Two hires on their start at Dutch consultancy ACE Company

03 March 2020 4 min. read

Having joined the firm around the start of 2020, Bernhard van der Poel and Chiara Gamarra already feel they are integrated members of the team of ACE Company. According to the pair, the consulting firm’s cooperative approach to projects and welcoming office atmosphere mean that they already feel very much at home in the latest chapter of their careers.

Founded in 2016, ACE Company is a Netherlands-based consultancy which specialises in advice and guidance on complex and far-reaching laws and regulations in the financial sector. Whether it is an impact assessment, operational readiness assessment or integrated regulatory control, such as BCBS239 or MiFid II, the firm always works with small management consultancy teams who commit themselves to the experts within clients’ organisations.

In the eyes of the two recent arrivals, this welcoming, collaborative approach runs all the way through the firm too. Management Consultant Chiara Gamarra and Senior Management Consultant Bernhard van der Poel joined the consultancy within a month of each other at the turn of the year, and speaking to, both praised the way ACE has helped them settle in since then.

Gamarra, who previously worked in compliance at Bunq and Bitonic, recalled; “After three years in the FinTech industry, specialising in the compliance and anti-financial crime area, I decided it was time for the next step in my career and start as a consultant in the financial sector. When I first came for the interview rounds at the office, I immediately had the feeling that ACE is like a second family. As an expat living in a foreign country, the feeling of belonging in the workplace is particularly important.”

Bernhard van der Poel and Chiara GamarraVan der Poel arrived at ACE Company having previously spent two years as a Junior Manager Financial Risk with Deloitte. According to him, the motivation to switch from the Big Four to life at a boutique consultancy was a desire to explore his entrepreneurial side. The collaborative team approach of a boutique firm like ACE means that he is provided “more responsibility,” as ACE is motivated to trust his judgement to contribute directly to the growth of the company.

The appeal of a boutique

“I think the challenge that a small office offers is more appealing to me because you see many more areas of the playing field compared to an established office,” he explained. “I have been very well received within ACE. Even before I was employed, I received an invitation for the strategy days and the Christmas dinner. The team is very close and everyone knows each other well, which is also the charm of a small boutique consultancy office. After less than two months I already feel part of the team, and I look forward to getting to know everyone better.”

Many young professionals look to the consulting industry to cut their teeth for their future career. The work is extremely varied, taking in projects from every shape and size of organisation, while the fact consulting has had that kind of draw for so long means firms have a wealth of talent among their personnel for newcomers to learn from. This was exactly the case for Gamarra.

“When I came across ACE it seemed a perfect place for me,” Gamarra elaborated. “Highly skilled colleagues, small and focused teams working on the topics I’d like to deepen in my career. I find the idea of being able to work with multiple clients and see different realities challenging, and I believe it will be a perfect occasion to learn more about this business area.”

Gamarra added that she is especially excited to see what future challenges working at ACE will hold in this regard, noting that she remained open to “learn something new!”

Van der Poel has already learned a great deal from his initial spell at the firm. While in the last couple of years he gained substantial experience in the field of credit and liquidity risk management, including reporting, data management and project management, he has already broadened that knowledge by putting his existing skills to work on new problems. 

Van der Poel concluded; “In my first project I am project lead on a large process in which the data chain from source to end user must be optimised for a Dutch bank. The challenge lies in particular with stakeholder management and change management, how can you ensure that everyone involved in the data chain knows what his or her responsibilities are and how can you safeguard the change in the organisation? In addition, there is also a technical challenge to get the data through the entire chain. The ultimate goal is to be able to better serve the customer, and ultimately to create a more stable financial system.”