Keith Fujinaga has stepped into the role of Nintex CFO following Thoma Bravo becoming the company’s new majority investor.
Keith brings more than 20 years of financial leadership experience from big four public accounting, Fortune 500, and mid-size technology companies to his role at Nintex. Most recently, Keith served as VP of Finance at Nintex from 2017 to 2018.
We sat down with him to chat about his new role as CFO and his thoughts on what it takes to successfully and profitably grow a company like Nintex.
1. You have held financial leadership positions at both public accounting firms and private tech companies. Are there any lessons you’ve taken from each that help you as a CFO?
I began my career in public accounting, where I gained valuable technical accounting skills. As I thought about my future, I wanted to be part of running a business and driving the decision making that goes into making one successful.
I entered the technology industry by joining Microsoft as part of its intellectual property and licensing group. From there, I served as CFO of a small intellectual property company. I learned a lot of lessons from the startup culture and the business model there.
Having different experiences in finance has definitely helped me become a quick study in transitioning to a global, private high-tech company. You quickly learn where to focus, what is important for that particular business, and how to move forward in a way that benefits the company in the long run.
2. As the financial leader, what is most impressive/interesting about Nintex’s operating model?
I love the fact that Nintex has a partner channel. We have a network of professionals who specialize in providing customers with solutions using the Nintex Platform. Our job is to help people see how easy it is to start automating, orchestrating and optimizing their business processes with Nintex technology. As word of mouth spreads about the success our partners and customers are having with Nintex, our market reach naturally grows faster, extends further than if we were just doing it on our own.
Ensuring the success of Nintex customers is critical. If we’re taking care of our customers, they will continue to use our platform, and advocate on our behalf, which helps our revenue growing strong.
3. Has Eric Johnson, Nintex CEO who was most recently CFO, given you any advice in regards to your position?
Eric is a very forward-thinking leader, and that has served him very well in his career.
If you keep the end in mind, you stay proactive in assessing potential issues and milestones along the way. And Eric goes about it in a very respectful way. He definitely has drive and passion to succeed financially, but he wants to do it in the right way – a way that benefits the company and the people that work with him.
I’ve been fortunate to watch and learn his techniques. It’s definitely how I want to operate as Nintex CFO.
4. In your opinion, what does a successful financial department look like?
One of the most important aspects of a finance department is team cohesion, and we definitely have that here at Nintex. I think everybody here feels like they’re being supported by others, they know their role, and how they snap into the broader strategy. They know the work they’re doing really matters.
5. How important is achieving and maintaining profitability for technology/SaaS companies today?
For long-term success, you have to know your business model. There are stages of growth along the way. Nintex has always been profitable because we’ve had smart management throughout the history of the company.
Early on, Nintex at its core was a professional services company and had a perpetual licensing model. As we’ve grown, we’ve been very mindful about how to stay ahead of the curve. We’ve done that with our new subscription workflow pricing model and cloud-based technology. I’m excited to keep the momentum and ensure the company keeps moving forward, growing profitably.
6. What excites you the most about your upcoming work with Nintex’s new majority investor, Thoma Bravo?
It’s a great partnership.
Thoma Bravo is well-known in the high tech world and has a proven track record of success. The company finds successful businesses and makes them even better. We share this goal.
Additionally, Thoma Bravo will be great advisories to our Nintex business. Although we’ve had a lot of success, there is always room for improvement. My approach to life and business is to always reserve the right to get smarter. We will benefit from Thoma Bravo’s experience and learn how to move forward in the smartest way possible.
7. How can every employee be a better financial steward? Any best practices to follow?
At the end of the day, you have to treat your company’s finances as if they were your own. You know, people rarely make irresponsible decisions with their own personal money.
Generally, no one wants to waste money or do things inefficiently, right? So, if you take the approach of thinking, “What would I do if I was running this? How would I conduct myself?” you can make the best decisions for yourself and your company.
8. What is your favorite part about working at Nintex?
I think there are four attributes that need to be in place for a company to be a great place to work, and Nintex has them in spades.
- We have a great product portfolio that we all believe in, and that brings value to our customers.
- There is a huge market opportunity for our software, which is crucial for our growth.
- The Nintex leadership team is strong, focused, and truly cares about our employees.
- The workplace culture is just fantastic here. The people I work with continuously make me excited to do my job every day.
9. What is one thing about yourself that you can share that not many people know?
I grew up as an Air Force brat – my dad was in the Air Force. Being around the military early in life, if I wasn’t ready 10 or 15 minutes early, I was late! I think those values, the respectful approach to other people’s time, and the idea of discipline and commitment are the core things that have helped shape who I am today.
Learn more about Nintex and our Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) platform by downloading the whitepaper.