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Riding the Round-Trip Spin-off

Reliant Energy picks former Goldman exec to guide new company's finances. Also: Guardian Life chooses lifer, Warren Buffett's latest crush.
Lisa YoonJuly 16, 2002

>>Reliant Energy management relying on Mark M. Jacobs to help it through changes sure to come via spin-off… Houston-based energy company named former Goldman Sachs managing director to CFO, EVP posts of both Reliant Energy and Reliant Resources Inc., which is preparing for spin-off from majority owner Reliant Energy… Jacobs to resign from Reliant Energy position once spin-off is complete, company said…

Jacobs had been serving as adviser to Reliant… He replaces Steve Naeve in Reliant Energy finance job… In mid-May, Naeve moved up from Reliant Resources CFO post to become president, COO of Reliant Resources and vice chairman of Reliant Energy as part of a management shuffle… He will stay on as vice chairman of Reliant Energy until completion of spin-off…

Reliant Resources was one of first energy companies to disclose revenue-inflating round-trip trades… Management shake-up came amid growing scrutiny… Since then company restated financials from 1999 through 2001…

>> Insurance lifer Robert Broatch joining life insurer Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America as CFO, EVP… Broatch steps aboard fourth-largest U.S. life-insurance company from GAB Robins Group, where he was EVP and CFO of provider of loss-adjusting, third-party administration, and managed-care services… Before that was finance chief, SVP for UnumProvident, disability and special-risk insurance holding company in Portland, Maine… Earlier in career Broatch held senior finance posts at Aetna, Primerica, and Hartford Group…

At Guardian, Broatch will zero in on planning and enterprisewide risk management, as well as assuring plan-holder value… New York—based Guardian holds around $34.3 billion in assets…

>> No more paper pushing for Joseph Doyle… Former CFO, EVP of US Office Products moves to engineering, construction outfit Foster Wheeler Ltd. as SVP and CFO… Doyle no stranger to energy and engineering… Previous gigs include slots as senior financial executive for industrial operations at Westinghouse Electric, finance chief at Allison Engine Co., and senior finance posts at General Dynamics… Earlier, he was a partner at Peat, Marwick & Mitchell…

Doyle replaces Gilles Renaud, who resigned in May when company was fraught with problems like mounting losses, burdensome debt, and worries about its ability to even survive… VP and treasurer Robert Iseman had been serving as acting principal financial officer since Renaud’s departure…

>> Thanks for sharing: SiteScape Inc., Web-based collaboration software maker, hires Jeffrey Wakely as CFO… Previously, Wakely was finance chief at venture-backed energy-technology company Enermetrix, where he helped close a $35.5 million Series D venture-capital round… Apparently Wakely knows way around high-tech finance… Before Enermetrix, worked at public companies like Ardent Software (now Ascential) and SystemSoft Corp….

>> Gregory Cauthen is rigged up for promotion at Transocean Inc…. World’s largest offshore-drilling contractor promoted CFO and treasurer Cauthen from VP to SVP… Cauthen joined company in March 2001 as VP of finance, treasurer… Took on CFO post in December…

Quote of the Day

“I think Warren was ready to hug and kiss him.” — Coca-Cola CFO Gary Fayard in FT Weekend, on uberinvestor and Coke board member Warren Buffett’s reaction to CEO Doug Daft’s decision to treat stock options as expenses.

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