The Risk Magazine has had the opportunity to interview a partner of Accuracy, Leontine Koens-Betz, together with a young analyst, Christopher Timmerman. Both have studied at University of Groningen and Christopher used to be an active member of our Risk association. We wanted to know what it is like to run and work for this relatively small, but highly diverse consultancy company, providing strategic as well as financial advice to both private equity and corporate clients.
Over the years, Accuracy has grown substantially and is now active across the globe, stretching from Canada to the Far East.
Leontine Koens-Betz has spent quite some years working for Accuracy. After the company first launched in France in 2004, it quickly expanded to Spain and The Netherlands, where Leontine set-up the office. “These times were very challenging, because you have to build the brand from the bottom-up. This means that you have to approach customers, spend a lot of time on the road and really earn or get rewarded a project. This is difficult for a new company, but our pragmatic approach quickly caught attention. It was a period in which we learned a lot.” Over the years, Accuracy has grown substantially and is now active across the globe, stretching from Canada to the Far East. Despite the company’s global reach, keeping the one-firm and entrepreneurial spirit is of vital importance. “You cannot become complacent once your business is up and running, you need to continuously innovate and stay on the radar.” For Leontine as a partner, this means that she herself is highly involved in the daily business of the company and has currently 12 active engagements. They of course vary in stage of completion they are in, but it is an indication of how involved management is in the daily hustle and bustle. “This is also what clients expect from us. They expect high quality consultancy for the money they pay us. To achieve this we involve a lot of seniority and work together internationally.” A practical example of their international orientation is Brexit. While this is the cause of much uncertainty for many businesses, it presents an opportunity to Accuracy. “Brexit creates challenging situations, in which we can support our clients. As we are active both within and outside the UK, we profit from both sides. Neither do we plan to abandon our British strand, so we can say that Brexit is indeed an opportunity rather than a threat to us.”
You never really know what the next working week will look like, every week can be a surprise.
The international mindset of Accuracy appeals not only to customers, but to starters on the job market as well. In order to deliver value to its clients, Accuracy looks for intelligent and flexible starters. “What we are looking for are people who really fit our team, so you will usually meet six of our professionals during the application process. We offer a variety of services and we do not work in silos. This means that during your career at Accuracy you will advise clients in different situations, for example on a potential acquisition, during a strategic reorientation or with a valuation in respect to a dispute. You never really know what the next working week will look like, every week can be a surprise. It might be that you were scheduled to fly to Canada but the project was cancelled last minute and we need you elsewhere. That is what makes our work exciting, on Friday you don’t know where you will be or what you will be doing on Monday. That requires adaptive capacity.” These personal qualities are valued highly, but of course you need the right academic background as well. “People with a Master degree in Finance or related areas are usually more suitable for the job. Besides, we need to have a little fun together”, she says with a smile. As a starting employee, you get much in return. From the very first day you will be in contact with partners, clients and visit foreign countries.
I could put into practice the things I had learned at university while working together with senior people.
An example of a recently hired analyst is Christopher. He finished his Master thesis two years ago and did a fine job networking after a guest lecture given by an Accuracy consultant. “During the lecture Accuracy really appealed to me. Chatting afterwards, they just asked me whether I would like to work in consulting which I had not really considered as a career at that point, so when I accepted an internship offer a few weeks later we had really convinced each other”. The transition from student life to working life was rather easy for him. “I managed to get an internship at the firm in which I worked on three different projects: restructuring, a transaction and dispute. I could put into practice the things I had learned at university while working together with senior people.” During his internship he made a good impression and the company offered him a full time job as an analyst.
It has become clear that Accuracy is an exciting company that operates globally. As a starter you will work across the world, immediately in touch with partners and clients. Accuracy is currently looking for both interns and analysts to strengthen its team. Further Accuracy will be present at the upcoming Risk Conference, so make sure to put into practice your network skills just as Christopher did!