Episode 277: From CFO to CEO: Expertise in Deal-Driven Growth with Gina Cocking

Season #1

This week’s guest, Gina Cocking, is a highly accomplished CEO with a wealth of experience in investment banking, finance, and executive leadership. With a career that spans prestigious firms, such as Kidder Peabody, Madison Dearborn Partners, J.P. Morgan & Co., and Colonnade Advisors, Gina has honed her expertise in financial services and business operations. Her extensive background includes serving as the Chief Financial Officer of Cobalt Finance and Healthcare Laundry Systems, where she successfully oversaw the sale to a strategic acquirer.

Gina's board membership at CIB Marine Bancshares, Inc. showcases her commitment to driving growth and value in the banking industry. With a strong educational foundation from the University of Chicago and multiple securities licenses, Gina brings a unique blend of strategic insight and financial acumen to her role as CEO. For her remarkable accomplishments and background, it’s pleasure to pick her brain on the secrets of deals, and deal-driven growth.

Preparation in deal-making is crucial for ensuring a successful outcome. With her extensive experience in banking and as a CFO of various companies, Gina understand the importance of being well-prepared before entering into any transaction. Companies must be organized and ready for the due diligence process, as it can make a significant difference in the success of a deal – or its failure. Being well-prepared not only increases the chances of a successful outcome, but also helps in avoiding potential issues and conflicts during the deal-making process.

For this reason, Gina focuses heavily on coaching clients and potential clients on how to ready for the transactions. Preparation begins far before even engaging with an investment bank. Gina’s proactive approach includes:

  • Organizing files
  • Digitizing documents
  • Ensure all licenses are in order

While many may think that every businessperson thinks with the mindset of a deal-maker, you’d be surprised to learn that there are a fair few who are more focused on thinking of organic business growth. A deal-maker's mindset encompasses the ability to identify and pursue opportunities for growth through deals.

Possessing a deal-maker’s mindset and focusing heavily on creating deal-driven growth includes strategic approach to identifying and capitalizing on opportunities for growth through mergers, acquisitions, and strategic alliances. This mindset requires a deep understanding of the deal-making process, and the ability to navigate the complexities of negotiations and due diligence.

A deal-maker’s mindset also includes the ability to handle the pressures and responsibilities that come with deal-driven growth. A deal-maker must be able to handle the financial and operational implications of the deals they pursue, as well as the potential risks and uncertainties that come with them. A deal-maker should strive to be:

  • Resilient
  • Adaptable
  • In it for the long-term
  • Capable of focusing on the ultimate goal of driving business growth and value creation through successful deals

There are both personal and professional implications of freedom in the context of deal-driven growth and entrepreneurial endeavors, When individuals have the freedom to make their own choices, it can lead to a sense of empowerment and drive within the business. This can result in a more dynamic and innovative approach to deal-making, as individuals are able to take ownership of their decisions and drive the business forward.

With freedom, however, also comes responsibility and pressure. The freedom to make decisions means that individuals are accountable for the outcomes, and this can create a sense of urgency and drive to ensure successful deal-making.

To acquire Gina Cocking’s team through Colonnade Advisors, be sure to check out their website, and sign up for their distribution list: https://coladv.com/
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For my full discussion with Gina Cocking, and more on this topic and topics not featured on this blog post:
Listen to the Full DealQuest Podcast Episode Here

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Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator, and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author, and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.
Get deal-ready with the DealQuest Podcast with Corey Kupfer, where like-minded entrepreneurs and business leaders converge, share insights and challenges, and success stories. Equip yourself with the tools, resources, and support necessary to navigate the complex yet rewarding world of dealmaking. Dive into the world of deal-driven growth today!