Among the keepsakes that Craig Conti collected during the more than two decades of his finance career, the item to which he refers simply as “the list” remains one of his most prized career souvenirs.
Having graduated from General Electric’s Financial Management program in 2001, the 20-something Conti had only recently been assigned to GE’s corporate audit staff when he was dispatched overseas for a 5-year tour of duty.
It was during the first 12 months of Conti’s years abroad that he received a job review from a manager who asked him to create a list of the skills and experiences that he expected to accrue during his years abroad.Read More
Recalls Conti: “The manager was literally my own age, but he was very forward-looking.”
For the next 5 years, Conti’s geography was in regular rotation from Brazil to Mexico to Eastern Europe, and, as his location changed, he would add to his list of experiences.
“All of the skills that I had originally put down were definitely realized, but the experience was a lot richer than that and the list was whole lot longer when I came back,” continues Conti, who notes that over time the list of items evolved from being mainly one of hard skills to becoming a chronicle of business insights that would ultimately reshape his view of business.
“I learned how to operate and think globally, and I discovered there were other ways to solve problems,” remarks Conti, who tells us that he once augmented his problem-solving acumen by observing how a broken blade was replaced on a factory floor near Florence, Italy.
“The fact is that you don’t have a prayer of understanding the complex level of accounting behind something like that without going out and physically seeing what’s taking place,” Conti comments.
Still, it was perhaps the developing world that left the most lasting impression on Conti, who believes that American employers who have yet to move overseas should not underestimate the quality of job candidates currently available in the developing world.
Says Conti: “If you’re going international, remember that talent resides in the places that you’re going to—and what matters most may not necessarily be the talent back home.” –Jack Sweeney
Made Possible By
CFOTL: Tell us about Verra Mobility … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Conti: Verra Mobility is the global leader in smart mobility technology that makes transportation smarter, safer, and more connected. We’re about a $750 million company—our top line was just shy of that in 2022. We’ve grown 9% organically on a CAGR basis since 2019, with 46% margins and 50% free cash flow conversion. This is a very different challenge for me personally than I’ve seen in the past, as it is about effective capital allocation and a growing profitable business that generates a lot of cash. We have about 1,600 employees globally and 2,400 customers.
We’re #1 in the three markets that we serve today.Read More
We’re the #1 provider globally of tolling and violation management for rental cars and corporate fleets. This is a very profitable $325 million business with margins in the mid-60th percentile and high-single-digit organic growth projected out for the next 5 years. We process about 220 million items per year, including about 1.4 million violations, 1 million vehicle titles, and 1.5 million vehicle registrations. If you see a corporate fleet or a rental car in the United States of America or some parts of Europe, there’s a very, very, very good chance that Verra Mobility has been part of its journey.
We’re also the #1 provider of road safety cameras in the world. These are things like red light cameras, speed cameras, busing cameras, school bus stop arm cameras, and so on. This is about a $340 million business with 35% or so margins and mid–single digit recurring revenue growth projected out through the next 5 years. To give you an idea of its scale, about 11 billion vehicles pass our cameras globally every year, and we process about 110,000 events per day. Road safety is a big part of what we do and a big part of our safety journey.
And then we have the newest addition to our family, which has made us the #1 provider of parking solutions to universities in North America. Parking solutions is hardware and software. We don’t own parking lots or anything like that. This is an $80 million business with margins in the high teens to low 20th percentile and high-single-digit organic growth projected over the near term. We have 2,000 customers in North America and annually process about $2.5 billion of parking commerce.
Verra Mobility | www.verramobility.com | Meza, AZ