David Johnston CFO

Dbj Consulting LLC, a company that advises life sciences firms and offers part-time CFO services, is presently led by former CFO David Johnston. He was the previous CFO for many Massachusetts-based biotech and life sciences firms.

Current Situation

In 2019, he started dbj Consulting LLC. After over three decades as a corporate CFO, he found a company to offer his financial know-how to smaller, fledgling life sciences firms that couldn't yet afford a full-time, seasoned CFO. Many of his clients are virtual and have ten workers or fewer. Clients who hire his company receive an accomplished CFO's fractional, part-time services. He can effectively create and carry out action plans due to his experience.

The rise of part-time C-level executives in developing organizations benefits both the companies and the executives. He can better manage his career and family life thanks to his consulting firm, where he acts as a part-time CFO for various businesses. In the long run, it makes him healthier and more productive and prevents burnout. Additionally, the range of experiences it provides keeps him interested.

Small startup biotech companies gain from CFOs by working with them to develop financial partnerships, manage financial resources, and offer financial planning guidance. Additionally, CFOs may provide the company with a better basis and more responsibility. Their employers pay part-time CFOs hourly or flat-fee only for their work period. Companies may engage an experienced part-time CFO for less than they would pay full-time since they only pay for the time spent working.

CFOs have a variety of important tasks in biotech firms, including securing financing and managing grants, monitoring financial reporting and budgeting, assisting with compliance, and planning the company's future course in the market. Sometimes CFOs take on the CEO role, especially when cash flow is crucial.

Even though some of Johnston company's clients have CFOs, they still hire him for his strategic counsel. He thinks that an organized, professional attitude combined with some humor works best for entrepreneurs.

Written Content

In addition to often writing blogs and books about finance and biotechnology, As a former CFO, he is a regular blogger. His writings have been featured in online business and medical publications, including Medium, Tumblr, the Buckeye Business Review, and DrBioScience.

Previous Roles he has worked in top financial positions with life sciences organizations since 1998. At Genzyme, he served as senior vice president of corporate finance, planning, and analysis. Later, this Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech business was purchased by Sanofi, an international pharmaceutical and healthcare corporation with headquarters in Paris. After Genzyme, he worked as CFO for two Boston-based global companies looking to develop medications to treat and eradicate cancer.

He held finance positions at businesses in different industries before beginning his first senior-level position at a biotech company.

He has received several accolades for his strategic and financial acumen.

Skills and Experience

To assist dbj Consulting customers, Johnston draws on his extensive experience. He has experience in the following:

  • Leading Initial Public Offerings
  • Creative, non-dilutive royalty financing
  • Advising companies on strategic stock buy and sell solutions
  • Managing SEC reporting and financial analysis
  • Investor relations
  • Corporate finance
  • Strategic planning and the setting of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Financial modeling
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Advising startups on how to raise funding and plan their financial future
  • Corporate development
  • Financial analysis
  • Acquisition integration
  • Revenue recognition
  • Due diligence
  • The Sarbanes-Oxley Act
  • Developing and rethinking capital allocation strategies
  • Improving operational efficiencies by analyzing bottlenecks
  • Helping companies use financial data to make decisions


Former CFO David Johnston received his bachelor of science degree at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. At the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor's Stephen M. Ross School of Business, he received an MBA.

Volunteering and Giving

He assists various boards of non-profit organizations using his financial and strategic skills. For instance, he formerly sat on the board of directors of RAW ArtWorks. A young arts group called RAW Artworks, situated in Lynn, Massachusetts, provides free programs across various artistic disciplines. He has furthermore served on the board of Tissue Banks International Inc., the world's biggest ocular tissue supplier.

Hobbies and Recreational Activities

He reads a lot. The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck is one of his favorite novels. The material in the book about using a mule-drawn wagon to traverse the Oregon Trail is fascinating, but it also has applications for small biotech business owners. To complete the trek, the two hikers must navigate obstacles and uncertainties described in the book.

In the greater Boston region, in Marblehead, Massachusetts, Johnston resides with his family.