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Episode Summary

Tatiana Rezende joined Brazil-based Nuvemshop, the leading e-commerce platform in Latin America, as its CFO in 2020. 

Previously, Tatiana worked in private equity and finance in both Brazil and the United States. She began her career as an engineer, and says she still sees the world from that perspective. 

Instead of construction projects, now Tatiana engineers the creation of businesses, combining her passion for financial markets with her drive to build from scratch. When she came upon the opportunity with Nuvemshop, she jumped at the chance to lead finance for a company that is leading e-commerce into the future. 

Tatiana is a lesbian, and her experiences as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and being a pregnant woman and mother in the workforce have shaped her perspective on workplace diversity. She says staying true to herself in her career has been empowering, and she wants to help other people in high-level finance roles accomplish the same thing. 

Tatiana has a unique perspective on building a strong finance team. Since her path to finance leadership hasn’t been linear, she knows great finance professionals could come from unexpected places. When building a team, she values vulnerability and curiosity. 

Tune into this episode of The CFO Playbook to hear Tatiana discuss how to maintain good ties with investors (and why it’s so critical), and why great finance leaders need to have empathy and be authentic. 

Guest Analysis

Name: Tatiana Rezende

What she does: Tatiana is CFO of Nuvemshop, a Brazil-based e-commerce platform that leads the e-commerce industry in Latin America.

Key Quote: “Not everyone has the luxury of being their authentic self. I didn’t have that luxury for my entire career. But if you are an authentic person, people identify with you more and see your vulnerability and you can get them to work with you and go in the same direction.”               

Where to find Tatiana: LinkedIn | Facebook

From Tatiana’s Playbook

Hire people who can see the plan from different perspectives.

For Tatiana, finance teams must account for a business short-term and long-term needs. When hiring, she looks at people who might be able to see from both of these standpoints. She also looks for team members who can contribute in different ways. By looking at people’s strengths and visualizing their potential, Tatiana’s aim is to create a team that is prepared to grow for the long-haul. 

Never stop networking with investors (even if a raise isn’t on the horizon).

Tatiana says that networking with investors is one of the most important things a CFO can do. You’ll set yourself up for success by thinking long-term and understanding that you can’t always tell what the market will do. Even if you don’t anticipate fundraising in the short term, you should never stop connecting with investors. 

Attitudes are shifting on diversity, which means professionals should seek out companies where they feel valued. 

As a lesbian, Tatiana has spoken about the importance of having members of the LGBTQIA+ community represented in leadership positions. She says workplace attitudes are shifting, and people are starting to see diversity as an asset. As more companies embrace this perspective, her advice is to seek out a different role if you’re not feeling accepted or valued at your current company — especially since it’s a hot labor market right now. And if you’re in a leadership role already, it’s never too late to start championing the importance of diversity in your organization. 

Episode Highlights

Merging a group of people with different career backgrounds

“Some people come from very traditional places. Some people come from other entrepreneurial journeys. Our team needs to educate folks and align expectations to be able to work together. They need to be comfortable with that challenge and the uncertainty of working with diverse backgrounds and expectations in order to be successful.” 

Diverse teams can solve problems

“The way that I look at our C-level team is that we are a team of highly talented people with a diverse background of experiences that have a bunch of problems to solve. We each bring a different perspective. I believe every one of us has a true unique and strategic role in the process of developing the long-term strategy of the business and of solving the most important problems we have.” 

Build a self-sufficient finance team

“It’s so important for you to hire people who have this high leadership potential. When you are in a fundraising or M&A process, it’s really hard to focus on the business. And sometimes you need to be the person protecting the CEO and the other C-level team so they can work more on the business. I trust my team to make autonomous decisions when I’m buried in those urgent processes.”

Never stop talking to investors 

“You always need to be networking and talking to investors. You never know when you’re going to need cash or when a process is going to start itself. Depending on how the market is, you can either have a really hard time raising money … or it can be too easy that you cannot maximize the time that you have at the company you’re working for. Networking is key for both of those extreme scenarios.”

Advice for finance leaders: empathy and authenticity

“The two words that I realized in my personal and professional life … I have been able to reconcile these two words in almost every conversation that I have about leadership or personal relationships … which are empathy and authenticity. And those things are trainable. … You can train yourself to be more empathic with the person who you’re speaking to. … If you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes, it just makes life easier.” 

Top quotes:

“It’s crucial that you have two perspectives: the really short-term perspective of what you need to do this week, next week, next month … But you have to have a longer term north star, a vision of what you want the team to be.” 

“Each one of us has a unique ability to contribute to the long term vision and the process of solving big issues.” 

“There are many different paths that you can take to learn enough technical and leadership skills to lead a finance team for a company like Nuvemshop.” 

“I really like this process of building businesses and building things, so that reconciles with my engineering background.”