In times of turmoil, opportunists seek to create avenues of innovation where there often appear to be none. Alan Glass, chairman-CEO of CFO Publishing is striving to do exactly that.
“There's a lot that's going to happen, and happen a lot faster,” said Glass of succeeding Frank Quigley as CEO on June 21. He added CEO to his chairman title, which he gained in January 2010 after the publisher was acquired by private equity firm Seguin Partners from the Economist Group.
According to Glass, “a lot of negotiating” will be in the works in the near future. “We're looking to get into acquisitions and partnerships, some of which we currently have lined up and under way,” he said. “So far, we've invested $1 million in incremental revenue back into the company. We have plenty of cash, and things are looking good.”
So good that the company has hired additional staff in editorial, sales, research and events.
“We've upgraded some of the editorial [positions] and hired four new sales [staff], one new executive for research services and Deborah Patton [senior VP-director of conferences], who is a big, senior executive for us,” Glass said. “We started out with about 50 to 54 employees, and now we'll be at 60 or 62 by year's end.”
As such, more hands on deck are already getting results in the company's print and online divisions.
“We're running slightly ahead in pages [in CFO], and we recently relaunched CFO.com, which is huge for us,” Glass said. “We're anticipating an increase in print and online just above numbers from last year.”
The company is also tying together editorial and events to boost its show portfolio.
“What we've had is a "beat structure' [on the website] for our editorial department,” Glass said. “One of our new events, Playbook for Private Companies, comes from our [small and mid-size business] beat. The editor who handles that beat has been put in charge of organizing the event and working with sales and marketing to build it up.” The event will be held in Miami Dec. 4-6.
Overall, CFO Publishing this year is increasing its live events to six from four last year.
The company is also increasing the number of its webcasts—from about 50 last year to 75.
“One of our biggest webcasts is a partnership we have with Bill Jelen, known as "Mr. Excel,' who teaches [the use of the software] and has written a few books. You'd think today, especially within accounting departments, people would know how to use Excel. But, so far, we have 20 webcasts lined up with him,” Glass said.
Also in keeping with the expansion of its product portfolio, the company plans a foray into the data sector.
“We have a lot more activity going on,” Glass said. “Our top-line growth overall is projected to be in the 5%-to-6% range.”