Chief Financial Officer

“It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.'' -John Wooden

Anthony is a problem-solver. It’s what drew him to the world of public accounting and multiple finance and operations roles throughout the course of his career. Untangling the complexities of a company’s financial statements and finding data-driven solutions is his forte. It’s a repertoire of domain expertise that doesn’t always make for scintillating cocktail party conversation, but companies of all types have benefited mightily from his masterful skills.

Before his life as a CFO, Anthony was born and raised in the Bay Area – Mountain View, specifically, where he’s now come full circle raising his family in San Jose. In those early years, he developed seemingly eclectic interests in mixed martial arts and ‘80s rock, but both would prove pivotal in his future life decisions. 

Van Halen was solely responsible for his choice to major in accounting at California Polytechnic in San Luis Obispo. It started when, as a high school senior, his parents posed the most terrifying question feared by all teenagers, “so, what do you want to be when you grow up?” While desperately trying to avoid getting back to them with an answer, one day Anthony immersed himself in a Van Halen concert video (on a VCR mind you) where, upon closely studying the rolling credits, he saw that Eddie and Alex had accountants. Not only did he have an answer that elicited nods of approval from his mom and dad, thus was born his mission to become a rock band accountant (but, first, he had to pass BUS 417 “Taxation of Corporations and Partnerships”). 

His love and practice of Taekwondo is what inspired Anthony on a post-graduate journey to South Korea to teach English. Specifically, Anthony’s master offered a vision of how living and working among people of a totally different culture would imbue lifelong values. Now, before you conjure the image of an American professizing to a throng of disinterested students in a dull classroom; instead, picture a postcard-perfect Buddhist temple peeking through the lush forest of a misting mountain range. That’s where Anthony spent much of his time amidst a hermitage of Nun Monks and where he found far more than just willing students – he made true friends. Not only does he still count them as the older sisters he never had, but he also enjoys a lifelong invitation to retreat at the temple for any length of time. Unbeknownst to Anthony at the time, the value that he was adopting as a young man would align to a core value of Founders Circle’s, “Cultivate Real Relationships”.

Anthony returned to America and got his bean-counting career started off at a regional accounting firm and then onto the Big Four, KPMG specifically. After years of auditing and tax planning for companies of many shapes and sizes, he thought it time to walk a mile in the entrepreneur’s shoes. He joined tempCFO, an outsource accounting firm that oversaw finance operations for venture-backed startups and venture funds. As a Principal, he owned a chunk of the business that he was responsible for carving out. But the cherry on top of this particular career move was that the firm represented the rock band, Creed (famous for “My Sacrifice”, “With Arms Wide Open”). Unfortunately, Creed was another Principal’s client, but Anthony was that much closer to his vision of being a rock band accountant.  More importantly, this is where Anthony plied his trade in venture and venture-backed company financial operations. 

Sapphire Ventures took notice of Anthony’s pedigree and invited him to become their first CFO. Much like Founders Circle, they were an 8-person firm at the time with around $500M under management. Just shy of a decade later, Anthony had helped to architect the firm’s finance, tax, and compliance capabilities to support around 80 employees, as well as assist in executing an array of multi-strategy funds comprising an ever-growing roster of LPs. I don’t want to foreshadow anything, but let’s just say we’re mighty thrilled to be reading from Anthony’s playbook and we’re equally excited he decided to join us at Founders Circle. Beyond the excitement to help build another venture firm, Anthony declares that the reason he joined the firm is that the “good people at Founders Circle totally won me over with their warm and genuine nature” (no, really, we didn’t pay him a signing bonus to say that). 

Outside of work, Anthony considers himself a BBQ aficionado. How many people do you know who own, and actually operate four separate grills? Apparently, we all need one for smoking, one for rotisserie and, not one, but two for general grilling. Anthony is just licking his chops to take on Ken and his dual Green Egg and gas grill at the next Founders Circle in-person gathering (believe me, we’re licking our chops too). At home, Anthony’s daughters are caught somewhere between adoring their father and rolling their eyes as they exasperate over his “dad jokes”. But, they’re first in line to join Mom and Dad on the annual summer trip to Croatia to immerse themselves in extended family and enjoy the coastal Dalmatian life. 

Though no one would ever accuse Founders Circle of being as cool as a rock band, we are happy to have Anthony as part of the team.

by Mark Dempster

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