At CFGI, we pride ourselves on our Big Four background. Every member of our accounting advisory team has experience working at one of the top accounting firms. Some people, like Partner Diana Cordeiro, have just as much experience working on the other side of the table.
Diana’s nearly 20-year career has taken her from client services to industry and back again.
When we say she’s seen and done it all, we’re not exaggerating. Diana has tackled every type of technical accounting project you can think of, consistently using her significant expertise in banking to deliver the best results.
Seeing how the industry side lives
Diana got her start in financial services working for a consulting firm and focusing mostly on its credit union practice. Looking to diversify her skills, experience and knowledge, she transitioned to a position in KPMG’s financial services practice. All told, between those two career stops, Diana gained 12 years of experience working in public accounting.
After spending so much time on client services, Diana wanted to try her hand at industry. She took a technical accounting position with a specialty finance company, focused on student loans, before moving on to a similar role at a retail bank and subsequently a real estate firm, where she led a team of 40 finance professionals. Those 6 years in industry taught her a lot about the client experience, and how a firm like CFGI can best meet those needs.
“I certainly have that unique perspective in terms of client service delivery,” Diana says. “I’ve actually sat in their chair, so I understand what they’re looking for and why they’re looking for it.”
Moving to industry also gave Diana plenty of opportunities to work on a wide range of projects, such as complex loan transactions, acquisitions, divestitures, consolidations and hedge accounting, which helped build out her technical accounting skills. She also had a chance to concentrate on operational challenges like implementing investment accounting systems and enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms while focusing on process improvement. That well-rounded experience is a big key to Diana’s continued success in financial client services. She’s tackled so many different projects over the years that there are no curveballs left to throw her way.
Making the move back to client services
As much as Diana appreciated her time in industry, eventually, client services came calling once again, and she couldn’t ignore its appeal.
“What I missed most about client service was working on different projects and working with different teams,” Diana says. “Based on the experience I had gathered in industry, I felt like I had a lot of value to offer in a consulting role.”
Having worked with Mike Muccio, currently the Managing Partner for CFGI’s New York office, during her time at KPMG, Diana reached out in 2018 about coming aboard at CFGI. In May of that year, she joined the firm as a Senior Manager and was quickly promoted to Managing Director. At the start of 2021, Diana became a Partner at the firm, solidifying her position as a key banking and financial services leader within the organization.
Her titles may have changed during her CFGI tenure, but through it all, Diana’s area of expertise has continued to focus on technical accounting and the financial services market. Whether she’s helping companies adopt the latest hedging standards, incorporate CECL methodologies or address consolidation needs, Diana remains steadfastly committed to the client experience.
Building a successful financial services practice
In just three short years, Diana has helped shape CFGI’s financial services practice into a massively successful team. The keys to that success have been communication and empathy. Diana leans on her first-hand experience in industry to understand how CFGI can best support clients and meet their needs.
“When I was in industry and sitting in that controller or head of finance role, I was looking for consultants to go above and beyond and work hard to provide value,” Diana explains. “Now that I’m back on the client services side, I want to be sure I’m delivering on those expectations.”
Consistent teamwork and communication are essential to keep projects moving forward and running smoothly. That can be easier said than done when timelines are quickly approaching, but Diana manages to keep a tight hold on that collaborative mindset. No matter what project she works on, it’s well worth the effort to see it through to the end and get that feeling of accomplishment.
“I love hearing positive feedback from our clients; it pumps you up for your next project,” Diana notes. “At the end of the day, what I cherish most are the relationships I’ve built with my clients and my team.”