What are the daily missions of a M&A Director? What are the essential skills to acquire to launch a career in Finance? For Line Andraos, a former 2011 MBA graduate and Director at Capgemini, “Finance is an ocean full of opportunities”. Dive into her experience and benefit from her precious advice!
Can you briefly introduce your company and your scope within it?
Line Andraos: I work in Capgemini, a global leader in consulting, technology services and digital transformation. Founded in Grenoble in 1967 by Serge Kampf, it reached in 2021 18.2B€ yearly revenue with 350 000+ talents around 50+ countries in the world. The main purpose of the company is ‘unleaching human energy through technology for an inclusive and sustainable future’. I work in the group mergers & acquisitions department in the headquarters in Paris.
What motivated you to join your current company?
When I finished my first year of MBA in GEM, I was looking for an internship in finance and I found a position as a financial controller in the headquarters of Capgemini through the career office in GEM. I believed since then that technology sector is a key contributor to a better future. Technology is a pillar in all sectors, and there is always room for innovation and new ideas. I thought this is an exciting place to start my professional journey in Europe.
What has been your career path?
I had the opportunity to work in 4 different careers so far. We, finance people can do it because finance is an ocean full of opportunities, every company in any sector needs finance to be a business partner, any project cannot see light without financial planning & finally you have a variety of areas in finance. