Keith Bjelajac, CPA
CPA - CFO Services; Retail Industry Specialist; Distressed -Operational Turnarounds & Financial Restructuring; Mergers & Acquisitions
Keith has over 35 years of senior management experience performing financial and operational management for high growth, financially distressed and multi-billion dollar public companies. He has been CFO for both large public and private companies with revenues ranging from $100 million to over $15 billion in revenues.
He has extensive experience in work out / restructuring and turnaround situations, repositioning, profitability improvement, across multiple industries such as consumer goods and services – restaurants and retail omni-channel and e-commerce; media and entertainment; manufacturing; food processing, packaging, and distribution, construction; critical power systems; clean energy; service and maintenance; route-based industries; and real estate.
He began his career in public accounting and earned his CPA in audit and tax services for middle-market companies. He left public accounting to take The Video Station public. Over the next 30 years, Keith held senior financial positions, including international finance, tax and treasury, in several companies ranging in size from multi-million to multi-billion revenues. His experience includes retail (Office Depot), restaurants (Kentucky Fried Chicken and Sizzler), Wherehouse Entertainment (video retailer and distributor), manufacturing (Motorsport Aftermarket Group), critical power systems and route-based service (Power Plus), and international finance, tax, and treasury.
He was CFO of an E-commerce and retail fast fashion company located throughout the US and Mexico. He started the E-commerce business for the company in the U.S. and Mexico.
He has completed numerous acquisitions, integrations, and operational restructurings. He has modernized financial systems and led tax, treasury, human resources, IT, management reporting, SEC filings, credit agency review, banking relationships, legal functions, insurance and risk management, real estate, financial planning, cost accounting and strategic planning. Keith has provided over $2 billion in numerous financings through public offerings, debt refinancing and issuances, leveraged financing, and private equity investments.
Highlights of Keith’s career include:
- Implementing the E-commerce business for Office Depot in the U.S. and rolling it to 17 countries and introducing fast fashion E-commerce at another international company.
- Over 30 years as CFO in the retail environment to include global real estate site selection.
- Out of court as well as in court financial restructurings involving bankruptcy / insolvency, including taking Sizzler through Chapter 11 and Power Plus through an Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors.
- Managing large organizations with accounting and managerial reporting, financial analysis, treasury, tax, legal, human resources, risk management, legal, business modeling, and cash flow forecasting and budgeting.
- Raised over $2 billion in capital through debt and private equity.
- Mergers and acquisitions experience involving over 40 acquisitions.
- Engaging all levels of operating management to define, articulate, and track key performance indicators for improving operating performance.
- CFO of both franchisor and franchisee organizations and an in depth understanding of the issues involved in those relationships.
- Implemented Sarbanes-Oxley and completed SEC registrations and filings.
- 10 years in international finance, setting up operations in 17 countries, including tax and treasury strategies to maximize cash and returns
- Cost reductions in both back office programs and in operational improvements.
- Implemented creative tax structuring for worldwide internet profits resulting in a marginal tax rate of 10%.
- Accounting system conversions and point of sale system roll outs
Keith is a Certified Public Accountant and earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration with emphasis in finance from the University of North Dakota.