Not unlike many of his CFO peers, Jeremy Klaperman spent the early years of his finance career in trying to rectify the damage brought on by the irrational market behaviors of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Unlike most, though, he found that his repair duties frequently involved visits to a remote Japanese fishing village.
“A lot of the work in investment banking during that 2001 to 2003 time frame involved picking up the pieces of all of these different failed businesses,” recalls Klaperman, who shortly after joining Goldman Sachs as an analyst in 2001 was bequeathed a lengthy “to do” list related to the 2002 bankruptcy of telecom giant Global Crossing.Read More
As Internet traffic projections in the late 1990s had continued to spike, Global Crossing’s undersea cable business had helped to boost the firm’s value to $47 billion by 1999. Still, the business had never had a profitable year, and as headwinds from the dotcom bust bore down, staggering losses and an accounting scandal followed.
For Klaperman, the “cleanup” began wherever the undersea cable ended.
“I found myself trying to sell this subsea cable station built in the middle of a remote Japanese fishing village,” reports Klaperman, who was tasked with completing the due diligence behind Goldman Sachs’s efforts to sell portions of the undersea cable itself or giant substations or both.
“It then became apparent to me how bad business decisions can be made when you overextrapolate the current environment or don’t appreciate the cycle,” observes Klaperman, who adds that his days of working with the fishing village in mind enabled him to better appreciate the stiff price of “overextrapolation” as well as the nuances of the local economy.
Remarks Klaperman: “If you like uni or sushi that village was the sea urchin capital of Japan.” –Jack Sweeney
Made Possible By
CFOTL: Tell us about Rho … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Klaperman: Rho is an automated finance platform that provides a variety of financial services as well as software services to small and medium-size businesses. We provide commercial banking services, credit cards, accounts payable automation for easy payment of bills, and expense management software, all on one easy-to-use, holistic, integrated platform.
Instead of having multiple providers of financial services—like a bank, a credit card company, an accounts payable platform, and an expense management platform—all working independently and not being integrated, which causes errors and inefficiency and necessitates lots of manual processes, our clients use Rho to unify all of these into one.Read More
We automate them and remove all of their manual processes and inefficiency. We save a ton of time. We allow CFOs to have better control over their finances, increase the quality of their work, and really focus on value-added tasks like growing the business, saving money, and so on.
Going forward, we’re going to be all about not just continuing the work that we are doing to integrate finance and data, to be on the leading edge, and to push the boundaries of measuring and understanding everything that we’re doing but also sharing these findings with all appropriate stakeholders. Integrating data and driving forward the scope and thus value of measurement have already created so much value for us and really are making a difference for us in what we’re doing for ourselves and for our clients. We’re giving them more information to make their companies better and make their lives easier—and to give their employees a better experience. We really will just be continuing to build this out and push the leading edge. We want to continue to be the thought leader in this field. jb
Rho | www.rho.co | NY, New York