Interview with David Corral - Panel

 
Ricardo Romero, Manager at Michael Page, spoke to his client, David Corral, on his prolific career journey and how to set oneself up for professional and personal success. 
 
About David: 
 
Please tell us a bit about your career to date.
 
I started in the late 1990s with an Industrial Air Condition company in Madrid, Spain working inside the Internal Audit function. I had the opportunity to work on an international project in the US as a Financial Controller where I focused on pricing and reporting for a multinational manufacturer. I moved back to Spain for a start-up opportunity and then joined the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as Financial Controller in 1999. From 1999 to 2008 there was immense economic growth in Spain and in turn, BCG grew substantially. After some success in my role there, I was invited to interview for a Global Field Finance role by BCG’s Global CFO in 2008. After over four years in Global Field Finance Operations supporting various finance efficiency businesses, I raised my hand for an opportunity as the Global Finance Director of their startup company BCG Digital Ventures. This is where I am now, overseeing a corporate investment and incubation firm with operations in US, Asia-Pac, London and Germany.
 
What career ambitions are you still to achieve? 
 
I am looking forward to developing expertise in investing and venture capital. Recently I made an exciting, yet risky move to Digital Ventures, which is a very unique business with six key functions: engineering, experience design, product management, strategic design, venture architecture and investment in new companies. With complex nature of the businesses BCG Digital Ventures invests in, there are a fair share of challenges, but I am thrilled by the amount of learning and growth I experience in every step of the process.
 
What’s the best advice you can give on solving problems at work? 
 
While working with BCG in Spain, I was also a Part-Time/Adjunct Professor of Finance at a University. I would always tell my students to always keep these three beliefs in mind: 
 
1. You know more than what you believe
2. Don’t be arrogant – be humble and open to new knowledge
3. Apply common sense to what you do
 
I also recommend that business professionals engage stakeholders early on. Find people that can help in decision making, people you can bounce ideas off of who can ensure that your future decisions make sense.  
 
What type of people are most successful at BCG? And for BCG DV? How are the cultures different?
 
The most successful people at BCG possess a heavy analytical background, strong communication, high level of flexibility and are extremely hardworking. 
Conversely, the most successful people at BCG Digital Ventures are people who are comfortable living and working in ambiguity first and foremost. They are also adept at creating new ideas and vocalizing them, being outspoken is a must. 
 
How does BCG DV keep ahead of the competition? 
 
BCG DV is in a very unique space where at the moment there really are no competitors. There are many traditional Management Consulting Firms and there are many investment companies (private equity and venture capital), but BCG DV offers both, particularly focusing on small tomid-sized enterprises.
 
What do you think the long-term future holds for the Corporate VC/Management Consulting Industry? 
 
The Corporate VC/Management Consulting industry will continue to grow. There will be more invested interest for Venture Capital Firms and Private Equity shops alike to keep investments in business that are growing and have increasing EBITDA.  
 
What advice would you give to those that are aspiring to be a Finance Director/CFO? 
 
Understand the culture of the company you are with and positively shape it by bringing in people with different personalities and ways of thinking. Hire people outside your industry and you’ll see that they provide a completely new perspective on business process and strategy.
 
Is there a culture of networking with other Finance Directors in the industry? What is the value in networking in this space? 
 
Yes, and if you are utilizing your network to benefit your professional and individual growth, the value is extremely high. My advice is to find 10-15 people from your industry that you trust and make this your inner circle. These are the people you can rely on to inform your best decision making and problem solving. 
 
For more information on the Boston Consulting Group – Digital Ventures, check out their website at https://www.bcgdv.com/ or connect with David Corral on Linkedin.
 
Are you looking to take the next step in your Finance & Accounting career? Are you looking to hire? Or are you simply looking for some further advice on the Finance & Accounting market?  Contact Ricardo Romero, Manager at Michael Page Finance & Accounting, for a confidential discussion.
 
T: +1 323-404-9497