Unlocking the Door to Financial Leadership

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By Evan J. Cutts

The difference between being a leader and a manager is trust, flexibility, and knowing your abilities well enough to recruit a team that complements you,” explains Fabrizio Ferronato, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at BridgeTower Media—one of the nation’s leading providers of business-to-business (B2B) information, research, and marketing solutions.

“In my role of CFO, resource allocation is a big part of what I do. I’m responsible for the company’s finance, planning and analysis, and accounting. But it’s not only about finance,” says Ferronato, “It’s also my job to support the company in its digital and multi-regional expansion goals.”

To achieve those goals, Ferronato is tasked with answering two key questions:

  •         How do we expand BridgeTower Media’s reach using the B2B model?
  •         What will help the company grow organically and as a thought leader?

“Our strategy uses a two-pronged approach: acquisition and achieving our thought leadership goals. What I mean by acquisition is geographical expansion, testing our business practices in new regions,” he says. “In terms of thought leadership, I pay attention to what is new, changing, and relevant to the communities that we serve.”

Prior to joining BridgeTower Media, Ferronato filled numerous positions at Thomson Reuters. During his sixteen-year tenure, he served as CFO for Thomson Reuters Brazil, Vice President of Planning and Financial Systems, and Vice President of Finance for the company’s Global Growth Organization.

“I’ve always been an ambitious and curious person. I wasn’t ever the type to shy away from an opportunity, or trying a new role,” he says.

Ferronato’s youth was characterized by curiosity, flexibility, and ambition, suggesting he would be a continual climber. By the time Ferronato received his MBA from St. John’s University in 2000, he had already attained a degree in business and sociology and was pursuing marketing, technology, and finance in the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce in New York.

“When I was eighteen, I wasn’t set on any one career. Becoming who I am today was an evolution. As doors opened for me, I walked through to see where they’d lead,” he says.

There’s not too much he would change in his past, but if he could give advice to his younger self,  Ferronato would say:

“‘Stay curious, and don’t be afraid of failing.’ I’ve learned more by failing and missing targets than by following a strict playbook. Most importantly, I’d say, ‘Don’t settle for mediocrity.’”