Lloyd Umali

Alumni Spotlight Lloyd Umali

“If you can dream it, you can to do it”  is a quote from Walt Disney that describes Lloyd Umali’s journey. Lloyd, now doing what he dreamt of, is an entrepreneur and an esteemed management consultant and finance professional based in Burbank.

15+ years as a professional at the Walt Disney company, Lloyd spent countless hours into building a respectable career in accounting, finance, strategy, business analytics and deal analysis. This was a far cry from his days as a student in the early 2000s at Cal State Los Angeles where Lloyd juggled being a working husband and father while attending night classes, leaving very little time and room for missteps.

There can be no progress nor achievement without sacrifices, and a few months after graduating with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting in 2005,  Lloyd started his career as an audit associate in the Los Angeles office of Ernst & Young, one of the “Big 4” accounting firms. Reminiscing on his experience at EY, Lloyd professes, “EY was mentally rewarding – challenging but offered a competitive energy to thrive”. Lloyd was pushed to his limits, with a constant expectation to rise to the occasion in the face of adversity. In some instances, Lloyd felt a sense of trepidation, and even intimidation, being surrounded by brilliant colleagues who had come from more renowned schools, such as Cal or UCLA. But remembering the individuality he carried from the days of his interviews as well as believing that he belonged and could compete with the best of the best, his confidence soared to new heights. He then decided to pursue an opportunity at The Walt Disney Company after almost two years at EY. 

Lloyd Umali viewed Disney as an opportunity for growth and learning, and not simply the pinnacle or the dream job. Through hard work, building and leveraging professional relationships, and an element of luck and timing, Lloyd was able to experience many different roles, including ones in Financial and Management Reporting, General Accounting and Finance, Audit and Compliance, and Project Management, across many different business units. With each position, Lloyd’s skills flourished, and he grew his knowledge base and experience, as well as his professional network, the combination of which would propel his career and prepare him for bolder opportunities. But six months into a very exciting and mentally stimulating role at Disney’s Film Distribution group, the unexpected hit humanity – COVID 19 – and Lloyd found himself without a job while in furlough.

During this period, Lloyd had to be creative. He used the situation as an opportunity to take on independent projects, granting him a glimpse of how to sell his services, and hence, being an entrepreneur. The first project required significantly more time than expected, with no extra compensation, but Lloyd dug deep and learned a lot throughout.  He was eventually asked to resume his full-time role at Disney, and on the side, he secured a few small projects that he would juggle after his Disney work hours. Lloyd established Integrity Consulting Advisory, LLC in 2022, and as he maintained this setup – full time work at Disney during the day and small projects at night – Lloyd also reached out to his professional network, re-kindling his relationships with his EY friends and colleagues whom he thought very highly of. One of those connections – Cal’s Andrew S. whom Lloyd thought was possibly the smartest of his entire EY start class and whom Lloyd happened to work with in a very tough engagement – led to a steady stream of small projects. Then the time finally came when Lloyd decided on being a full-time entrepreneur, devoting most of his time and energy into growing Integrity Consulting and Advisory, a management consulting firm that he fully owns.

Despite channeling all of his focus into Integrity Consulting and Advisory, the first few months as a full-time entrepreneur were marred by setbacks, especially when securing additional projects from different sources. Navigating the hustle and bustle of attracting and obtaining clients, flying cross-country to attend many conferences without any guarantee and much success initially, Lloyd questioned, “Was starting the firm the right (business) decision for me?”

Regardless, or perhaps because of, the challenges, the answer was a “Yes!”

Staying the course, trusting his instincts, and showing up day after day doing what he believed to be right for his firm, Lloyd started to get some positive traction. Integrity Consulting and Advisory began attracting new, highly reputable clients requiring services that only brilliant management consultants can deliver. Then the need to hire additional consultants to support the growing client base came, granting Lloyd the opportunity to give back to his native roots – the Philippines – while servicing US-based entities. The growth of Integrity Consulting and Advisory led to the creation of a Philippine-based office, taking advantage of the massive time difference, allowing for the provision of services to US clients to continue “after hours” while Philippine-based consultants work during their customary business hours. This move also provides sustainable jobs to very intelligent and skilled finance professionals living in a country that continues to experience “brain drain” due to limited  local opportunities while also helping US clients stretch their budgets considering the competitive rates offered by the firm.

To an aspiring accountant and/or entrepreneur, Lloyd urges you to continually ask the “why” through ups and downs, but most especially when the going gets tough. Setbacks are inevitable – we simply cannot win them all – but it’s what we do with those setbacks that will impact our journey – and success – as an entrepreneur and/or accountant. Lastly, Lloyd wants to tell his younger self, and hence to share with the reader, to take these three steps as early as possible in life: Invest within yourself – exercise regularly, eat well, learn something new, read, meditate, do something fun that feeds your soul; Invest outside of yourself – build and cultivate relationships, surround yourself with smart, wise and kind people; and, Hold your investments for a long time – keep showing up day in day out, regardless, and continue adding on to the first two investments.