The Secured Lender Women in Commercial Finance and CFA 40 Under 40 Awards Honors Jessica Brown


Jessica is a senior field examiner at Rosenberg and Fecci Consulting, a New Jersey- and Connecticut-based financial services firm focusing on collateral field examinations.  Jessica has taken on increased responsibility in her five years at Rosenberg and Fecci, progressing from an assisting role to a leadership role on client engagements. She is responsible for leading collateral field examinations for factoring, ABL, floor planning and other facilities typically ranging from $1,000M to $15,000M. Jessica has also assisted on larger deals exceeding $100,000M and is well-versed in multiple industries. She interfaces with the client’s accounting staff, controllers and CFOs to gain a full understanding of potential collateral issues and clearly communicates findings to lender relationship managers and credit officers.

Prior to Rosenberg and Fecci, Jessica worked for over five years as a civilian budget analyst for the U.S. Army Department of Defense. She was a member of a high visibility branch, responsible for the maintenance of several Army budgets totaling over $1 billion. Jessica gained valuable financial and analytical experience from her position with the DOD.

Jessica is the first person in her family to have gone to college. She has a BA in accounting from Rider University and is pursuing an MBA with a concentration in accounting.

What advice would you offer to women just starting out in the industry?

My advice to women just starting out in the industry is that confidence is your best asset. I wouldn’t recommend being arrogant or vain, but you can show others that you are capable of handling difficult tasks by always maintaining your composure and poise while meeting workplace challenges head-on. Having a ‘can-do’ attitude will go a long way to effectively performing in a role and to attaining professional success. Even if it means sometimes working out of your comfort zone, if you believe in yourself and your abilities, others will be more apt to believe in you too.

What do you know now that you wish you knew in the beginning of your career?

In the beginning of my career, I wish I knew that it really was ok to ask a lot of questions. I thought that asking questions would lead people to think that I was ill-fit for my role. I didn’t realize that, by doing so, the more involved you become and the faster you progress. For example, when I first started out as a field examiner, asking one simple question on how to do something almost always led to more in-depth conversations about why we do the things we do or why this really matters to the task at hand. Through simple conversation, broad concepts were connected and linked in a way that painted a clearer picture for me. I wish I had realized sooner that most people are not hired because they are expected to know how to perform all of the functions of their job; rather, they were chosen because they exhibited qualities that showed management they were going to be able to succeed in the role.

What kind of role has mentoring and/or sponsorship played in your career?

Mentorship has played a major role in my career. Any chance I have had to follow a senior’s lead or imitate the way they do things, I’ve taken it. Every company has a different culture and a different way of doing things. As a junior employee in a new position, I believe it is important to pay attention to your superior’s behaviors and actions throughout the course of the workday. From communication styles, physical mannerisms and even organizational skills – if you have the opportunity to learn from someone more experienced than you, take it! Even better, be direct — ask for feedback on your work and follow it. This will not only show your colleagues that you are eager to learn and that you are results-driven; but also, that you are capable of understanding concepts and applying them to
your work.

What do you think the industry could do to attract and retain the best and the brightest today?

To attract and retain the best and brightest employees in our industry, I believe that it is vital to make sure there are visible opportunities for professional advancement and career development. Although a job well-done gives employees a personal sense of purpose and pride, being recognized within the company goes a long way in improving morale and employee retention. Employees should be able to work towards pre-determined promotions or opportunities within their organization. Having these milestones laid out and available for any employee to achieve will ensure that all staff members are on an even playing field.

This article was published in the June 2017 The Secured Lender: The Women in Commercial Finance Issue

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