IMA’s “myCMA” series spotlights valued members of the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) community. Learn about their journey with the certification—and get tips on advancing your own. This issue’s featured CMA is:

Rob Mars
 Name:  Rob H. Mars, CMA
 Company:  M3 Management BV
 Title:  Finance Advisor/Small Business Owner
 Location:  The Netherlands


  1. What inspired you to become a CMA?

    My first employer, Borg-Warner Chemicals in Amsterdam, was the European region office for a U.S. conglomerate. Our CFO and finance director were both CMAs and recommended the certification to all their finance staff globally. The CMA program – then a five-part exam – attracted me with its broad, practical content in management accounting and financial analysis. I knew it would be beneficial for my career.

  2. Why did you choose the CMA program over other certifications?

    I became a CMA in 1988, a time when the CMA was primarily a U.S. program. Only the year before, the city of Leiden in the Netherlands had become the first designated exam site outside the U.S. to offer the exam, so I did half of my exam parts in the U.S. and the other parts in the Netherlands. It was not a well-known certificate in Holland then, but it aligned well with my company’s management accounting practices.

    The international element was also very important to me, as following the takeover of Borg-Warner Chemicals by General Electric, I worked for several international shipping corporations that brought me to places like Tokyo, Hong Hong, London, Singapore, and, most recently, Seoul.

    A few years after I became certified, I approached my alma mater, the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, to look for cooperation opportunities, and they were happy to start offering CMA review courses starting in 1991. I’m proud to say that they still run these courses and I had a part in connecting the CMA program with the university where I had obtained my Master’s in Economics and Business.

  3. How has the CMA and your IMA membership helped your professional career?

    Pursuing the CMA helped me a lot by bringing the academic and theoretical concepts taught during my University years into the practical context of my work. And because my colleagues within Borg-Warner had been trained in the same program, it really helped us to communicate and discuss financial topics in our daily work and when completing team projects.

    In addition, becoming a CMA has been a beneficial investment, giving me new friends and business contacts through the many networking opportunities at local chapter meetings in the Netherlands and abroad.

  4. What motivated you to become involved with the Korea Chapter?

    What triggered me was the phenomenal growth of the CMA in China, which has been a real success story. Witnessing that, I started wondering why the CMA was so little known in South Korea and why in that country, the main focus is on financial and tax accounting and much less on management accounting and financial analysis. It was surprising to me, especially since in South Korea, with so many manufacturing and hi-tech industries, you would expect the CMA to do well too.

    The CMA for Korean students and young professionals is a great tool for a finance career in international companies or even a career abroad. So when I met with Jay Choi, my fellow IMA Global Board member, we agreed to take action and re-start the IMA South Korea Chapter. We got great support from IMA Global and were able to establish a chapter board with lots of help from our fellow directors: Ryan Hong, M.J. Lee, and Steve Lee, our president. We are looking forward to cooperation with local academia and businesses.

  5. Have you enjoyed serving on the IMA Global Board of Directors?

    Absolutely! It’s a great way to connect with CMAs and fellow finance professionals from all over the world. Furthermore, I find it stimulating and rewarding to take part in the dialogue and activities to help IMA continue its strategy of international growth.

Share YOUR Story

We’d love to hear your CMA story! Please contact Lori Parks, staff writer/editor, at or +1 (201) 474-1536.