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I keep a close eye on Booz Allen’s business as the vice president of investor relations. I truly enjoy the opportunity to engage with the financial community to help them understand our business and to tell the past, present, and strategic future story of Booz Allen.
Soon after our IPO in November of 2010, I was asked to lead Investor Relations. The firm’s CFO at the time said to me, “We’ve determined that it’s easier to teach investor relations than it is to teach Booz Allen.”
I started my career here in the early 1990s as a software developer, then shifted to contract and operational financial management, and as a result I attribute my passion for the firm to the diverse set of opportunities I’ve had personally and professionally over the past quarter century.
Curt Riggle leads the firm’s Investor Relations function. He is responsible for engagement with current and potential investors, equity analysts, as well as trading desks and exchanges.
Curt is also engaged in the firm’s corporate finance function and works closely with the firm’s chief financial officer, and partners with leadership to evaluate capital allocation strategies. He also helps to ensure the optimal outcome from capital deployment choices.
Since joining our firm in 1992, Curt has held various roles and supported numerous client groups. He began his career as a financial analyst and financial systems developer before moving into financial operations management. He subsequently held leadership positions in pricing, strategic planning, and strategy management.
In 2008 he was involved with the spinoff of the firm’s commercial business and concurrent acquisition of the government consulting business by The Carlyle Group. In 2010, he served in a leadership role helping our firm prepare for and execute its initial public offering.
Prior to joining Booz Allen, Curt worked as a financial analyst with the government services division of a large engineering firm.
He holds a bachelor’s of science in finance from George Mason University.
What excites you about working in Investor Relations? It’s the interaction I have with leadership and with people outside the firm. It is the engagement that I have internally and externally, and the opportunity to tell the past, present, and strategic future story of Booz Allen.
Is the Booz Allen approach different from other companies? I spend a lot of time talking with investors in person, out on the road, in their offices, at conferences or on the phone. My main focus is to help them understand what we do, the way the business works and how we think about the business. The best compliment I ever received came following an hour long phone conversation with a new potential investor at the end of which he said, “When I talk to your counterparts at other firms I feel like I’m getting read the talking points, and we just had a really great conversation about the business.”
How do you help your clients prepare for the future? Internally, I help the firm understand what it means to be a public company—how the firm’s performance is reflected in the investors’ perspective and the stock price and how those things come together. Externally, I spend a lot of time talking with people about the Booz Allen business model, culture, and strategy, and really helping them to be well informed about the company and our performance and our future expectations.
What is one of the biggest challenges you face in your role? Providing insight to investors regarding Booz Allen’s diverse business. It’s a challenge to effectively convey the breadth of what we do and the power of our collaborative model that brings our capabilities together to help our clients succeed. I try to ensure we provide an effective level of transparency for our external stakeholders, in the context of how we run the business.
What are your tips for managing and motivating your people? I tell my team, “You spend too much time at work to not like what you do.” I also talk about building fans—externally, internally, with your colleagues, your clients. You want people to know you, know what you can do, and respect you for your abilities and impact.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever gotten in your career? To build strong second teams and I’ve adopted it as my philosophy. I want to work myself out of a job and with strong second teams, you have someone that can step into your role, as you get new opportunities.
What’s an obsolete item you can’t get rid of? Old power tools.
What’s the best experience you’ve ever received as a gift? I started scuba diving because of my wife. She said, “If we’re going to be together you have to scuba dive.” I fought my fears and pushed my limits and I love scuba diving. She “gifted” me by pushing me to do it. We are now introducing scuba to our daughter.
What can we do to be happier? Define your own success; it doesn’t have to be how other people define it.
Where do you see Booz Allen in the next 100 years? What’s always impressed me about Booz Allen is our ability to shift and change with the market, with our client, and to be ahead of the clients in anticipating their needs. In the past we’ve describe this as “skating to where the puck will be” for any hockey fans out there. We’ve been very good about thinking about new capabilities and investing in and building out those capabilities, so that when the clients realize they need the help, we’re there to help them. We’ll still be doing that in 100 years.