Rosenberg + Fecci’s Jessica Durand & Michael Ticehurst receive industry awards & recognition by claiming their place with The Secured Lender Women in Commercial Finance and CFA 40 Under 40 Awards.
Senior Field Examiner
June 2017 Edition
Article appeared in June 2017 edition of The Secured Lender: The Women in Commercial Finance Issue
Jessica is a senior field examiner at Rosenberg and Fecci Consulting, a New Jersey- and Connecticut-based financial services firm focusing on collateral field examinations. Jessica has taken on increased responsibility in her five years at Rosenberg and Fecci, progressing from an assisting role to a leadership role on client engagements. She is responsible for leading collateral field examinations for factoring, ABL, floor planning and other facilities typically ranging from $1,000M to $15,000M. Jessica has also assisted on larger deals exceeding $100,000M and is well-versed in multiple industries. She interfaces with the client’s accounting staff, controllers and CFOs to gain a full understanding of potential collateral issues and clearly communicates findings to lender relationship managers and credit officers.
Prior to Rosenberg and Fecci, Jessica worked for over five years as a civilian budget analyst for the U.S. Army Department of Defense. She was a member of a high visibility branch, responsible for the maintenance of several Army budgets totaling over $1 billion. Jessica gained valuable financial and analytical experience from her position with the DOD.
Jessica is the first person in her family to have gone to college. She has a BA in accounting from Rider University and is pursuing an MBA with a concentration in accounting.
What advice would you offer to women just starting out in the industry?
My advice to women just starting out in the industry is that confidence is your best asset. I wouldn’t recommend be-ing arrogant or vain, but you can show others that you are capable of handling difficult tasks by always maintaining your composure and poise while meeting workplace challenges head-on. Having a ‘can-do’ attitude will go a long way to effectively performing in a role and to attaining professional success. Even if it means sometimes working out of your comfort zone, if you believe in yourself and your abilities, others will be more apt to believe in you too.
What do you know now that you wish you knew in the beginning of your career?
In the beginning of my career, I wish I knew that it really was ok to ask a lot of questions. I thought that asking ques-tions would lead people to think that I was ill-fit for my role. I didn’t realize that, by doing so, the more involved you become and the faster you progress. For example, when I first started out as a field examiner, asking one simple question on how to do something almost always led to more in-depth conversations about why we do the things we do or why this really matters to the task at hand. Through simple conversation, broad concepts were connected and linked in a way that painted a clearer picture for me. I wish I had realized sooner that most people are not hired because they are ex-pected to know how to perform all of the functions of their job; rather, they were chosen because they exhibited qualities that showed management they were go-ing to be able to succeed in the role.
What kind of role has mentoring and/or sponsorship played in your career?
Mentorship has played a major role in my career. Any chance I have had to follow a senior’s lead or imitate the way they do things, I’ve taken it. Every company has a different culture and a different way of doing things. As a junior employee in a new position, I believe it is important to pay attention to your superior’s behav-iors and actions throughout the course of the workday. From communication styles, physical mannerisms and even organiza-tional skills – if you have the opportunity to learn from someone more experienced than you, take it! Even better, be direct — ask for feedback on your work and follow it. This will not only show your colleagues that you are eager to learn and that you are results-driven; but also, that you are capable of understanding concepts and applying them to
What do you think the industry could do to attract and retain the best and the brightest today?
To attract and retain the best and bright-est employees in our industry, I believe that it is vital to make sure there are visible opportunities for professional ad-vancement and career development. Although a job well-done gives employees a personal sense of purpose and pride, being recognized within the company goes a long way in improving morale and employee retention. Employees should be able to work towards pre-determined promotions or opportunities within their organization. Having these milestones laid out and available for any employee to achieve will ensure that all staff mem-bers are on an even playing field.
Partner and Field
September 2017 Edition
Article appeared in September 2017 edition of The Secured Lender: CFA 40 Under 40 Awards Issue
Michael Ticehurst is a partner and field exam manager for Rosenberg and Fecci Consulting, LLC, with 12 years of field exam experience. He handles routine field exams across all industries as well as effectively managing large, complicated multi-location or multi-entity requests. In addition to Mike’s general industry knowledge, he specializes in technology-related field exams in both the Asset-Based and Recurring Revenue (MRR) structure. Michael plays an essential role in the growth, mentoring and development of the field examiner staff at R&F. He is very involved in developing the company’s field exam policies and procedures and is also heavily involved in business development. Michael holds a BS and a MBA in finance from Monmouth University. Michael is currently on the Executive Board of the NJCFA. Michael resides in Hamilton, NJ, with his wife, Jennifer, and his two children, Brayden and Olivia.
How did you wind up in the industry?
We know most kinds don’t say “I want to be in commercial finance when I grow up.” Like many college graduates, I had an indistinct idea of what I wanted to do in my professional life. I left school looking for a “job” because I had little-to-no direction in regards to what I wanted my “career” to be. I left school confident in myself, my education and my drive to succeed but with no specific career goal. I left school solely with the intention of putting my undergraduate degree in Business-Marketing to good use. Following graduation, my first “job” was doing derivative trend analysis for a financial economist in Boston, MA. While not my dream job or a career, I learned enough to become more interested about the world of finance. My second “job” was in marketing/advertising for a Fortune 500 publishing company in NYC, which was more in line with my “career intentions”based upon my college degree. During my time with this company, I gained valuable experience and refined many skills. Most importantly, I was afforded the opportunity to begin my work on my MBA, which I would pursue with a concentration in Finance. Once I started the MBA program, I began to look for opportunities where I could utilize both my Marketing and finance degrees. That is when I found Rosenberg and Fecci Consulting and was offered a “job” in field examination. At the time, I thought this position would be a valuable resume item to get me into banking/lending, my newly-identified potential career path. When I started with Rosenberg and Fecci, I quickly realized that this firm was not giving me a “job”. They were offering me a career opportunity. Since joining R&F in 2005, I have been given the opportunity to grow professionally. I continually climbed the ranks from Junior examiner, to senior examiner, to field exam manager, ultimately culminating to being named a partner of R&F in January 2015.
What role has mentoring played in your career?
First, mentoring is a two-way street. You continually learn from those with experience and you pass off your knowledge to those who are learning. When I came to R&F twelve years ago as a junior examiner, I had very little knowledge of what field examination entailed. I was confident that in time, my education and experience to date would allow me to be successful. I was the only junior staff xaminer at the time and my time was split working with the five senior examiners on staff. Working with this group of five senior examiners, I quickly realized that each of these senior examiners had a unique set of skills, knowledge and experience that they have accumulated over their professional careers, which they were more than willing to share with me. While I was new and learning the procedures, these senior examiners mentored me in refining my skills, explaining things to the point of comprehension, and providing both positive and negative feedback to help constructively advance my value to the firm. As the saying says – “pay it forward”. Twelve year later, I am very proud to be considered a mentor to several members of our firm. I work very closely with junior examiners through the training program and with senior examiners making myself available as a resource when needed. As a mentor, I stress the importance of communication. The key to being a good mentor is to not only to teach but to also listen and respond. As a mentor, I have to be assured that those being mentored by me are comfortable to ask me questions. Whether formal or informal, having a mentorship program within your firm or organization is very valuable to develop the culture of success for employees in their pursuit of a “ career”instead of a “job”.