Talk to Marc Juan Lopez for more than a few minutes, and you’re likely to hear the veteran financial leader mention three things: development, integrity, and legacy. Those concepts guide him in his role as chief financial officer (CFO) at MONAT Global and overlap with how he lives his life as a devoted husband, father, and advocate.
At work, Marc is known as a results-driven partner who promotes fairness and empowers his colleagues as they expand and grow the billion-dollar premium beauty and wellness brand. At home and in his community, he’s known as a passionate teacher, leader, and coach.
“There is no Marc at work and Marc at home,” he says. “Work is a way to contribute to society, but family defines who I am, and there is a strong connection between what I do in my personal life and what I do at work.”
Marc’s passion for all things numbers and finance started early in life. He grew up in Barcelona, Spain where he spent many mornings sipping a hot café solo and reading the popular Spanish business newspaper Expansión.
The early interest grew and led Marc to start his university career in Spain, where he studied economics and business administration and where he earned his MBA. During that time, the young student started to see the direct impact finance had on any organization.
“Finance plays a central role in how businesses rise or fall, and I wanted to eventually be in a role where I could influence overall strategies and outcomes,” he explains.
The realization and desire informed Marc’s approach as he started his career with KPMG. He moved into the firm’s external auditing practice and built a reputation as a rising star. Marc pursued every chance to learn and take on more work.
He was promoted twice in a year and subsequently promoted to a managerial role in KMPG’s London office during an international assignment in the UK. The move gave him exposure to global markets and allowed him to learn from various leaders, cultures, and functions.
After seven years in external audit, Marc was thriving but ready for more professional development. He targeted a new type of role and moved to the American company Hillshire Brands where he would manage finance internal audit. During those years Marc continued his agenda of continuous development, and he obtained several certificates and training programs including the strategic decision and risk management program at Stanford.
The move and efforts paid off, as the combination of internal and external audit experience prepared him for more senior positions. In his last role before joining MONAT, Marc was responsible for a $3.5 billion- and one-hundred-person accounting and reporting team at Mondelez International.
Now at MONAT, Marc is leveraging lessons learned at other large public companies together with his international experience to help build and drive future growth. Although the company has seen a spike in products and revenue, it is still a relatively young organization.
That means Marc can help establish robust processes, controls, better governance and strengthen risk management processes to make a real business impact through finance. Monat started operating in the US back in 2013 and revenues grew to almost $1 billion in 2020.
He joined the company for that chance and for the chance to give back. Marc is a board member of MONAT’s public foundation, MONAT Gratitude. Leaders created the group to encourage their fellow employees to find creative ways to empower others and serve in their communities. MONAT Gratitude partners with innovative nonprofit organizations in its local communities that support efforts under its three pillars: families, children, and education.
Since Marc’s arrival, MONAT has focused on ambitious international expansion to countries like Canada, the UK, Poland, Ireland, Spain, Lithuania, Australia, and New Zealand. As CFO, he’s helping the company grow without creating unnecessary complexity that might impede its progress. He’s also introducing tech-driven automations and emphasizing recruitment and retention of top employees.
A strong culture helps. As in his home life, Marc highlights the importance of honesty, integrity, and transparency at MONAT. “Integrity is key,” he says. “You might have the best team ever that performs exceptionally well and accomplishes great things, but without integrity, you have nothing of value.”
When it comes to leadership style, Marc looks to provide vision and empower teams to develop their own ideas and styles. He believes people are at their best not when they are told how to do something but when they are instead given a business problem to solve.
With a strong financial foundation in place and a clear roadmap ahead of them, the teams at MONAT Global are looking to take the company to new heights. They want to reach the multibillion-dollar level together. But for Marc, it’s about more than financial outcomes.
“Financial goals are great, but we’re also looking to make an impact in the lives of our employees and our communities,” he says. It always goes back to those three foundational principles—learning, development, and legacy.