May 16th, 2023
Halborn is excited to announce the appointment of Chris Hoins as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer. Hoins has a proven track record of leading finance organizations of growth-oriented companies like Halborn. For more than a decade, he has held key finance and accounting roles at private equity backed software and technology companies through periods of rapid growth both organically and through acquisitions.
We sat down with Hoins to discuss his background, his new role as Halborn CFO, and the challenges and opportunities facing the crypto market.
I liken my interest in Web3 to what I felt in 2007 when I started as a Controller at a 3D printing company. 3D printing technology had been around a while but it was not quite mainstream. While I’m a traditional finance (or TradFi) guy, I also consider myself an early adopter and like to be on the cutting edge of tech and love trying new things. Earlier this year, when CNBC was interviewing notoriously anti-crypto JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon at Davos, Dimon reiterated his negative stance on cryptocurrency but he also expressed a lot of positivity around blockchain technology, saying it was “deployable.” That really got my attention and spurred my newfound enthusiasm for blockchain and Web3.
Halborn is a great mix: it’s a profitable company in an exciting new industry (Web3 security) and it’s private equity backed. But the tipping point, for me, was (co-founders) Rob Behnke and Steve Walbroehl. They have very different personalities but they fit their roles very well. When I asked them about their journey, where they are at, and what they plan for Halborn, they seemed very conservative and intentional in their responses. On the one hand, they embrace the cutting edge, risky crypto market they’re in, but they do so in a very conservative, strategic, intentional way. Becoming their CFO is an incredible opportunity!
I look at the bright side of everything. Yes, the crypto market is challenging. But cybersecurity spending is one of the last items to get cut when there's a down market. During 2007 and 2008, and during COVID’s peak, companies prioritized their spending, and cybersecurity stuck to the top half of everyone’s spending list, for obvious reasons. Halborn is profitable and will be one of the survivors that will pick up all the pieces.
Another challenge is that Web3 is a very VC-driven industry and a lot of money is being sucked up right now by AI startups. That’s a challenge we will have to overcome. But Halborn is exploring a big opportunity right now as the company expands to take on enterprise level clients. As survivors of the bear market, this will position us as one of the few elite cybersecurity companies that will be there to supplement the same cybersecurity needs, just in a new environment that is not well known by large enterprise and financial institution clients.
AI will be really good for the finance back office because finance and accounting people aren’t always the most creative but they are excellent at editing and improving things that already exist. Idea creation and processes are AI’s forte. But one of the risks I see is that people aren't thinking enough about the confidential nature of the information they share with AI engines… so security is really critical.
Yes, in a broad sense, I feel that my passion for building things with my hands, like remodeling a home, has definitely influenced my approach to work. During college, I did a minor in computer information systems where I learned several different programming languages, and that mixed well with accounting and finance. But the third leg of the stool for me has always been constructing, building, creating and improving processes. In my personal time, I really enjoy doing home remodeling, construction and automotive repair, so when I have the opportunity to work with a rapidly growing company like Halborn, where the finance team needs to be rebuilt or reimagined, I relish the opportunity to dig in and see how I can make things better. Digging (through tons of data), constructing (new processes) and building (new way to analyze business) feeds well into my finance role in a tech company where I’m surrounded by engineers and developers and where I have to relate finance information to non-finance people who don't live it everyday like I do.
Halborn continues to be one of the fastest growing companies in the Web3 security space. Visit our Careers page or our LinkedIn profile if you’re interested in applying for any open roles.