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New at the top: John (Jack) Remondi

Sunday, March 6, 2011; 11:18 PM

I got my first share of stock from my dad when I was 12. It was something I followed and read about, and it piqued my interest.

I worked for the capital markets group of a regional bank in the Boston area, which was one of the turning points that got me to where I am today.

One of my clients was a student loan company. I helped the company raise money in the capital markets to finance its acquisition of federal student loans from banks across the country. That's how I got introduced to this industry.

A few years after I had developed that relationship, the chief executive called and asked if I wouldn't mind joining him as chief financial officer.

I was 26 years old.

It was a relatively small company - about a couple hundred million in assets - but had a decent-size footprint.

There I was, only four years of professional work experience, coming to take on this role and manage people for the first time. I managed the whole financial side of the equation, from raising funds to accounting and auditing.

I got to understand how the whole business operated and how the pieces worked together. That helped me tremendously when the company was eventually sold to Sallie Mae and I moved into a much bigger environment.

Even though I didn't have jobs in operations, credit or sales, I knew how the process worked and understood what worked and did not work in those areas.

My job moved from the Boston area to Reston, and I eventually became chief financial officer at Sallie Mae.

Back then, Sallie Mae was a government-sponsored enterprise, or GSE. My job in the last few years of my first stint there was to refinance all of the GSE liabilities - outside of the GSE environment.

Over the course of four years - 2000 to 2004 - when my transition was complete, we financed more than $100 billion worth of liabilities into the market.

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