Joy Mbanugo, formerly Joy Harper, is newly wed and has newly-rebranded herself too. She is hurtling fast towards countless opportunities, namely a seat on a corporate board, and is currently sifting through offers. Affectionately called ‘Tiny General’ by her husband, she will not make her next career decision hastily and is welcoming fresh offers regularly.
Mbanugo is a seasoned finance professional with a killer message: You need to invest in your people and your infrastructure — and invest in non-traditional ways such as cryptocurrency — if you want a chance at succeeding in the big leagues.
Her resume includes international tax consultant for Ernst and Young; capital markets tax Blackrock; financial principal for the Finance Transformation, Systems, and Integration Group for Google, and startup entrepreneur. Additionally, according to her L.A. Weekly profile, “She worked on the largest ERP to ERP transformation in the United States. She also led the Treasury Tax initiative at Google to streamline the cash management of $100 billion.”
Mbanugo loves both ends of the career spectrum and has found her niche in corporate financial consulting and directing, but primarily loves the adventure that comes with new financial opportunities (think crypto).
In the entrepreneurial space, Mbanugo noticed a lack of readiness for new companies when they inevitably grow faster than they planned or expected. This growth is an amazing thing, but being prepared is what will make or break a new business.
“If you don’t have systems in place to bolster your operations, you risk all-out failure,” she said.
Mbanugo has over 19 years of tax audit, business operations, financial services, capital markets, and treasury experience. She is the foremost finance specialist in the systems and infrastructure space, currently holding a position on Google’s Cloud Partnership Finance team.
A talented woman with accounting, tax, and financial training, she is responsible for evaluating partnerships and cross-functional deals for Google Cloud.
If that astounding rap sheet wasn’t enough, Mbanugo is also the Chief Financial Officer of not-for-profit Paladin.org, which focuses on helping budding entrepreneurs in their startup endeavors. Really, what more could you want from a financial professional?
If you were thinking, “Angel investing would be a nice cherry on top”, you’re in luck: Mbanugo is a recent angel investor as well.
On the personal side, Mbanugo does startup consulting as a hobby (at no charge), loves to discuss financial modeling and project management, is a veritable fashionista in her own right, and a loving mother and wife.
Her diverse personality and skill set earned her the affectionate nickname ‘Tiny General’ from her husband — we can’t get over how fitting and adorable that is! She is structured yet lighthearted, intelligent yet good humored, and finance-minded yet fashion-forward. A winning combination if we’ve ever seen one. To clarify, we don’t use the word ‘yet’ as if these combinations are impossible, rather as an editorial tool to express the rare gem she is.
When she was younger, Mbanugo worked for Nine West — where she learned a valuable lesson many young people working in retail either absorb or ignore. You can’t put all your earnings right back into the company you work for!
“My grandma told me I couldn’t spend all my money on clothes and shoes,” she joked. “Grandma gave me tough love. She taught me how to invest and save.”
Blessed to grow up in a family-oriented home with like minded people certainly gave Mbanugo a leg up in her professional endeavors. From her parents and grandmother, she received tough love, a push to become a lawyer, and a push to learn about investing — a winning combination.
“Like every good child, when my mother told me to go to law school, I did what she asked,” said Mbanugo. “My grandmother got me into investing, so I studied finance and accounting for my undergrad. I also had enough credits to get another degree in Black World Studies, which influences my perspective, of course. My father is a pastor and has a passion for people so the Black World Studies interdisciplinary degree makes sense.”
Mbanugo is part finance-ista, part fashionista, and part travelista, with past jobs taking her overseas to London. There, she learned another valuable lesson: finance is not just taxes. She learned that not only could she broaden her horizons, she wanted to. And so she did, branching out into all manners of finance to become the seasoned expert she is. Today, she lives in Piedmont, Calif., with her husband and five month old child.
Hurtling Towards New Opportunities
Mbanugo desires to change the game when it comes to financial business health — she believes that the key to growing without pains is to be prepared with rock-solid financial systems in place.
She is preparing to make the career switch to a director’s board, and has already started receiving offers but wants to take her time in vetting them. She has her heart set on privately-owned, startup, or public company boards, but board of directors it shall be. From where we’re standing, nothing will get in her way of success in this goal.
Further, she is fascinated by fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and consumer finance fields.
“I want to work with emerging financial technology businesses with fresh-minded individuals,” she said. “I think that because of my robust tax background, many of these places are like, ‘I don’t get you.’ But I get them. And I want to show them that. I want to be where the action is, with the cutting-edge of finance. That is where I belong.”
About Joy Mbanugo
Joy Mbanugo is the go-to market finance infrastructure expert and implements systems to prepare companies to go public. She has worked in finance for 19 years with companies such as Ernst and Young, Google, and Blackrock. To book a call with her to discuss board seat opportunities, venture investment deals, or how her methods can set you up for success, please visit: www.joymbanugo.com