Interview with Ruth Jakobsen CA,

Gift giving
By Eleanor O'Neill, CA Today

1 November 2016

The CA qualification is a gift that keeps on giving, says Ruth Jakobsen CA, Finance Business Partner for strategy and business development at Group.

"To put it simply, I wouldn't be in this job if I didn't have the CA. I believe it has been instrumental to every stage of my career."

Ruth qualified with PwC in 2004 and quickly accelerated to a senior level in financial management. She moved to DC Advisory Partners in 2007 and was Group Financial Controller at Ipex Capital Management by 2008.

She was then made Head of Finance at Semblant, an Ipex owned company, and spent some time in Arizona, USA as part of the posting. In 2010, she moved to The Private Clinic as Finance Director and then made her first venture into a digital company at Experian Marketing Services in 2012.

Ruth's current position at Group, a provider of price comparison and money-saving services, focuses on strategic finance and business development.

The CA prepared me well for the professional challenges I have faced in my career.

"My role at the group involves working on initiatives that range from a new service offering, to an acquisition that could significantly increase the group's value in the long term, or investing in a cutting edge start up and assessing major risk factors.

Ruth Jakobsen CA"My involvement can be in the form of financial and commercial insight and support, leading a debt refinance or doing financial due diligence and valuation work."

Ruth credits the CA qualification with providing the skills that have helped her advance professionally and stay flexible to the offerings of her day-to-day role.

"The training I got through the CA qualification prepared me well for the professional challenges I have faced in my career.

"Being a member of ICAS helps me to stay abreast of my profession and provides a fundamental stamp of quality to my CV."

The value of variety

Ruth's career history is certainly an impressive one with over a decade's worth of corporate finance positions under her belt.

"I consider the breadth of my experience to be my greatest achievement. My history ranges from start ups, to FTSE 100 companies, to corporate finance and venture capital firms."

Diversity in work and in a company can be a key driver of job satisfaction. Ruth has a high regard for the breadth of engaging work she and her colleagues handle.

I enjoy what I do and hope to put my experience to good use in assisting companies in the future.

"I have the opportunity to work with a group of very talented people," she said. "The variety and intellectual challenge posed by supporting business leaders in staying ahead in an ever-changing technological and competitive environment is the highlight of my job."

The trend of an onwards and upwards trajectory is something she wants to keep going.

"I enjoy what I do and hope to put my experience to good use in assisting companies with their strategy and business development in the future."

The credibility of the CA

Ruth concluded that the CA qualification was the perfect complement to her university degree.

"I studied in Europe and have previously worked in the US. I felt that the CA was well-known and relevant in both regions.

"The training provided invaluable work experience to a recent university graduate and in-depth knowledge of the key areas required for a successful career in finance."

Her final advice to prospective CA students was simple: "Go for it - it's a great start to your career and it keeps on giving."

Become a world-class business professional

Qualifying as a CA gives you a wealth of expertise, and not just in accountancy and finance. You'll hold one of the most prestigious professional qualifications available, and one that's internationally recognised and respected. As a CA, the world really is your oyster. You'll be in demand at home, and around the world.

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