Continuing with our SuperChat with SuperCFO series, this week we are proud to present Fabrice Domange, a senior global Finance professional, who has a broad international experience in all aspects of financial management and leadership. With a 15 year experience spanning assignments in France, UK, Dubai, Milan, Madrid and North America, Fabrice has been instrumental in driving profitable growth, changes and implementation of innovative internal controls across the companies he has worked for thus far. Currently, Fabrice works as a CFO for Emerging Markets at AIG Chartis Insurance in Madrid, Spain. In this SuperChat, Fabrice talks about his three favorite companies and his role model who inspires him to scale greater heights of glory. Fabrice loves Golf, Swimming and Skiing in the Austrian Alps, with Brittany being his favorite holiday destination. Please read on to know many more other interesting facets on Fabrice Domange only on SuperChat with SuperCFO.
SuperCFO: What particular skills or talents are most essential to be effective in your job apart from formal training?
Fabrice Domange: I am of the strong belief that without the following attributes, it is very difficult for someone to be counted as a success story in the Finance and Accounts profession.
1) Finance skills
2) Process mind set
3) Analysis skills based on facts
4) Strategy & global vision
5) People management
SuperCFO: Who is your role model and why?
Fabrice Domange: I like the determination and grit of Thomas A. Edison. I like people with an inquisitive bent of mind. Edison typified those attributes. One quote of Thomas Edison especially comes to my mind when he says that “There’s a way to do it better…find it!”
SuperCFO: What has been your biggest achievement professionally?
Fabrice Domange: I feel the time when I fought the odds and managed to survive in a small company, with a boss who was temperamental, and lacked a proper vision for the business, was indeed one of my toughest assignments professionally. This guy gave an impression of being extremely short sighted. He was dictatorial in his management style and loved to instill fear in his subordinates. Working with him was an exercise in patience and interpersonal skills, which made me grow as a person and taught me important lessons in management.
SuperCFO: Who are the 3 Corporate Honchos you admire a lot and why?
Fabrice Domange: There are two that come to mind immediately:
– Jack Welch for his leadership abilities and the way he was instrumental in turning around General Electric into a leading global company.
– The late Steve Jobs for his innate visionary spirit which led to some path breaking innovations in the communications, computing and music world.
SuperCFO: Which are the 3 companies you admire a lot and why?
1) General Electrics for innovation focus on processes and its financial culture.
2) Apple for innovation and the way it revolutionized its business since the introduction of the iPod.
3) Vinothentic, the company founded by my father in London, because being an entrepreneur in a small business needs lots of guts and effort to grow in this today’s tough economic scenario. It is a 15 year old company in the business of supplying wines to some of UK’s leading restaurants and clubs.
SuperCFO: Assume that you are indulging in role play. If you were given the position of the Finance Minister of your country, what would your top priority agenda items be?
Fabrice Domange: I would immediately endeavor to do the following:
1) Cut bureaucracy / administrative government expenses, and make worthwhile investments in education, research and anything which helps in building the nation’s future.
2) Set up equal taxation between big corporations, banks and people.
3) Encourage people to take risk, set up new businesses which will create a healthy positive spiral for the economy in general.
SuperCFO: What would you advise aspiring CFOs on dos and don’ts to become a successful CFO?
Fabrice Domange: That I would summarize in 1 quote: When all think alike, no one is thinking – Walter Lippmann!
SuperCFO: What are your 3 “Must Ask” questions in an interview?
• Why do you want to work for us?
• Where would you see you in 5 years’ time?
• What do you hate the most in a day job?
SuperCFO: Which is one accounting software that has impressed you and why?
Fabrice Domange: None as a whole actually. I guess all accounting software have their pros and cons. What’s critical is the quality of the data you put in a system and how you can easily extract them for facilitating business decisions. But if there is no clean process for data input, then you enter in lots of non productive work tasks.
SuperCFO: How do you manage talent with in your team?
Fabrice Domange: A good balance of delegation/push/coach/reward.
With for talents a strong focus on coach and reward.
SuperCFO: Are you a gizmo freak? What is your favorite gadget?
Fabrice Domange: I am not really a gizmo freak but I enjoy my iPad2 a lot.
SuperCFO: What is your favorite piece of literature?
Fabrice Domange: I used to like Guy de Maupassant. I think the latest Millennium volumes were excellent.
SuperCFO: Any sport that you are passionate about?
Fabrice Domange: Tennis, Skiing, Swimming and Golf
SuperCFO: Describe some of the activities that you undertake to de stress yourself?
Fabrice Domange: I like to indulge in Golf and playing with my 18 month old son Hadrien.
SuperCFO: What has been your favorite vacation destination and why?
Fabrice Domange: There are many…I like Brittany in France a lot where I spend most of my family vacations. Apart from that I love Maldives, Cuba, Mauritius and the Caribbean which are lovely winter break destinations. Skiing in the Austrian Alps has also been an unforgettable experience.