by Winston Chua
San Marino resident Robin Ferracone, CEO of Farient Advisors, a leading independent executive compensation and performance consulting firm, was recently named to the 2014 Ernst and Young ‘Entrepreneurial Winning Women’ list.
The Ernst and Young competition selects just a handful of women from across the nation each year based off of their businesses’ rapid growth. EY offers the chosen women resources to help in that growth.
“There was an extensive vetting process before being designated,” said Ferracone, a graduate of Harvard Business School. “When I heard the news I was thrilled. It’s a big honor to get this award and to be surrounded by other women who are in high growth entrepreneurial organizations and are proven entrepreneurs.”
Ferracone, who has lived in San Marino for more than 17 years, said she is not sure if she was born with the entrepreneurial gene, or if she developed a zest for entrepreneurship. Perhaps it is a little of both, or a lot of both, as she has made the most of opportunities that have come to her in different forms – opportunities to be in business with people she has liked and respected.
She began her career with Booz Allen Hamilton and came to Los Angeles to begin a firm with an L.A. financier to begin SCA Consulting, a firm she would later sell to Mercer in 2001.
Her career includes a number of ventures like A Breed Apart, a veterinary center located on Arroyo Parkway, which was sold to Veterinary Centers of America (VCA), and freecreditreport.com, a company she helped finance and sponsor, which was eventually sold to Experian.
“Free credit report was developed around the idea of publishing credit reports that people could understand and take action against,” she explained. “But my full-time day job is focused on executive compensation and performance consulting.”
Ferracone, who worked in Denver for Samsonite for a period of time, helps companies figure out how much to pay executives and how to pay them, that is, how pay packages should be configured. Some of her clients are very large companies that include Bank of America, Intel, General Motors, Hewlett Packard and The Cheesecake Factory.
“I enjoy the growth aspect of business,” she added. “I find that growth by its very nature to be very exciting. I enjoy learning about new things, ideas, people, and customer bases, and growing them. If you fail, you have to fail fast, pick yourself up and be resilient. It’s an exciting process.”
The Duke University summa cum laude graduate in management science and economics is the wife of Stewart Smith, who has lived in San Marino all of his life.
“I love San Marino, it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s a peaceful community that provides terrific venues,” she added. “You can go to Lacy Park and enjoy the outdoors, get to know your neighbors, and appreciate the incredible resource that is The Huntington Library.”