Meet Fred, CEO
1. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Brooklyn, NY. My parents bought a brownstone just over the Brooklyn bridge in the early 70’s and still live there today. It was a great place to grow up, easy access to New York and to really experience the city. Sadly, it did result in me being a lifelong Jets fan.
2. What brought you to CyberGRX?
I wanted to build a company. And I had three criteria. First, it had to be something I believed in and was excited to tell people about. The company needed to be solving a real problem and making people’s lives better. Second, it had to be intellectually stimulating. The problems to be addressed had to be complex and constantly evolving. And third, and probably most important, I wanted to work with great people, both smart and fun to be with. I wanted to look forward to going to work each day.
When I left my role as Head of Security for Bridgewater Associates, I was introduced to Jay Leek, the then CISO of Blackstone. Jay had the original idea for what has become CyberGRX and when he explained it to me, I knew right away that this was the company I wanted to build. And thankfully, the journey so far has hit on all three criteria above.
3. What do you do at CyberGRX/what’s your typical day like?
My primary objective is to help set the overall direction for the company and then support the team. We have an incredible team at CyberGRX who is proficient at running the business. I spend the remainder of my day connecting with employees, customers, partners and investors and learning about new developments in the rapidly evolving third party cyber risk management space.
4. What advice would you give to your teenage self?
Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.” I spent too much of my life being embarrassed to admit I didn’t know something, so I would instead just nod and keep quiet. Unfortunately, this kept me from actively participating, and contributing, in many conversations.
I still remember one meeting where I finally decided to admit I did not know how an important valuation metric was calculated and I asked the group if someone could tell me. Expecting to be ridiculed, I instead learned that no-one else in the room knew either. That was eye opening for me.
5. What has had the greatest impact on your life?
Kids. It is one of the most incredible things in the world to see your children experience new things and find their joys in life. It can also be exhausting… ☺
6. What’s your hidden superpower?
Being open minded. Truly trying to understand where someone else is coming from, and not just trying to convince others of my view. It can be hard, but it is remarkable what you can learn when you unpack a contrarian argument and truly understand it.