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Founded out of a Big Four accounting firm, Resources
Global Professionals has the experience, expertise, talent and geographic footprint to
serve major companies with multi-national needs
Resources Global Professionals
695 Town Center Drive, Suite 600
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Stephen J. Giusto
Co-Founder and CFO
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
Published - May
Stephen J. Giusto
Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Corporate Development
Steve J. Giusto is co-founder, Chief Financial
Officer and Executive Vice President of Corporate Development for professional services
firm Resources Global Professionals. As CFO, Mr. Giusto leads financial planning and
corporate development for the company and is principally engaged in the corporate finance,
investor relations, operations, and administration of the companys more than 80
offices in the U.S. and overseas. His responsibilities include supervision of the
firms financial reporting, planning, analysis and statutory activities worldwide, as
well as assessing the firms fiscal performance and setting future targets.
As CFO and Executive Vice President of Corporate
Development, Mr. Giusto has ensured that Resources Global Professionals business
model, systems, processes, and talent base continually enable the companys growth
and profitability. Under his fiscal leadership, Resources has continued to thrive
financially since going public in December 2000 and has expanded its operations to service
an impressive and diverse client base of more than 2,100 companies, including more than 80
of the Fortune 100 throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
While supporting growth and profitability, Mr. Giusto
has helped build a unique business model that allows for competitive pricing and efficient
delivery of specialized professional work to clients and combines the most appealing
traits of consulting firms, staffing firms, and Big Four accounting firms: high-caliber
professionals, competitive pricing, significant client control over projects, and a
relationship-oriented approach to assess clients project needs.
Mr. Giusto is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA),
and prior to helping found Resources as a subsidiary of Deloitte & Touche North
America in 1996, held various positions in Deloittes Real Estate practice. Prior to
1992, he also served for two years in the Office of the Managing Partner for
Deloittes national office. He was admitted to the Deloitte & Touche partnership
Mr. Giusto is based in Resources Costa Mesa, Calif.
headquarters. He has served as the Chairman of the Board and currently serves on the Board
of Directors of the American Cancer Society in Orange County, and is chair of the Finance
Committee for the Board of Trustees of Cate School in Carpinteria, CA.
Mr. Giusto graduated with a Bachelor in Science
degree in Business Administration from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1985. In 2005 he was
named the Honored Alumnus of the Orfalea School of Business at Cal Poly.
Resources Global Professionals, the operating subsidiary of Resources Connection, Inc.
(NASDAQ: RECN), is a multinational professional services firm that helps business leaders
execute internal initiatives. Working as members of client teams, Resources
professionals solve problems, execute initiatives and transfer knowledge. Partnering with
business leaders, Resources drives internal change across all parts of a global
enterprisefinance and accounting, information management, internal audit, human
capital, legal services and supply chain management.
Headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, Resources
Global was founded in 1996 within a Big Four accounting firm. Today, it is a publicly
traded company with a market cap exceeding $1.5 billion. The Companys 3,900
professionals from more than 80 practice offices, serve 2,100 clients in more than 50
countries. With offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, Resources Global has
served 82 of the Fortune 100 more than half of the Fortune Global 100.
The Company is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select
Market. More information about Resources is available at http://www.resourcesglobal.com.
Mr. Giusto, what was your vision when the company was founded and where are you today?
Mr. Giusto: The vision of the company
was that there was a fairly significant market in professional services that was not being
well served, where client companies were looking for very experienced talent to help them
with internal projects and they did not have a meaningful and value-added outlet for that
demand. We built the business to fit that market and it has turned out to be an excellent
insight because by creating a business that serves that need, we have been able to grow
from zero dollars in revenue in 1996 to in excess of $700 million in revenue in our fiscal
2007. Therefore, the vision that we had 10 years ago is the vision that we have
What is a typical company that utilizes your services and how does the model work?
Mr. Giusto: Our client base is large
with about 2000 clients. Similar to most professional services firms, it is skewed toward
our largest clients. About 100 of our 2000 clients make up 50% of our revenue and the top
50-100 clients tend to be names that you would recognize. They are Fortune 500
businesses, generally with multinational operations. The reason we serve companies like
that is the company was founded out of a Big Four accounting firm, so we have experience
and expertise in serving major companies. Secondly, we have grown from being a US-only
company to now being a US-based multinational, with offices all over the world. The large
companies that we serve tend to have multinational needs, so the reason that we focus
entirely on major companies is that they tend to fit our footprint and our service
What industries, if any, do you focus on and do you see that changing?
Mr. Giusto: We have a very broad-based
group of clients, so there is no industry concentration and no client concentration.
Therefore, despite the relatively small number of clients that make up a large percentage
of our revenues, none is greater than 3% of our revenues. The industries that we serve are
extraordinarily broad; they include financial services, insurance, oil and gas,
healthcare, communications and professional services. You name it we serve it.
Are your people going in as consultants?
Mr. Giusto: We call them internal
consultants in that a typical external consultant like a McKinsey & Company comes in
with a methodology and a deliverable and they take full control of a project. In our
model, which we think clients find very attractive, they know what they want to get done,
but they do not have the appropriate group of talented people in their organization that
have the time or capabilities to get that project done. We come in as a resource to them
as internal consultants and we provide them with as many or as few consultants as they
need for as long as they need them. They are our employees working under the direction and
control of our clients.
