I transitioned from audit to the insurance industry in 2022. As a financial manager within Acorn Life’s accounting department, I continue to leverage my ACCA membership and experience. My primary responsibilities include overseeing month-end reporting and preparing quarterly regulatory returns, focusing on compliance with insurance-specific regulations. I also manage a team, guiding and mentoring staff to meet our departmental and organisational objectives. That background in audit has equipped me with a strong foundation for effectively navigating the complexities of insurance regulations.

I love the opportunity to work closely with people and actively support the development of my team members. It’s incredibly satisfying to assist others in the department, helping them grow and excel in their careers. Additionally, I appreciate having my voice heard and being involved in important conversations that shape our department and the company.

Being selected for the Leaders of Tomorrow programme has been an incredible opportunity

One of the big opportunities ahead for us is the relaunch of our distribution network. Our network of financial advisers has moved to our sister company, which has rebranded from Acorn Insurance to Ask Acorn. This move, along with the launch of a new website, means that Ask Acorn will be a one-stop financial services company, with an enhanced offering of savings and investments and financial protection solutions, as well as competitive car and home insurance cover, aligning with our goals to enhance customer engagement and expand our market presence.

As the world changes, it’s crucial that our approaches evolve as well, especially to connect with the younger generation who seek innovation and digital engagement. By investing in new technologies and digital platforms, such as our updated website and the relaunched distribution network, we aim to meet the demands of our customers and stay ahead of industry trends.

I’m originally from South Africa and moved here with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and having just begun my ACCA exams. Applying for jobs, I encountered many closed doors. However, once I completed my ACCA qualification, I was suddenly in demand, with a variety of job opportunities available to me. This underscores the respect and recognition the qualification commands. ACCA has also equipped me with the necessary skills and knowledge that continue to assist in my professional development.

Being selected for the Leaders of Tomorrow programme has been an incredible opportunity that aligns perfectly with and enhances my career plans. The experience has allowed me to meet interesting people from around Europe and learn from some of the most inspiring leaders in various fields. Each session has been eye opening, challenging me to question assumptions I had taken for granted and altering my mindset on numerous topics.

The most important business lessons I have learned in my career are to know your worth and never give up

I serve as a director of a local credit union, a role I find incredibly rewarding as it involves making decisions that have a direct impact on the community. In my personal time, I love spending moments with my two dogs and my husband, especially outdoors where we can disconnect and enjoy nature together. Additionally, I have a passion for collecting Monopoly games, and hosting game nights is something I truly enjoy.

The most important business lessons I have learned in my career are to know your worth and never give up. My journey to becoming qualified with ACCA took nine years, a period during which it often seemed impossible to reach the end. This process taught me resilience and the importance of perseverance. Alongside my certification challenges, I encountered several difficult work experiences before finding my place at Acorn Life. I’ve learned that enduring commitment and self-awareness can eventually lead to fulfilling opportunities and success.

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