GwenIMA Global Board of Directors member and CFO of RIPE NCC Gwen van Berne, CMA, was among the featured speakers in a webinar titled, “How Do You Distinguish Yourself as a Financial Professional?” 

Most recently, van Berne was named incoming Chair-Elect of the IMA Global Board. She will serve as Chair-Elect from July 1, 2021, until June 30, 2022, becoming IMA Chair for a one-year term on July 1, 2022.

The webinar was hosted by MVP and also featured speakers Frank Bakker, director of MVP, and Han Stoop, CFO and registered controller. They shared their experiences and the challenges they are facing in these trying times and what they see as the ideal financial professional.

During the webinar, the speakers discussed how this is a turbulent period for finance professionals. The profession is changing due to developments in automation, robotization, and data science—and so, providing financial reports alone is no longer enough. Moreover, the coronavirus crisis has already caused severe blows, leading to uncertainty in the labor market. In this interactive webinar, the presenters discussed ways to distinguish yourself in the current economic climate, answering the questions: What do I have to do to be and remain a future-proof financial professional? And what choices can I make in this regard? 

Some of the key insights offered by van Berne:

  • As a finance professional, you need expertise in multiple disciplines. Yes, you must have good financial skills, but it’s also essential that you understand the industry you are working in to understand the business. You also need good intercultural skills, as many finance professionals today are working in an international environment. 
  • For international employers, it isn't easy to know the value of local certifications, so an internationally recognized accreditation like the CMA is a plus. This makes it easier for me as an employer to value the educational background and knowledge of job applications I want to hire.
  • Life-long learning is essential. The economy and business models are changing every 10 years, and due to the pandemic, that’s happening even faster. So, it is critical you keep developing yourself to stay current. You cannot take it for granted that in 10 years, there will still be demand for the skills you have now. 

You can watch this video recording (available free of charge and in Dutch) of the webinar.