Ben Martin has spent a total of almost seven years with CFGI — but not consecutively. After spending years as an auditor and service provider, Ben thought it’d be valuable to see the process from the other side. With this drive, he managed to take a company successfully public from the ground up. Once completed, he returned to CFGI to continue to harness his skills as a full-time managing director.
A winding path of experience, from political science to the Big Four to CFGI
Ben didn’t intend to go into the financial sector — he originally wanted to be a lawyer. In 2006, he completed a Bachelor of Arts in political science at the University of Pennsylvania. However, he realized this wasn’t the right career path for him and pivoted to enroll in and complete a master’s in accounting at Boston College.
“People would ask me questions and I would answer in numbers,” Ben says. “So I thought, maybe there’s something more about accounting at the end of the day for me.”
This career change led him to an auditor position with PwC, where he stayed for a little over two years, specializing in the audit of both privately held and public entities. From there, Ben decided to pursue more hands-on experience — a decision that would continue throughout his career.
He transferred to the medical devices industry as an internal auditor, which led him to Boston and then to New Jersey.
“That’s where I learned my tangible asset accounting skills,” he explains. “The kind of learning experience that you can’t typically get in financial services.”
It was within his position at CR Bard in New Jersey that he first learned about CFGI and the variety of roles and responsibilities that were offered.
Excited by the idea of a company that encourages a broad range of professional development and leadership opportunities amongst its employees, Ben joined the CFGI team.
Leading by experience, with professionalism and a great attitude
Entering as a manager at CFGI, Ben realized quickly that this was the type of experience he had been looking for within his career.
“CFGI was like the boot camp I never knew I needed. On my second day, I realized it was ‘sink or swim’ — it was the real deal,” says Ben. “I was so eager to learn. As long as it was something new, I’d go where the work was.”
From interim management work to system implementation to revenue recognition, Ben was focused on growing and driving success within CFGI. This dedication led him from his initial manager position to senior manager to managing director to partner.
“It was always about that chase for experience,” he continues. “Just that thirst for knowledge and the need to get better at your craft. I wore a ton of different hats during my first six and a half years at CFGI.”
It was at the end of this time that Ben got an urge to work from the client side. “I wanted to build out my tool belt,” he says.
Taking a step back from his CFGI experience, Ben decided that he wanted to work directly within a company, outside of consulting, and help them go public from start to finish — a decision that brought him to AWH as a Corporate Controller.
A career journey that leads back to CFGI
Within one year at AWH, Ben helped them successfully go public and gained the intrinsic experience that placed him directly into his previous CFGI clients’ shoes. Once that was done, he reached out to CFGI to return.
“I left on really good terms and was still in contact with CFGI management throughout that year,” says Ben. “I missed CFGI, it was like home for me. One morning I woke up and I realized I want to go back.”
Within a day from that moment, he received an offer letter to return as managing director.
He credits his year away from CFGI as a learning opportunity that made him a better consultant to his clients as it gave him the firsthand experience and perspective to understand what problems they’re facing and streamline clearer communication.
“CFGI is my family,” says Ben. “They believed in me and I’ve always felt supported even in those moments where I was just figuring things out. That endless pursuit of improvement was always there.”
Within a year of returning to CFGI, Ben was promoted to Partner, taking a leadership role in the New York City office.