About John Baum
Mr. Baum is a successful business executive with 36 years experience. He has a University of Virginia MBA, holds a BSBA degree in accounting, and passed the CPA exam. Born in St. Louis, MO he graduated from the University of Missouri in 1976 with a BSBA degree in accounting. Having worked his way through college at various jobs including working restaurants, construction and as an internal auditor intern with McGraw Edison’s Small Toll and Appliance Division (toastmaster toasters and Black and Decker hand tools), upon graduation he joined the Missouri State Auditors Office, where John Ashcroft served as the State Auditor.
In November 1976 he passed the Missouri CPA exam on his first sitting (less than 3% of candidates pass in one sitting). In 1977 he enrolled at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business and completed his MBA. In 1979 he began working with Amoco Corporation in Chicago, IL joining their chemical division as a budget analyst. In 1980, Amoco acquired Cyrus Mines Corporation, which was based in Los Angeles, re-named it Amoco Minerals, and moved it to Denver, CO.
In 1981 he relocated to Denver as a part of Amoco’s new mining group. Amoco eventually spun-off its minerals company, creating Cyprus Minerals Company in 1985. Over the course of the next 12 years he served in various corporate and field capacities with Cyprus, eventually rising through the coal division’s finance/sales and marketing/business development areas and led Cyprus Coal’s acquisition of Oakbridge Pty Limited. Based in Sydney, Australia, Oakbridge was Australia’s fourth largest coal producer, serving domestic and export markets in Japan, Korea, Thailand, and the Middle East. This publicly listed Australian coal mining company also had interests in port operating facilities in Singapore and Australia; inland container trucking operations; sapphire mining; gem processing facilities in Sri Lanka, and ship management services for supertankers and cape sized cargo vessels.
During his three years in Sydney, serving as the company’s CFO and Deputy Chairman, he financed and completed a major expansion program, sold off non-core assets, increased sales 50 percent, took a breakeven company to $100 million of annual income, and eventually took the public company private. In 1995 he left Cyprus following its merger with Amax Coal and returned to the U.S. In 1997 Mr. Baum joined AEI Resources, a small family owned coal mining company based in Ashland, KY as its CFO. This company was owned by four brothers, and Mr. Baum was brought in as part of the management team given the objective of helping to re-position the company.
Over the course of 14 months AEI completed the acquisition of 12 companies, including Zeigler Coal Holding (a NYSE listed company) and increased its production volume 10 fold taking it from number 20 to number 4 in the US coal mining industry. Sales increased from $200 million to over $1.2 billion annually while cash flow went from minus $60 million annually to a positive $250 million. Over the course of a 35 year career, Mr. Baum has led/participated in over 30 M&A deals comprising over $2 billion in transaction values; managed a $1 billion Australian foreign exchange hedging program, raised $2 billion in financing for various projects and deals, served on corporate boards of publicly listed companies, has lived overseas and managed corporate relationships on 6 continents. He has full CFO experience with responsibility for finance, treasury, controller, budgeting, planning, tax, public relations, legal, human resources, and information systems. Uniquely, he has done this for two public companies on two continents.
In 2000, Mr. Baum transitioned out of his corporate role, providing certain retained consulting services. Following the death of his parents in 2002, Mr. Baum became involved in certain family owned businesses and relocated to Laurinburg, NC. He eventually disposed of them in 2009 to focus on running a CFO services firm and is transitioning to the Orlando area. Mr. Baum re-committed his life to Christ in 2007 after a 40 year absence and served as a Deacon and Chair of various committees at his church. He and his wife Kitty have 5 children. They enjoy RV’ing, like fly fishing, and you may find them along the Frying Pan River in the spring or at the headwaters of the Elk River in the fall.
Industries Served – Primary Coal, copper, gold, lead/zinc, sapphire, molybdenum, talc, clay, industrial minerals, oil and gas, chemicals, polymers and plastics, tool and appliance manufacturing, government entities – city/state, financial and business consulting. Industries Served – Secondary Utilities, steel mills, trucking and container operations, port facilities – both dry bulk and container, ship management, tug operations, inland river barge operations, railroads, wire and cable extrusion processing, smelting facilities, cement operations, resin processing for ink manufacturing, large machinery equipment manufacturing, construction, airports, restaurants, consumer financial services, convenience stores, paper products, environmental projects involving water management, waste management, particulate and trace metals management, along with service industry. Financial Skills Audit, accounting, budgeting, planning and analysis, strategic planning, economics, public relations, capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, company valuations, deal structuring, information systems, treasury operations, currency hedging, turnarounds, change management. Computer System Experience – Oracle, Mincom, PeopleSoft, Great Plains, IBM OS, Quick Books, Microsoft Excel and Office products.
- University of Virginia, Darden School MBA
- University of Missouri, BSBA
- FENG – Charlotte NC, Raleigh NC , Orlando FL Chapters