The Early Bird Gets the CFO

November 13, 2023

In the ever-changing realm of corporate leadership, the adage “the early bird catches the worm” takes on new significance, particularly in the search for top-tier financial talent. As leading healthcare investors and organizations work to secure key members of their leadership teams ahead of the new year, the demand for Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) in VC and PE backed healthcare companies has skyrocketed. However, the supply of this talent is limited, and the competition is fierce, which may result in an empty nest rather than a full C-suite.

Why the increase in demand?

At Chasm, our experience is a testament to this surge, with over 10 CFO searches underway this quarter and a projection for an upward trend into the coming year. Given our current workload, it’s highly probable that our counterparts in search firms across the country are equally occupied in the search for the coveted “worm.” This leads to two significant implications:

1. Now is the time to initiate a CFO search

The urgency in the demand for CFOs is palpable, and organizations should act promptly if they aspire to secure the best talent for the new year. Considering the time it takes to identify, vet, and secure a high-caliber CFO, your teams should take action now to have a CFO in seat by Q1.

Related: The Evolution of the Healthcare CFO

2. Your CFO may be exploring other opportunities

Given the increased demand, particularly in healthcare, existing CFOs may be enticed by lucrative opportunities elsewhere. Recognizing and addressing the factors that drive CFO turnover is crucial for organizations aiming to retain their financial leaders.

Offer a competitive compensation package 

Ensure that your compensation package aligns with the latest developments in compensation-related market standards. We expect an inflationary environment for CFO roles specifically because of the excessive demand, similar to the dynamic we saw for certain roles during COVID.

Optimize employee engagement

A number of studies1 have tied work motivation and engagement to self-determination theory, which emphasizes that highly engaged employees (1) feel competent and valued for their competence, (2) feel that they have autonomy and influence over their work and (3) feel a connectedness to others and the mission. How would you guess your CFO would answer these questions? What intentionality are your leaders bringing to the culture writ large to ensure all employees feel this competence, autonomy, and connectedness? 

Chasm Partners is here to help

In the whirlwind of CFO demand, Chasm stands as a reliable partner for organizations navigating the complexities of executive searches. With a track record of successful CFO placements for both VC and PE backed clients in healthcare, our expertise extends beyond recruitment to comprehensive support in cultivating a leadership team that drives organizational success. The demand for CFOs is indeed growing, and Chasm is poised to meet this demand head-on, ensuring that your organization secures top-tier financial leadership.

To kick-start your search for leading financial talent, connect with us.

About Chasm Partners

Chasm Partners is on a mission to transform healthcare through human capital. It is our goal to effect lasting change in healthcare by partnering with the nation’s top investors and innovative companies in healthcare services and technology. We act as an extension of our clients to source, place and develop key Executive and Non-Executive talent in their organizations. We believe that talent is a prerequisite for an organization’s success, and are proud to leverage our network, expertise and technology to our client’s advantage.


  1. Meyer, J., & Gagnè, M. (2008). Employee Engagement From a Self-Determination Theory Perspective. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 1(1), 60-62. doi:10.1111/j.1754-9434.2007.00010.x


Matt Dumas
Founder & Managing Partner
Kristy Lindquist
Co-Founder & Partner
Pamela Zients
Partner, ChasmSearch
Meredith Damore
Executive Director, ChasmLead

Matt Dumas

Founder & Managing Partner
  • 20+ years operating experience in new ventures and turnarounds
  • Expertise in healthcare technology, analytics, and interactive media

Matt sees substantial opportunities for disruption in the healthcare ecosystem. He is focused on applying best practices and talent capital management to help investors scale businesses in the healthcare technology and services space. As Managing Partner of Chasm, Matt is focused on driving HCIT enterprise value growth through innovative talent capital models working as “partners” with venture capital and private equity investors and their portfolio companies.

Matt brings over 20+ years of experience as a business leader in both large and small companies, where he led the qualification, launch and commercial expansion plans of 19 B2B and B2C business ventures across 14 countries.

Before serving as a Partner at Oxeon Partners, Matt was a change agent as SVP and Head of Marketing (CMO) for WebMD consumer businesses such as the company’s website, magazine and mobile assets. Prior to WebMD, Matt was Founder & Managing Director of Nielsen Health (formerly a start-up business unit of The Nielsen Company) and subsequently President & CEO of Deutsche Ventures, where he conceived and commercialized first ever data integration methods and analytic solutions that help healthcare marketers, payers and providers optimize their patient communication campaigns in a HIPAA regulated data environment.

In this endeavor, he founded Ecosys Consumer Analytics, a healthcare patient targeting and marketing ROI analytics platform that eventually merged with Crossix Solutions. Earlier in his career, Matt spent 8 out of his 10 years at Procter & Gamble in Frankfurt and Geneva developing and leading commercial expansion plans for several global packaged goods and consumer health brands. Matt started his career in the group employee benefits space at Unum.

Matt graduated from Colby College where he started two businesses, one of which he sold before graduating and received an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. He is an investor and board member of various privately held ventures in the healthcare technology and services space. Matt is a member of the Board of Directors at Stamford Hospital, ranked by US News and World Report as one of the top hospitals in Connecticut, where he also serves on the Quality & Clinical Affairs as well as Finance Committees.

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Kristy Lindquist

Co-Founder & Partner
  • 20+ years experience in turnarounds – operations, marketing and sales
  • Expertise in leadership, organizational development and delivering P&L results

Kristy found her niche as a global turnaround specialist in organizational development and operations. She has been a proven catalyst for change while leveraging the right people and leaders to achieve breakthrough results. After 25 years helping international companies in pharma and consumer products grow through challenging circumstances, she sees significant opportunity in helping healthcare technology & services companies scale by applying these experiences.

As an international business leader throughout her career, Kristy evolved as an accomplished leader and management consultant following 8 years at Procter & Gamble. While at P&G, Kristy managed the P/L and growth strategies of several global brands in Western Europe and South East Asia, with particular focus on consumer health. While at P&G, she led her organization successfully through the Thai currency crisis. Subsequently, Kristy took on several leadership roles as Chief Operating Officer of Axicorp Pharma and Chief Purchasing Officer of ACA Mueller, both of which were privately held European pharmaceutical distribution companies based in Germany. In these roles, Kristy led significant restructuring and turnaround efforts during the German health care reform and following new private equity funding, leading to record profits. Kristy also took on several projects in consulting and training for international clients, advising them on disruptive strategies to achieve growth. Some of those clients include BRITA GmbH, Tivall Europe, AC Nielsen, Aventis Pharma, Amneal Pharma, and Constantia Flexibles.

Kristy graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and received her Master of International Management from Thunderbird Global School of Management. She is fluent in German, enjoys globetrotting with her two young adult children, and enjoys running and hiking outdoors, especially since moving to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Kristy received her MA in Organizational Psychology and Change Leadership from Columbia University in 2023.

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Pamela Zients

Partner, ChasmSearch
  • 20+ years of experience in healthcare strategy, business development and customer success
  • Expertise in healthcare strategy and operations, healthcare technology, and analytics

As a healthcare industry veteran, Pam has experienced first-hand the need for transformation of the US healthcare system. She thrives on partnering with healthcare companies focused on developing innovative technologies and solutions that improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery and enhance the consumer experience. As a Partner with Chasm Partners, Pam leverages her experience with both established and early stage healthcare companies to identify exceptional talent in executive leadership, sales, operations, and customer success.

Before joining Chasm, Pam worked in business development, client success and consulting for healthcare startups and health systems. She has worked with seed stage companies, nonprofits and publicly traded companies across her healthcare career.

Prior to her endeavors in the healthcare start-up world, Pam spent four years with the Advisory Board Company in senior account executive and client success positions. She also spent close to a decade in hospital strategic planning and business development roles with both HCA and SCL Health. Pam started her career as a journalist covering fiscal, monetary, and trade policy in Washington, DC.

Pam is a graduate of Emory University and received an MBA from Columbia Business School. She lives outside of Denver with her family and enjoys spending her free time outdoors biking, hiking, and running up Colorado’s mountains. She also enjoys reading, cooking, and being “managed” by her poorly-behaved Australian Shepherd.

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Meredith Damore

Executive Director, ChasmLead
  • 15+ years in healthcare technology consulting and startups
  • Expertise in organizational development, change leadership coaching, and team effectiveness

As the daughter of a healthcare CEO and a hospital social worker, Meredith has spent not just her career, but most of her life, within the healthcare ecosystem. She has seen firsthand how organizations can thrive under great leadership and when less effective approaches have hindered leaders from achieving their goals; she is passionate about helping healthcare leaders have greater self-awareness in order to achieve their personal and organizational goals. As Executive Director of Chasm’s organizational development arm and a member of Chasm’s executive leadership team, Meredith is focused on coaching healthcare executives by leveraging assessments and feedback, helping their teams work more effectively together, and supporting investors (and founders) in understanding leadership opportunities for both current and prospective portfolio companies.

Prior to joining Chasm, she was the SVP, Strategy at Concentric Health Experience, overseeing complex strategic engagements for healthcare and life sciences companies. Previously, she was the Head of Partnerships/Business Development for a Series B healthcare technology startup. Meredith began her career in healthcare research and consulting where she oversaw large, multimillion dollar clinical transformation engagements serving large hospital systems, provider groups, and payors. She is the outgoing Chair of the Board of Directors for University of Pennsylvania’s Division I Varsity Volleyball program and is a member of the Leadership Council for the Carol Emmott Foundation, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to elevating women leaders in healthcare.

Meredith received her MA in Organizational Psychology and Change Leadership from Columbia University in 2020 and holds a BS in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where she also minored in German. She is certified to administer the Intercultural Development Inventory, the premier cross-culturally valid assessment for building cultural competence within organizations.

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