SparkOptimus appoints Susanne van Santen as its new CFO

06 April 2022 2 min. read
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Digital strategy consultancy SparkOptimus has appointed Susanne van Santen to the role of Chief Financial Officer. 

Susanne van Santen brings over 15 years of experience in finance and financial advisory to the firm, most of which she gained in the professional services sector. During her thirteen years at EY, she worked both as a financial auditor and later-on as a consultant focused on finance transformation.

Having spent the past near three years at Beddinghouse (a Dutch leader in the field of bath and bed textiles), she now returns to the industry she grew up in – “the enthusiasm of colleagues within professional services is always very contagious.” 

Susanne van Santen, Chief Financial Officer, SparkOptimus

Her new employer, SparkOptimus, is a leading 100-strong consultancy dedicated to strategic work in the digital transformation domain. Founded by former McKinsey consultants, the firm works for major clients including Heineken, Nestlé, Nike and Ikea, as well as for upcoming disruptors.

“SparkOptimus has a clear vision of digital growth that appeals to me as a finance professional,” Van Santen said. 

Having formally commenced her new role last month, Van Santen said she “loved the incredibly warm and fun welcome”. This included a dinner her new support colleagues organised to get to know her better, an onboarding week which all new ‘Sparkies’ (as SparkOptimus employees are known internally) undergo, and building personal connections with both the partner team and employees.

In the role of CFO, Van Santen will play an integral part in facilitating the firm’s growth agenda. SparkOptimus is active across Europe from its offices in Amsterdam, Düsseldorf and Zürich, and is looking to cement its position in these markets while expanding further across the continent. 

“What I find most exciting about my job is that finance as a sparring partner can really contribute to the strategy realisation of an organisation,” said Van Santen. 

In doing so, her dual background in consulting and finance enables her to challenge and guide the partner team on where the firm is heading. “I know the business model of professional services quite well because thanks to my background. This allows me to take an integral perspective on finding the right balance between growth, feasibility and risks.” 

Meanwhile, Van Santen has been tasked with further professionalising the finance function. “Transparency in finance is crucial and of course we will take a digital-first approach. The knowledge that is present within SparkOptimus about digital transformations will definitely contribute to our own finance transformation.”