Envirosuite’s new CFO, Justin Owen, on why he joined the company and the exciting global opportunity ahead
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Owen is focused on a number of key operational targets, with the opportunity to use his skills to add value in a fast-growing clean technology business.
In line with that priority, EVS announced its latest key hire yesterday with the appointment of Justin Owen as Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
Over a career spanning more than 30 years, Owen brings extensive listed-company experience to the business, including the CFO role at SaaS-based communication automation company Whispir (ASX:WSP).
Owen is also a company founder, having established and led CFO Effect – a consulting firm that has provided executive knowledge and specialisation to a wide client base including ASX companies PayGroup (ASX:PYG) and Tesserent (ASX:TNT).
Prior to his executive experience, Owen was an audit partner at an Australian chartered accounting firm.
With his appointment to EVS, Owen will lead the group’s finance function across its global operations and report to CEO Jason Cooper.
And as he gets started, Owen spoke with Stockhead to provide some extra context around the exciting opportunity ahead.
Commenting on his decision to join the company, Owen said EVS sits neatly at the intersection of his core skills and interests.
“I look at it as a combination of that leading SaaS / technology stack, along with what the company offers in the market in terms of environmental solutions with a global impact,” he said.
In particular, he cited the work Envirosuite is doing in its EVS Water division, where it recently completed a $10.5m share placement to capitalise on desalination and drinking water growth opportunities.
“That’s the key thing for me – it’s really the intersection of that environmental impact with SaaS-based technology applications that I have a lot of experience with,” he said.
The other key aspect that attracted Owen to the role was the strength of Envirosuite’s existing leadership team.
Along with Owen, the company also recently announced the appointment of US-based executive Aaron Lapsley to the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO).
“Obviously as part of this process I had the opportunity to speak with Jason and some of the other team members, and that really drove me into joining to work with people who are intelligent and innovative,” Owen said.
“So there’s a lot of intersecting points there, and it’s about the opportunity to work with smart people and provide environmental solutions, while also recognising our obligation to investors and what the return to shareholders needs to be.”
On that front, Owen said he’s looking forward to the challenge of both setting and exceeding the company’s internal growth targets.
One of his top priorities will be maintaining and growing the company’s annual recurring revenues (ARR).
“We know where business opportunities are, so it’s about how we get that combination (of ARR growth) from new channels along with our existing customer base,” he said.
“And I think what I can provide in terms of leadership in the finance team is to concentrate on how we provide those relevant data insights back to key decision makers in the business, and equally how we explain that to the market in terms of how we’ve succeeded.”
Owen said his other key operational focus will be on driving gross margins.
“That’s an area where the team have demonstrated some strong improvements over recent reporting cycles. So, continuing that momentum to really get the company operating at a gross margin that exceeds our internal targets is another important focus for me,” he said.
Lastly, for a company bringing innovative predictive solutions to market, Owen said he wants to continue the execution of the product-led, sales focussed approach.
“Innovation by itself isn’t enough. You’ve actually got to understand what the market is telling you,” he said.
“So, I want to create a structure where all the group’s verticals are focused on that, with the processes to ensure that we’re all held to account.”
It’s an approach that sits in alignment with Cooper as CEO, who said Owen’s leadership and listed company experience will be an “invaluable addition to the team”.
“Justin is a highly capable and experienced CFO who will bring strategic leadership and discipline to our financial function as we continue to scale for growth,” Cooper said.
This article was developed in collaboration with Envirosuite, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.