The Small Business Finance Forum Blog & Website
Quite simply we are here to grow YOUR profits. Our tools, tips and techniques will enhance your bottom line today, tomorrow, next month and even next year.
If you are looking for a get rich quick scheme, or “how to make 10K in 10 minutes” this forum is not for you.
If you are looking for a place that will empower you to grow the dollars that stay in your pocket with easy to use tools, straightforward tips and tricks, plus engaging and *gasp* even funny coverage of relevant topics, then you’ve hit pay dirt.
Stodgy, stuffy, and yawningly boring? Nope!
We actually have a secret agenda. Since world domination was already taken, we decided the next best thing was to show people you can discuss and learn about finance while having fun. Or at least without thinking that standing in the line at the DMV would be better than working on your income statement, or cashflow projections.
We realize that while you may never jump out of bed in the morning and think Yeah its Tax Day (we don’t either), our evil plot is to infect you with our enthusiasm over finding clear, straightforward, understandable methods to increase your bottom line.
If you find yourself thinking longingly of the drivers license line at the DMV, you know the one between a new teenage driver arguing with their parents and a person yelling into their cellphone, call us out. Tell us the plot is being foiled.
If there are any ideas or concerns that involve finance which you would like us to cover, please let us know.
Let’s go build our businesses!
Founder & President
I am a walking contradiction.
I love numbers, Excel spreadsheets, and all that mumbo jumbo.
I love speaking to groups large and small, writing, networking, and generally being around other people.
I have a dual degree in Math and French. Yes French. And was quite close to a minor in music. In case you are wondering, I play the clarinet. Needless to say I didn’t have any friends who shared my course load.
I’m sure my parents were wondering how this rather strange education was going to pay the bills. Then one day my Dad saw the now infamous article in the USA Today. Ok, maybe it’s only infamous with actuaries. Ask anyone who started in the actuarial profession in the 90′s and they’ll mention this article. It talked about what a great career choice it was, how well it paid, and that it was supposed to be low stress (ha!) and regular hours.
To make a long story short, I became an actuary. The only actuary to my knowledge that has a Myers-Briggs personality type of ENFP. That stands for Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving. I loved the intellectual challenges of my job, however felt that a good deal of my potential was not being used.
Since my early days as an actuary, I have worked as a CFO internationally (Aetna Philippines), an Investment Banker (ABN AMRO Asia Financial Services), launched an import business, worked as an Executive Recruiter, and most recently consulted on a variety of finance related projects which led to this forum.
Today I’m able to use all my skills with our website and blog. Like an engine that is finally hitting on all cylinders. And remember my Myers-Briggs? Common career paths include Writer, Actor, Politician, Consultant, and ….. Entrepreneur! Its good to be home.
To your future success and happiness,
Nicole Fende, A.S.A.
President, Small Business Finance Forum
Ms. Fende began her fast paced career in the actuarial field, working for Aetna Inc. based in Hartford Connecticut. Her desire to work in the international field led Nicole to a position as a regional development resource for Aetna International’s South East Asia operations. Her projects included an extensive market and product review for life insurance in India, improvement of health gross margins from negative to positive within a 12-month period, and the development of an individual life insurance product, which became 25% of new Individual Life applications in the Philippines.
In 1999 Nicole was named Vice President & CFO for Aetna Philippines. At age 26, she became the youngest CFO for the company. During her tenure at Aetna Philippines Nicole achieved a capital savings of nearly 1 million USD, implemented a cost effective reward scheme which substantially improved employee performance, became the first non-Filipino to be accepted by the Actuarial Society of the Philippines, and reduced the monthly financial statement reporting time from the 25th to the 15th of the following month.
In 2001, Nicole moved to Hong Kong to work for ABN AMRO Asia Financial Services, focusing on the Banking and Insurance sectors in Asia. As an Assistant Director she played a key role in generating new business, as well as analyzing and modeling a Filippino Bank’s Asset / Liability mismatching issues. Her main project involved developing and marketing the business plan for a bancassurance joint venture between the largest bank in Indonesia, and the largest insurer in the world at that time, which has since launched successfully, exceeding plan.
Although she greatly enjoyed her experiences in Asia, Ms. Fende wanted to return back to the U.S. and be closer to family. In a bid to combine her international experiences with her business acumen, she launched an Asian import business in Houston, Texas. The group sourced unique producer groups, and Nicole successfully negotiated exclusivity agreements for specialty products. She created a marketing program and built a sales team of 33 commission based wholesale agents representing the company in 27 states.
In 2005 Ms. Fende was recruited to join an Executive Search Firm, specifically to start and grow their Finance Practice. Nicole successfully executed retained searches in a broad range of industries, from start-ups to Fortune 100.
Most recently Nicole has worked as an independent consultant. Her projects have included small business cash flow analysis, profitable pricing; acquiring key talent; negotiating a partnership agreement, and assisting international client with new business development . These experiences, combined with her unique analytical and interpersonal skills, led Ms. Fende to found the Small Business Finance Forum.
Nicole lives in the Quad Cities with her husband Paul, daughter Sarah, a hyper Irish Setter, and two lazy cats.