About Me

David Johnston former CFO is the principal of bj Consulting LLC, a firm that advises life sciences companies and provides fractional CFO services. Johnston is the former CFO for several Massachusetts biotech and life sciences companies.

Current Position

Johnston was founded by Consulting LLC in 2019. After over three decades as a corporate CFO, Johnston started a firm to share his financial expertise with smaller emerging life sciences companies that still need to afford a full-time, experienced CFO. Many of his clients have ten employees or fewer and are virtual. When clients sign on to work with his firm, they gain the services of an experienced CFO on a fractional, part-time basis. Because of his experience, he can efficiently develop and implement action plans.

Johnston believes that emerging firms having part-time C-level executives is a trend that helps both the firms and the executives. Having his consulting firm, where he serves as a fractional CFO for several firms, allows him to balance his work and family life better. It also helps him prevent burnout and be healthier and more productive long-term. It also maintains his interest because it gives him a variety of experiences.

CFOs benefit small emerging biotech firms by helping them build financial relationships, manage financial resources, and provide financial planning advice. CFOs can also provide a stronger foundation and increased accountability in the business. Companies pay part-time CFOs hourly or flat-fee basis and only for their work hours. Because they pay only for the time spent, companies can hire an experienced part-time CFO for less than they would pay a full-time one.

CFOs fill various critical roles in biotech companies, including gathering funding and overseeing grants, financial reporting, budgeting, guiding compliance, and helping to plan the company's future trajectory in the market. In some cases, CFOs act as CEOs, especially if cash flow is critical.

Some of his firm's clients have CFOs but contract with him for the strategic advice he offers. He believes a disciplined and professional approach, with a bit of humour, works well for entrepreneurs.

Written Work

David Johnston former CFO is also a frequent blogger and author on topics related to biotechnology and finance. Some of his articles have appeared on Medium, Tumblr, the Buckeye Business Review, DrBioScience, and other online business and medical sites.

Previous Roles

Johnston has served in senior-level finance jobs with life sciences companies since 1998. His first life sciences finance position was senior vice president of corporate finance, corporate planning, and analysis for Genzyme. Sanofi, a global pharmaceutical and healthcare company based in Paris, later acquired this Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech company. After Genzyme, Johnston served as CFO for two Boston-based multinational corporations seeking drugs to treat and cure cancer.

Before taking his first senior-level role at a biotech company, he also worked in financial roles at companies in other industries.

He has won many awards for his financial and strategic insight.

Skills and Experience

Johnston draws on his considerable experience to help clients of bj Consulting. 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 modelling
  • 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


Johnston earned a bachelor of science from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. He earned an MBA at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Volunteer Work and Philanthropy

Johnston uses his financial and strategic expertise to help several non-profit boards. For example, he has previously served on the board of directors at RAW ArtWorks. RAW Artworks, based in Lynn, Ma., is a youth arts organization that offers free programming in various arts disciplines. Johnston has also served on the board of Tissue Banks International Inc. Tissue Banks International, the world's largest provider of ocular tissue.

Hobbies and Leisure Activities

David Johnston former CFO is an avid reader. One of his favourite books is The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck. While the book is interesting for its information on travelling the Oregon trail on a mule-driven wagon, it is also relevant for entrepreneurs of small biotech firms. The book describes how the two travellers negotiate challenges and uncertainty while still keeping their eyes on the goal of completing the trail.

Johnston lives with his family in Marblehead, MA, which is in the Greater Boston area.


David Johnston CFO Portfolio