June 1, 2012

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Educating for the Future

LEARNING THAT WORKS Enhancing Utah’s Educational System Ed...Read More

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CFO of the Year

Di Lewis, Heather Stewart, Sarah Ryther Francom

June 1, 2012

Kaufman earned an MBA from the University of Georgia in finance and entrepreneurship. During his career he has worked for Fortune 500 companies and startups—he helped one startup grow to more than $100 million in sales in just four years.


Cleon P. Butterfield
Senior Vice President and CFO, Utah Housing Corporation

As CFO of Utah Housing Corporation, Cleon Butterfield had his work cut out for him when the housing market and the economy began their quick descent. Utah Housing Corporation was hard hit by the financial disruptions. As the person responsible for UHC’s $2 billion in assets and more than $95 million in gross revenues, Butterfield knew he would have to work hard to maintain UHC’s stability amid financial instability.

In the last few years Butterfield put policies in place that strengthened Utah Housing Corporation overall, including negotiating with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). The board had released a new statement that would have required UHC to reduce equities and liabilities by nearly 25 percent. Butterfield says he was going up against the odds but managed to successfully petition the board for changes.

Butterfield was also instrumental in creating an alternative to mortgage-backed securities. By partnering with UBS Bank USA, a local industrial bank, UHC was able to develop a $200 million Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Participation Pool. Butterfield says it was the single biggest financial transaction that Utah Housing has ever done, and has been a creative solution for UHC, which needed a dependable capital source, and UBS, which needed CRA credit.

Through all this, Butterfield says his job is never boring. He loves financial analysis and seeing the time value of money. “I find the most satisfying part of being a CFO is financially building something that can be measured. It is satisfying to see the results of your labor,” he says.

Building a secure financial future for UHC is done through two initiatives: investments and dependable revenue streams and proper organizational structure supported by effective staffing and training of the right financial personnel, Butterfield says.

Though it has been challenging the last few years, UHC’s loan production for 2011 was more than $258 million. Considering Utah Housing’s traditional method of acquiring capital to purchase mortgages is no longer available at feasible rates, Butterfield says it was a huge accomplishment.

All of these changes and challenges are simply what CFOs must deal with now. “The financial fundamentals that CFOs deal with have become faster paced,” Butterfield says. “Cause and effect happen at a much faster pace. Therefore, a CFO must be more nimble than ever before. The CFO must be competent and not afraid to act.”

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