International Management graduate of 2005, worked in family-owned companies my whole career, in Asia since 2006, CFO of high-end furniture design and sourcing company VAN THIEL & CO. since 2012, equity partner since 2018.
Job description: Chief Financial Officer Company: VAN THIEL & CO. I work in: Hong Kong I’ve worked here since: December 2012 My contact
What I do
As partner and CFO, I am one of four members of VAN THIEL & CO.’s company leadership team. We lead, develop, and organize all aspects of the company. While we run the company in a concerted team effort, my main attention is on the Group’s Financial Management, Accounting, Controlling, Taxes, Human Resources, Business Process Management, Business Intelligence, and IT. With offices in Vietnam, Hong Kong, and the United States, my daily work mainly takes place in (and on the way between) our Corporate Support and Group Services Office in Hong Kong and our Design and Sourcing Center in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Why I love my job
I love my job because I can add my management and financial expertise to a family-owned and founder-led company, in a creative environment, making beautiful products at the high-end of the market.
Our work is guided by the principle that highly creative products and services do not mean “creative chaos” in the back office! Much rather, creative work flourishes on a solid foundation of well-organized operations, management services and information that shape company strategy, and sound financials.
My teams and I continue to position the financial and administrative functions of the Company as true partners within the business.
I consider myself blessed being able to work with a family of owners and designers that have entrusted me and continue to trust me as a partner, executive, and advisor to their business.
The size of our company allows for a very personal style of management, with short communication channels and fast decision making. Seeing the results of our work in this environment is extremely rewarding!
Important skills in my job
Financial and Management Accounting, Financial Controlling, Tax;
Human Resources (hard and soft);
Business Process Management, ERP and Information Systems, Business Intelligence;
Leadership, Full range of Organizational and Communication Skills, Project Management
The best experiences in my job
In a fast-growing company, every year that we beat a revenue or profit record is a great cause for celebration. We have seen that as a USD 15 million company we had a completely different set of challenges than later with $40 million or $70 million revenues. We had to adjust and grow our organization and operations at about every $10-$15m increment. We always came out stronger and ready for the next step.
On a personal level, the biggest milestone and marker for my achievements for me was being offered to “join the family” by buying in and acquiring shares in the company.
How I found my current job
In 2012 I was looking for a new challenge in financial management in medium-sized foreign invested companies in Asia and found VAN THIEL & CO. on a related online job portal. At the time, the founders realized that the company had reached a size where they needed “outside” professional financial management expertise, and it was a perfect match!
What I learned for this job during my studies at FH JOANNEUM
I believe the strongest take-aways from my studies are a combination of hard-skills in Financial Accounting, Controlling, and other Management Disciplines, combined with a spirit of open-mindedness, innovation, excellence in performance, dedication, and hard work that has been a central and over-arching theme and style of the studies and teaching at the Department of International Management.
Job prospects in my field
Family businesses and medium sized enterprises continue as a thriving area of the economy, not only in the German speaking world, but internationally. I’d expect that as start-ups mature, there will be continuing demand by creative founders to add financial and general management expertise to their companies. However, many small to medium-sized environments won’t have clear-cut career paths, so a lot depends on the individual’s drive to spot areas of development, seize emerging projects as opportunities to grow and lead, and build their function and role.
An organizer, getting things done and adding structure, process, and information in ambiguity;
Ambitious and Performance-Driven;
Straight-talking, transparent, loyal, and dependable;
Averse to work quality that is “just okay” rather than great
About my job
VAN THIEL & CO. is a Dutch-owned creative design and sourcing partner to selected high-end furniture retailers across the U.S. and the globe. Our sources employ more than 15,000 people throughout the industry.
As Architects of Furniture, our family-led team manages projects, from the first spark of inspiration to the final product, expertly guiding clients throughout the entire, collaborative process. Produced with creativity, care and clockwork precision, the result is a distinctive look that buyers and homeowners love to call their own.
As CFO and member of the Company Leadership Team, I lead the Group’s Financial Management, Accounting, Controlling, Taxes, Human Resources, Business Process Management, Business Intelligence, and IT. As well as leading these areas I am also partner and advisor to all business functions and the owners’ family.