Why are talented people choosing to offer their services through Resources Global
Mr. Giusto: There are more and more
very seasoned professionals who like the variety of projects that you can get in a firm
like ours. They do not really want to be selling their services to companies, but they do
want to use their experience and talents to help clients solve problems. Through Resources
Global Professionals, they get a diversity of clients and projects. They have considerable
say over access to projects they take and do not take so they get more control over their
professional careers, which may not be the case in a traditional firm. We pay them for
every hour they work, so if you work 60 hours a week for Resources, you are paid 60 hours.
For most of us who have grown up in professional services, you work those long hours and
are paid on a salary basis, so you did not really make any incremental amount of money
when you were working that hard. Therefore, it is the best of all worlds for our
How is your firm able to always have talent available for your clients?
Mr. Giusto: The source of long-term
value for a company like ours is talent, so we are constantly looking for the next
talented person to join the company and we have grown from three or four of us who founded
the company to about 4000 people globally today. Therefore, we have been very successful
at attracting people to the model. However, in order for us to continue growing at the
pace we expect to grow, we have to continue to attract talent to the company and that
happens in many different ways. Certainly, we are becoming a fairly well known business in
the professional services community, so people do come directly to us but we are also out
aggressively looking for talent as well. It is one of the key drivers of our success and
one of the core competencies in terms of how we differentiate ourselves.
Tell us about the professional services industry and the marketplace.
Mr. Giusto: Professional services is a
very diverse sector. You have any number of different consulting models, any number of
different niches that are served, from law firms to accounting firms to traditional
consulting firms and firms like ours that are a bit of a hybrid. The marketplace is
growing rapidly, particularly in the accounting and finance area where we focus our
efforts. In our view, there is a long-term imbalance between the supply and demand for
talent in the world. Therefore, you have for instance very large and rapidly growing
economies in China and India where the supply of very experienced talent is not at all
adequate. You have an environment in the developed world where internal controls,
corporate governance and financial transparency have become top-of-mind based on many of
the scandals that have happened over the last five or six years with the genesis of
Sarbanes Oxley, for instance. Therefore, the professional services industry broadly is
growing rapidly. It is a multi-billion dollar market that we are addressing.
When you are addressing, for example the China market, are your employees local or from
Mr. Giusto: Typically, our services
are delivered locally. We have a fair number of associates who travel but on balance, most
of the services that we provide are provided out of local markets. Therefore, we have
offices in China that are in Beijing and Hong Kong and we are building a practice in Shanghai.
In India we have offices in Mumbai and Bangalore. Elsewhere in Asia, we have offices that
are growing as well. Our recruiting strategy in all markets is similar in that we are
looking for experienced people from the local market who can serve clients there. At the
same time, we have one consolidated delivery model across the world, so if there is a need
anywhere in the world that cannot be served locally, we will search throughout our office
infrastructure to see if there is an associate that fits the need and who is willing to
travel to that location to serve the clients. It is a client-centric delivery model
primarily coming out of local markets, but with the capacity to access talent from
Do you need a lot of internal personnel?
Mr. Giusto: We rely on some decent
technology, but it is primarily a people-driven business. The relationships that we build
with clients are based on interpersonal relationships between our people and the
executives of the companies we serve. The recruiting that we do is based on building the
relationships with associates. We offer an interesting mix of very experienced
professionals who work directly for clients. Another group of professionals are salaried
employees that manage the business, build relationships with clients and monitor the
performance of our associates. They make certain that the quality of the services that we
are providing the clients is extraordinarily good and when things are not going as they
should be, they are right on top of it to make sure an alternative is discovered and
brought to our clients as soon as possible.
What is the financial picture at Resources?
Mr. Giusto: We have been fortunate to
be very successful financially. This business has been profitable almost since the first
month we have been in business. Wall Street expects us to do well north of $700 million in
revenue this fiscal year. In our eleventh year in business, they expect us to make a
considerable amount of money and as the CFO of the company, I expect that earnings power
will turn into cash flow. We are very well capitalized with more than $200 million of cash
on our balance sheet supporting our business around the world. Therefore, we are well
positioned to continue following the vision that we set out some 10 years ago.
What types of challenges do you see as you continue to grow?
Mr. Giusto: The biggest challenge to
any people organization is maintaining the culture, building the employee base and while
you are doing that, maintaining a level of quality that will differentiate you from others
in the marketplace. Therefore, everything that we do is aimed at addressing those
particular challenges and we have been successful to date. However, we are careful about
who we are, how we serve our clients and to ensure the culture that we have built into the
company continues to be nurtured.
Do you see the need for offices in countries where you do not have a presence now?
Mr. Giusto: We have about a quarter of
our business coming from outside the United States and we expect that over time, at least
half of our revenues can come from outside the United States. Therefore, we have been
aggressively building our international infrastructure, but there are still areas that we
would like to be in that we are not. Our primary international areas of focus are Europe
and the Asian Pacific region. In Europe, we are in many countries, but not in some very
significant countries like Spain, for example. In Asia Pacific, we are in most of the
areas that we would like to be in, but we are relatively new to that market and we are
early in our growth phase, so we are focused on getting some of the newer markets in Asia
up to scale. As we do that, we expect that our international growth could outpace growth
in the United States.
In closing, why should potential investors be interested and what does not jump off the
page about Resources Global Professionals?
Mr. Giusto: This is a business that
has grown rapidly that we expect to continue to grow rapidly while generating significant
profits. We are addressing a very large target market and we are the leader in our space.
We have defined the space and in our estimation, we are the best known and respected
company in our space. We have a multitude of opportunities to continue to grow the company
both on a geographic basis and with the variety of services that we provide. Our issues
are only on execution; the strategy is working very well and the positioning of the
company is working well. We are working hard to continue executing and if we do that, we
will build value in the company, which will build strong returns to shareholders.
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