Kelly Provost is a leader in CFGI’s Life Sciences Capital Markets practice and has dedicated her career to supporting companies that are trying to cure diseases and save lives, making a difference in the lives of people across the world.
Bringing strong accounting experience to CFGI
After earning a Master of Science in accounting from the University of New Hampshire Whittemore School of Business and Economics, Kelly started her career as an auditor at Ernst & Young. The experience she gained working with a wide array of businesses made for a smooth transition to CFGI in 2009.
“Coming to CFGI was a natural next step for me, and it was nice to be helping clients in a proactive way and really becoming a part of their team,” Kelly said of joining the company as a Consultant. “At the time, we were a 30-person firm, so I got to know everyone. Whenever my schedule would lighten up, I would reach out to someone and lend a hand. That gave me a lot of experience and exposure to a variety of projects.”
As her career progressed, Kelly became more focused on the life sciences capital markets.
“With IPOs and other capital markets transactions, there’s always something new, which is exciting,” Kelly said. “And being such a social person, I love getting to work with so many new people with every new transaction. I’ve actually become really good friends with a few lawyers I’ve worked closely with on some of these transactions.”
Now a Partner at CFGI, Kelly’s outgoing nature has benefited her role as a mentor to the firm’s junior team members.
“Mentorship is one of the most important aspects of my role. CFGI has always supported the informal mentor relationships that naturally build up over time,” Kelly said. “And now, the formal mentor tree ensures that everyone has someone to connect with, even when they’re in a sole-contributor role. And the benefits go both ways, because, as a leader, having those connections helps me keep the big picture in mind.”
Over the span of Kelly’s career, CFGI has evolved in many different ways. In addition to bringing her accounting expertise to the firm, Kelly has supported the organization’s efforts to drive toward increased representation at every level of the company. Kelly and others throughout the organization created a women’s network that contributes to the ongoing conversations around diversity and inclusion. The group builds equity through dialogues, events and career support.
Thriving in the life sciences capital markets
Supporting biotechnology and life sciences companies has been a central theme of Kelly’s career trajectory. She modestly jokes that she only does the “boring accounting work,” but it’s a necessary effort to ensure that the companies are able to raise funds to perform essential clinical trials.
“I like to jump into those transactions and help make sure that the financial statements aren’t holding things up, so that these companies can go out and do their important work. These are companies that are curing diseases and saving lives.”
In some regards, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown investors how important it is to support life sciences organizations. With a booming IPO market, Kelly has been busy working with other CFGI professionals to help her life sciences clients raise money through going public to continue their efforts to cure diseases and save lives.
“COVID has created some challenges for us, but it’s also introduced some efficiencies. For many of my transactions, we’re dealing with working groups of between 50 to 100-plus people, and not everyone is in the same city. That has historically required lots of travel and setting up big meetings. The remote nature of work now has created some efficiencies there.”
At the same time, Kelly has had to share her home’s internet bandwidth with her family of five, but they have made it work, and Kelly is optimistic about the future.
“I don’t see the IPO market slowing down anytime soon. I’m excited to continue to help CFGI become a nationally recognized leader in the life sciences capital markets space. I love sharing what we do, because I believe CFGI is the best at what we do. In addition to the people and the experience, it’s why I’ve stayed here for over 11 years.”