EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

For those of you not familiar with the story of stone soup, I would encourage you to go to: http://www.extremelinux.info/stonesoup/stonesoup.html (Is the Internet great, or what?)

It’s not a long story, but it explains in easy to understand terms how you can turn nothing into something, and that is what I am about to suggest we do.

At one time, our evening newsletter ran anywhere from 120 pages down to (on bad nights) around 50 pages. Ah yes, those were the halcyon days of job leads. And, back in those good old days, we only had about 20,000 members on distribution for our newsletter. We now have over 38,000.

Since 1996, we have registered a little over 11,000 Friends of The FENG. These are the individuals from the search community who have posted with us at some point. We are now down to about 4,000 with presumed good addresses. However, I am sure many of these are now bad address.

That said, the job market has changed and we have to change with it. If the “almost free” job boards didn’t hurt the search community, LinkedIn certainly has. Every Human Resource Director in the world now has a targeted database to research and to which he/she can submit opportunities to very specific audiences. It is no longer enough for us to rebuild our database of search professionals, which I have done several times since 1996.

We need visibility at ALL middle market companies. Why middle market companies? The reason is because that is typically where our members find jobs. Large companies don’t generally hire senior level executives, they grow their own. The problem with middle market companies is that there are so many of them and they aren’t active in OUR market except perhaps once every 3-5 years.

We have two target audiences that I need your help in reaching. The first is Human Resource Professionals at middle market firms. The second is Operating Partners at Private Equity Groups.

If you would like to help us make a little “Stone Job Soup,” please go to: http://www.thefeng.org/membersonly/documents.php?cat=o

You will need to sign into our website and download The FENG Information Piece that you will find there. Please save it to your hard drive in a place where you can find it easily. Hopefully you will need it a lot. Be sure to attach it to any messages you send out on our behalf.

One of my cousins says: “there are only 37 people in the world and the rest is done by mirrors.” I believe this to be true. Because many of you will be writing to the same people, it is vitally important that you take the time to personalize your letter to anyone you know introducing our organization, but here is some boilerplate so you will get most of the story correct:


The FENG is the world’s largest business networking group of senior financial officers. Our members are primarily CFO’s, Controllers, and VP’s of Finance, Treasury, Tax or M&A. We exist to create an opportunity for senior financial professionals to network, share job leads and friendship with peers.

Please note that we do not post jobs on our website. What we do is publish a newsletter 5 days a week that is delivered to our members by outbound email. All the jobs that appear in our newsletter are new every day.

We would look forward to hearing from you and being of service to you with regard to any financial searches appropriate to our membership. Jobs sent our way should exceed $100,000 in base salary and fit into one of the above categories. For best results when posting with us, be sure to include a salary range and the exact city location if at all possible.

Postings typically go out under a member’s with the caveat “Qualified members only may use my name in contacting.” As incredible as it may seem, the 38,000+ members of The FENG understand what “qualified members only” means. They also understand the responsibility imposed upon them by “please use my name in contacting.” Position descriptions do not have to be shortened from your “official” position description. Please take as much space as you like.

If you are new to The FENG, please visit our website to post your requirements. The direct link is: http://www.thefeng.org/membership/application.php?AppType=E


Each of us has our own “inner circle of friends.” The reward for participating in our “Stone Soup” program will be a flood of opportunities for you to consider. If you think about it, anyone you know who had a job for YOU would call you. You’re not giving up anything by introducing our organization to EVERYONE you know.

In the alternate, you are welcome to send me the contact information of anyone you think would benefit from a relationship with our organization and I will gladly contact them and mention your name as their “munificent benefactor.” I’ll do anything to get more job leads for our newsletter. I hope you will too.

So, if any of you are hungry for a tasty meal of stone soup, please have at it. Reservations aren’t required for this restaurant.

Regards, Matt

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