Job Details

Requisition Number 18-0143
Post Date 6/8/2018
Company Akcea
Title Senior Finance Manager
Employment Type Full Time

Akcea Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing drugs to treat patients with serious rare diseases. Our priority is to bring important new therapeutics to patients in need. In order to do so, we must drive clinical program execution, understand patient and physician needs and work with regulators to gain global approval and market access to these new therapeutics. Akcea has a portfolio of development-stage drugs covering multiple targets and disease states using advanced antisense therapeutics.

Akcea was established by Ionis Pharmaceuticals in late 2014 and was listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange in July 2017 under the symbol “AKCA.” Akcea is a global company headquartered in Cambridge, MA with offices in Carlsbad, CA and across the EU and Canada. 


The Senior Finance Manager will have overall responsibility for supporting the Development Organization.  This newly created role reports to the Head of FP&A and will play a critical leadership role on the Finance Team.  In addition to supporting the Development Organization and several late stage clinical studies, the successful candidate will also support at least one other area within the company such as Manufacturing Finance.

The Senior Finance Manager will work closely with various levels of management across the organization and is expected to have a hands-on approach in all aspects of the job. The successful candidate must be a strategic thinker who is secure working in a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment. The Senior Finance Manager must be capable of handling multiple tasks and must possess excellent analytical, organizational and communication skills.  Additionally, she/he must be a proactive self-starter who takes ownership of projects and can collaborate cross-functionally on complex issues.

You’ll thrive in this position if you are:

  • A strong communicator—you have the demonstrated ability to successfully communicate and convey complex topics in a concise and effective manner to various levels of management.  
  • A master planner—you are skilled at juggling multiple priorities at one time and keeping track of deadlines without missing a step.
  • Adaptable—you are at ease in a fast-paced environment and you’re able to change direction rapidly when priorities and deadlines shift.
  • An explorer—you are curious by nature and never hesitate to research and probe for answers.
  • A team player with a deeply seeded “can do” approach.



Team Player

  • Oversees the FP&A activities for the development organization; partners with the management team to provide insights and establish, implement, and contribute to the achievement of development objectives
  • Fosters an environment of problem solving, efficiency, pro-activity, and improved business practices
  • Develops and maintains financial reporting through creation and maintenance of templates and reports
  • Improves reporting and analysis efficiency by advancing both systems and business processes
  • Hands-on preparation of reports and analyses in support of month-end, quarter-end and forecasting processes
  • Interprets and applies corporate financial policies and accounting theory
  • Other duties as assigned, including supporting other areas such as Manufacturing Finance


  • Drives the development organization’s multi-year financial planning process, including development of PowerPoint communications
  • Leads continuous improvement of financial tools, business modeling, financial planning, and processes that can scale with the company's growth
  • Serves as a financial advisor and partner to the Development Leadership, including providing analyses of budgets and actual spending


  • Develops processes that enhance development management's financial stewardship in support of the company's financial goals
  • Executes robust, efficient, and effective budgeting and forecasting processes
  • Prepares analyses, commentary, and presentations that ensure strategic messages are effectively and appropriately communicated to members of development management and other constituents, as needed
  • Provides proactive recommendations to enhance financial performance
  • Provides support for other initiatives as needed

Cultural Expectations

Complex and evolving business model

  • Requires an ability to think ahead, foresee opportunities, develop financial strategy, and enact action plans to evaluate and optimize business and market opportunities
  • Requires a hands-on financial professional with demonstrated success in working closely with development organizations to understand the key levers and where/when appropriate to implement changes to have a positive impact on the business
  • This role ensures the development leadership team always has necessary information for effective and timely decision-making, including analysis of options and considerations

Solution-focused organization

  • All employees must be comfortable in an environment that embraces collaboration and interrogative debate to manage projects, solve problems, and resolve challenging issues
  • Requires thorough preparation, critical thinking, and a willingness to have others challenge ideas and thinking

Fast-paced, intense environment

  • The ever-changing business environment with rapid evolution of the development organization heightens the need for proactive thinking, communication, and decision-making
  • Requires comfort working in gray zone vs. black and white and the ability to make timely decisions without necessarily having all information


  • BS/BA in Accounting, Finance or related field
  • MBA strongly preferred
  • 10+ years in progressively responsible financial leadership roles, in publicly traded life science and/or biotech companies
  • Experience in long-range financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills, both oral and written, including PowerPoint, with a demonstrated competency in crafting the financial story and clearly communicating complex data to non-financial stakeholders
  • Proven ability to build strong partnerships across the organization, influence others, and work collaboratively within a team-oriented environment
  • Able to effectively coordinate efforts across the organization (both internally and externally) to achieve key objectives; demonstrated ability to work effectively in a highly-matrixed organization
  • Some travel may be required, maximum 15%


Excellent salary and benefits package offered.

For more information on Akcea and to apply for this position, please visit our website: 

Reference #18-0143


Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. is proud to be an EEO employer.

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