Jam3 Q and A with Vito Rezza

Leading the finance function of a large,  publically-listed global agency requires tenacity and planning. We caught up with the CFO of Jam3, Vito Rezza, CPA, CA to talk about growth management and strategic hiring in hyper-growth environments.

Read the Q&A here:

You have been a strategic leader at Jam3 for several years now, navigating challenges that come with scaling — including a recent merger — and steering the company through significant growth. What projects are you taking on now that excite you? What’s on the horizon for Jam3?

At the moment, a large chunk of our effort is in harmonizing and integrating our systems, policies and procedures with those of our new parent company. We have gone from being a privately owned entrepreneurial company to being a subsidiary of a large, publicly listed global company. The how and when we do certain things is much different than we are used to, so we are working to adapt and modify our approaches to work within a new set of guidelines. This has been a great learning experience for the team and of course, we are all learning how to flex new muscles as we go through this process.

Jam3 has been working with some major brands and getting recognition for its cutting-edge creativity. With continued growth, there is significant financial planning and strategy development that coincides. As you’ve grown, what have you found to be the most challenging aspect of finding and retaining talent these days?

Our culture attracts the talent (without question), so that’s the easy part. The biggest challenge I foresee is having enough bodies to manage all the incremental work that comes with being part of a large, publicly listed global company. There is naturally more reporting and more attention to certain aspects of managing the business that comes with being part of a large global organization that is accountable to the public markets. My concern now are the risks associated with having our staff spread too thin given we seem to be approaching a recession – with all of the telltale reactions that come with a recessionary environment.

Clarity recently helped you hire a Controller. Can you tell us about your experience working with Clarity?

Although we have an internal recruiting team (we are a people business), we felt we needed to go outside to help us with the search for a Controller because we focus on hiring development, strategy and creative resources.

We were looking for specific experience, hence the pivot to Clarity for help. Our experience was great! Clarity could speak the language necessary to understand what we needed in the role and the process was easy and efficient. I am grateful for the time Clarity spent upfront understanding our wants and needs and I think that very much helped frame what we were looking to accomplish in hiring the role.

Clarity provided several candidates that fit the profile and that had the depth and breadth of experience that we were looking for. Our Controller has been with us for over two months and they have exceeded expectations. They have seamlessly joined the team and it feels in some respects like they have been here for two years, not two months. Some days I almost forget they only recently joined us and we definitely feel blessed to have found them!

You have an impressive background in financial leadership, advisory and business development. What advice would you give to aspiring CFOs?

Most businesses ultimately are people businesses. Treat people well, with respect and kindness. You can motivate people to solve the most difficult challenges when they feel and believe they are appreciated and valued. There is no magic formula, just plain old human decency. Which is one of the most cost-effective (and motivating) ways to do business.

Inquiring minds want to know, what are you watching/listening to right now?

I usually rotate between 2 podcasts on my morning walks – either WTF with Marc Maron or Smartless. In the evenings its usually strolling through YouTube looking for old car videos, usually much older cars that have been sitting for years and efforts made to get them started again. Anything to get my brain out of spreadsheets and emails!

Clarity has worked with Jam3 and numerous hyper-growth companies investing in their finance function. If you’re trying to find the high-performing talent you need to build your finance team, we’re ready to help!

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