Job Details

Requisition Number 17-0143
Post Date 12/13/2017
Company Akcea
Title Director of Finance
Employment Type Full Time

Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. is a development and commercialization company focused on impacting the lives of patients with serious cardiometabolic lipid disorders. 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.

Established as a subsidiary of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in late 2014 and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Akcea was founded with a portfolio of development-stage drugs covering multiple targets and disease states using advanced antisense therapeutics. In July 2017, Akcea closed its initial public offering of common stock and is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “AKCA.”

Director, Financial Planning & Analysis

The Director, Finance is a newly created role that will serve as a key member of the management team reporting to the CFO. This role requires a forward-thinking, innovative, and strategic leader with a sense of urgency to contribute to the development and execution of Ionis’ current and future financial strategy. He/she will be responsible for developing meaningful financial and operational metrics that will help drive decision-making across the company, including country operations. The Director, Finance will successfully conceive of and implement strategies while overseeing financial planning and with responsibility for strategic financial planning, budgeting, forecasting, and coordinating closely with global tax planning across all company sites. He/she will be responsible for implementing best-in-class financial processes and systems to support continued growth and expansion. The Director, Finance is expected to have a hands-on approach in all aspects of the job and demonstrate the highest caliber of professional and personal integrity and ethical decision-making.





  • Oversees the FP&A function; partners with the management team to provide insights into the business and establish, implement, and contribute to the achievement of corporate objectives
  • Fosters an environment of problem solving, efficiency, pro-activity, and improved business practices
  • Spearheads pro-active communications cross-functionally, at all levels, to ensure broad-based understanding of financial objectives and processes relevant to a profitable and evolving global commercial organization



  • Drives the company's long range strategic financial planning process, including development of PowerPoint communications, to ensure the company's expanding business is on track to meet or exceed financial objectives
  • Leads continuous improvement of financial tools, business modeling, financial planning, and processes that can scale with the company's growth
  • Contributes to the establishment of new entities, partnerships, the development of joint plans, and execution of partnerships/alliances
  • Serves as a financial advisor and partner to the senior management team, including providing analyses of budgets and financial trends



  • Develops processes that enhance senior management's financial stewardship in support of the company's transition to profitability
  • Develops robust, efficient, and effective budgeting and forecasting processes that reflect the complex multinational structure of the company
  • Prepares analyses, commentary, and presentations that ensure strategic messages are effectively and appropriately communicated to other members of senior management, board members, and other constituents, as needed
  • Provides proactive recommendations to enhance financial performance
  • Serves as one of the finance leads for the evaluation and potential implementation of a new ERP system that will support the growing and expanding business
  • Provides support for corporate partnering transactions, acquisitions, spin-offs, and other projects


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 operations to understand the key levers and where/when appropriate to implement changes to have a positive impact on the business
  • This role ensures the executive leadership team always has necessary information for effective and timely decision-making, including analysis of options and considerations


Science-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 to bring medicines to patients in need


Fast-paced, intense environment

  • The ever-changing business environment with rapid evolution of commercialization structures 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 and/or CPA strongly preferred
  • 15+ years in progressively responsible financial leadership roles, in publicly traded life science and/or biotech companies
  • 10+ years of team management and leadership skills with experience in developing, motivating, coaching, and retaining talent through organizational change and growth
  • Experience in long-range financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting within an evolving commercial organization with global locations
  • Experience with implementing an ERP system to support growing organization, including cross-functional project team leadership, training, and communication
  • 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
  • Sound understanding of GAAP and ability to apply accounting principles as required
  • Some travel required, maximum 25%



Excellent salary and benefits package offered.

For more information on Akcea and to apply for this position, please visit our website: Reference #17-0143




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

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