• About David Johnston former CFO

    Currently, Former CFO David Johnston serves as the dbj Consulting LLC's principal. Dbj Consulting LLC advises life sciences businesses and offers part-time CFO services. Johnston was the former CFO for several Massachusetts-based biotech and life sciences firms.


    Current Position

    2019 saw the launch of dbj Consulting LLC by Johnston. To help smaller, fledgling life sciences companies that couldn't yet afford a full-time, seasoned CFO, Johnston launched a company after over three decades as a corporate CFO. Many of his clients are virtual and employ ten people or fewer. Customers that hire his business benefit from the part-time, ad hoc services of an experienced CFO. He can easily create and carry out action plans due to his experience.



    Johnston thinks the trend of part-time C-level executives at emerging firms is advantageous to both the firms and the executives. He can better juggle work and family obligations thanks to his consulting firm, where he is a part-time CFO for various businesses. Their long-term health and productivity are improved, and he avoids burnout. Because it exposes him to a range of experiences, it also keeps his attention.


    Small startup biotech companies benefit from CFOs by receiving assistance in financial planning, managing financial resources, and establishing financial ties. Additionally, CFOs can give the company's operations a firmer foundation and more responsibility. Their employers pay part-time CFOs hourly or flat-fee basis and only for their work hours. Companies can employ a skilled part-time CFO for less than they would pay full-time because they only pay for the time spent.


    CFOs have several important tasks in biotech companies, including securing funding and managing grants, overseeing financial reporting and budgeting, assisting with compliance, and planning the company's future course in the market. Sometimes, especially when cash flow is important, CFOs take on the CEO role.


    Despite having CFOs, several of his firm's clients still hire him for strategic counsel. In his opinion, a professional, disciplined attitude with a dash of humor is best for entrepreneurs.


    Written Work

    As a former CFO, David Johnston is also a regular blogger and writer on financial and biotechnology-related subjects. Some of his essays have been published on websites for business and medicine, including Medium, Tumblr, the Buckeye Business Review, DrBioScience, and others.


    Previous Roles Johnston has worked in key finance positions for life sciences organizations since 1998. He worked for Genzyme as senior vice president of corporate finance, corporate planning, and analysis in the health sciences industry. Sanofi, a multinational pharmaceutical and healthcare corporation headquartered in Paris, eventually purchased this Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech startup. After Genzyme, Johnston worked as CFO for two Boston-based global companies looking for cancer-related medications to treat and cure the disease.


    He held finance positions at businesses in different industries before taking on his first senior-level position at a biotech company.


    For his strategic and financial acumen, he has received numerous honors.


    Knowledge and Experience

    To assist dbj Consulting's customers, Johnston draws on his extensive experience. He has experience in the following:

    • Leading Initial Public Offerings
    • Creative, non-dilutive royalty financing
    • Advising companies on strategic stock buy and sell solutions
    • Managing SEC reporting and financial analysis
    • Investor relations
    • Corporate finance
    • Strategic planning and the setting of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
    • Financial modeling
    • Mergers and acquisitions
    • Advising startups on how to raise funding and plan their financial future
    • Corporate development
    • Financial analysis
    • Acquisition integration
    • Revenue recognition
    • Due diligence
    • The Sarbanes-Oxley Act
    • Developing and rethinking capital allocation strategies
    • Improving operational efficiencies by analyzing bottlenecks
    • Helping companies use financial data to make decisions



    Former CFO David Johnston received his bachelor's in science at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. At the University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross School of Business in Ann Arbor, he received an MBA.


    Volunteering and Generosity

    Johnston assists various non-profit boards using his financial and strategic skills. He has, for instance, previously been a member of RAW ArtWorks' board of directors. The Lynn, Massachusetts-based juvenile arts organization RAW Artworks provides free programs across various artistic disciplines. The world's largest supplier of ocular tissue, Tissue Banks International Inc., has a board that Johnston has previously served on.


    Interests and Recreational Activities

    Johnston reads a great deal. His favorite book is Rinker Buck's The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey. Even though the book is noteworthy for its information on traversing the Oregon Trail in a mule-drawn wagon, small biotech business owners can benefit from it. The two hikers' interactions with obstacles and unpredictability are described in the book, yet they always focus on finishing the trek.


    Johnston resides with his family in Marblehead, Massachusetts, which is part of the Greater Boston area.


    Portfolio: http://davidjohnstoncfo.com/

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