Daniel Martin CA: Tools for a global career
Former ICAS student Daniel Martin tells us about his high-flying job and how the qualification has helped him to new heights.
Daniel is based in Abu Dhabi and works as General Manager for Armaguard Valuables Management (AVM), a joint venture between the Armaguard Group, based in Australia and New Zealand and Etihad Aviation Group, based in the United Arab Emirates capital, Abu Dhabi.
AVM provides secure logistics services to the global valuables market, couriering premium cargo like gold, jewellery, diamonds and banknotes through its network of aircraft and armoured vehicles.
He moved to Etihad Airlines after a stint as Group Financial Controller at Celtic PLC. “I have always had an interest in the leisure sector and have been fortunate enough to use my CA background to undertake senior management positions in industries that I find exciting (ie, football and aviation),” he added.
Daniel joined Deloitte to study with ICAS after completing a degree in Accounting and Computer Science. He knew that the CA designation would bring credibility to his CV and allow him to pursue his ambitions around the world.
The fundamental CA values of diligence, excellence and integrity have also steered his career and made high standards the only option for him.
Talking about working in the UAE, he said: “The culture and the way of doing business are different from the UK. I think that’s where the CA qualification certainly has a relevance; I have been able to rely on the basic CA principles of technical excellence, diligence, integrity and ethical awareness to enable me to perform and add value on an international platform.”
Aside from ethics, Daniel has enjoyed the rounded business education afforded by becoming a CA. It instils a deep business understanding and improvements in essential communication skills.
“What I would point out is that people have the perspective that the CA is purely numbers. I would try to get across the point that that is just not the case. I’m not going to deny there’s hard work involved in obtaining your qualification but once you’ve achieved that, the opportunities are limitless.
“I think the CA qualification definitely, from a training perspective, provides you with great building blocks and the tools needed to progress your career. As a senior manager and leader, being able to deal with numbers and translate them so people can understand them is quite unique with the CA.
“I think you get a certain respect around the table when people understand you have a CA background. Definitely, you are valued as part of the team, it’s all about the skills you can bring forward.”
What is the favourite part of his current role? “I think in the current GM role, it’s the ability to be able to make decisions, to make a difference,” he said. “You are being mandated by a board of directors to implement strategies but you’ve got the responsibility to make decisions.
“With the CA you can be finance based and have that skillset that takes you over into a more commercial environment. The beauty of that is not just advising but actually having to go with your own gut instinct.”