Perhaps, unlike most of her professional peers, when Bea Ordonez interviewed for the first time for a CFO role, she got the job. At the time, perhaps no one was more surprised than Ordonez, whose finance resume—while impressive for a 26-year-old—still lacked a number of C-suite prerequisites. Twenty years later, she still resides in the C-Suite, having filled a number of consecutive CFO and COO roles over the years.
Nonetheless, she credits her first CFO tour of duty with having opened the door for everything that has followed.
“On paper, at least, I was woefully underqualified for the job. I interviewed, landed the role, and then worked really, really hard to learn the business from the ground up,” says Ordonez, whose first CFO stint was with a joint venture originally formed with Bloomberg Tradebook known as G-Trade. Located on the island of Bermuda, the broker-dealer start-up no doubt found Ordonez an attractive hire in part because she was at the time an island resident.
Still, for all of those trying to decode shortcuts to the C-suite or uncover a coveted secret behind becoming a 26-year-old CFO, we’d wager that Ordonez’s words “worked really, really hard” perhaps best reveal her world of both today and 20 years ago.
As G-Trade grew, Ordonez became tasked with quickly adding talent to help answer the organization’s growing demand for financial and operational support.
“We were providing support for trading activities across close to 90 global markets and at the same time building a culture and creating a work ethic that even to this day I am very proud of,” recalls Ordonez, while once more drawing our attention to her unwavering appetite for the work itself.
“At times in my career, I didn’t have any personal life, and what time I did have, I used for sleeping,” confides Ordonez, who adds that today—more than ever before—she aspires to achieving a positive work/life balance. –Jack Sweeney
Guest: Bea Ordonez
Company: OTC Markets Group, Inc.
Headquarters: New York, New York
CFOTL: Tell us about this business and its unique offerings?
Ordonez: In the simplest terms, we operate a trading market for about 10,000 public companies. We operate three business lines. One is a trading business. We operate two SEC-registered alternative trading systems. What those platforms do is allow broker-dealers to connect and to efficiently trade those 10,000 securities that are on our platform. The second business line is a suite of products that we provide to the companies, that is, to issuers. What we’re doing here–again, in very simple terms–is providing them with access to all of the benefits of a public trading market at a much lower cost and with much less complexity. Finally, just as with an exchange, those first two business lines generate a lot of proprietary market data, such as pricing information, company data, and so on. So our third line is a suite of market data licenses, through which we distribute this data to market participants, to companies themselves, to retail investors, and so forth.
You can see that just like an exchange, we serve a diverse sector of the market. We serve about 100 broker-dealers who trade on our platform. We have more than 10,000 companies, which are very, very diverse. We have more than 6,000 global companies, non-U.S. firms, including Roche, Adidas, Heineken, Marks & Spencer, Hugo Boss, and so on. We have more than 2,000 domestic, SEC-registered companies. We have roughly 600 community banks. Our market data on these companies, which, again, cover broad swaths of the market, is accessed by more than 21,000 professional users and roughly 14,000 retail investors.