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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

CFO of the Year – DFB Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Michael A. Patterson is much more than the chief operating officer for Healthpoint Biotherapeutics, the leading developer and provider of bioactive wound care treatment in the United States.

Patterson joined DFB Pharmaceuticals more than 20 years ago, and as executive vice president has been responsible for corporate finance, business development, operations, strategic planning, human resources and information technology.

He is credited with decentralizing DFB in such a way that each of its unique businesses – DPT Laboratories, Healthpoint Biotherapeutics and Phyton Biotech – could focus on its own core competencies in order to increase shareholder value.

Under Patterson’s financial direction, Healthpoint’s revenues grew from $149 million in 2011 to $194 million in 2012.  Gross profit increased 36 percent.

Healthpoint’s outstanding financial performance, top-tier market position and long-term growth prospects are what led to the sale of Healthpoint to Smith & Nephew for $782 million in November, says Travis Baugh, president of Healthpoint. Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business that operates in 90 countries. Healthpoint will continue operating out of Fort Worth under its existing senior management team.

Patterson has been a key member of that team since joining DFB Pharmaceuticals. He was instrumental in many of the key acquisitions that helped build DFB Pharmaceuticals over the years, Baugh says.

“In addition to being a terrific CFO – we have financed all our growth with bank financing, and he arranged for all of that – Mike is involved intimately with our operations,” Baugh says. “He sees the whole picture from market position, manufacturing and regulatory requirements, capital improvements, etc.”

Since it acquired DPT Laboratories from Alcon in 1990, DFB has been exclusively funded with bank debt. Revenues have grown from $15 million to $380 million, without requiring the dilution of equity.

“My biggest contribution has been finding ways to grow the businesses without selling any of our equity,” Patterson says. “We have been able to obtain the appropriate bank financing to support our growth strategy, using structured acquisitions to finance debt rather than the sale of equity in our companies.”

This acquisition and divestiture strategy has created more than $1 billion in shareholder value since the initial acquisition of DPT from Alcon in 1990, Baugh notes. He praised Patterson for his vision and his track record of maximizing shareholder value.

What is the best piece of financial advice you’ve ever received?

Just because you can borrow a certain amount of money doesn’t mean you should. Banks are often willing to loan you more than the business can really support.

What books/publications do you read to stay ahead in your industry?

Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review

Who would you say is your hero/someone you look up to, and why?

Warren Buffet. He buys businesses for the long term. He invests in things he understands and businesses with sustainable growth.

– Carolyn Poirot

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