CFO’s strategic vision guided company growth

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“I want Ferguson to be viewed as an
employer of choice for finance talent,”
Keltner says. Photo by Mark Rhodes

2016 Virginia CFO Award winner

Dave Keltner
Ferguson Enterprises Inc., Newport News

Dave Keltner soon will become interim CFO of Wolseley plc, the Britain-based parent company of Newport News-based Ferguson Enterprises Inc.

The current Wolseley CFO, John Martin, has been promoted to CEO of the company, which is traded on the London stock exchange and had revenue of about $21 billion last year. It distributes plumbing and heating products and building materials in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

“My goal is to grow both personally and professionally in this role and try to add value to Wolseley during my time overseeing the finances for the group,” says Keltner, who has been CFO at Ferguson since 2006.

The interim CFO appointment is a good indicator of the job that Keltner has performed at Ferguson, which has 22,000 employees nationwide, including more than 3,000 in Virginia.

During his tenure, Keltner has overseen 75 acquisitions and integrations, including 35 during the last six years, adding $1.1 billion to annual sales. Under his leadership the company has consistently outperformed the market and continues to achieve new levels of sales and profitability.

“Dave has a strategic vision and a solid understanding of the industry and types of businesses in which Ferguson operates,” says CEO Frank Roach. “His 23 years of experience in the construction industry provides a solid foundation that has helped to guide Ferguson’s growth.”

Keltner has a balanced approach toward company development, the CEO says. “He has the unique ability to guide the organization to meet its current objective and goals while making sure we do not lose sight of the opportunities for the future,” Roach says.

Christos Xystros, managing partner of KPMG’s Norfolk office, says Keltner has a keen understanding of business. “Dave’s conversations are not just about the numbers but what drives the numbers,” he says.

Keltner is very proud of the way Ferguson’s leadership has “transformed the role of finance from a transactional and reporting function to a business partnering team that is instrumental in helping the business achieve its goals.”

As a leader, Keltner supports both the personal and professional development of his team. “I want Ferguson to be viewed as an employer of choice for finance talent,” he says. “We’ve come a long way in the past few years to attract and retain that talent.”

Doug Granger, partner at Hunton & Williams in the Corporate, Finance and M&A Group, has worked with Keltner and has great respect for his skills and judgment. “He understands the legal, business and people issues,” he says. “He is calm, level-headed, smart and capable of making hard decisions.”

He also appreciates Keltner’s listening skills. “Not all business clients want to hear from an attorney, let alone listen,” he says. “Dave seeks advice, takes it in, weighs the risks and issues and makes a decision. He welcomes the advice and asks great questions.”

Keltner also believes it’s important to give back to the community. He serves on the board of directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula and was instrumental in bringing the club’s new $1.5 million multisport complex to life.

“I recognize that I am very fortunate to be where I am today, and that is a result of a lot of people helping me along the way,” he says. “It is now my turn and my responsibility as a leader to give back to the community and help others.”

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