like strategic planning. We’re going through our fiscal year 2020 strategic planning process right now. Thinking ahead, as we continue to grow and get to a different scale than we were this past year, what kinds of challenges and risks are we going to experience? How can we mitigate against them now by thinking about new team members in new roles that should be created to help in the mitigation? Or maybe it’s just programs and policies that should be implemented–things like that.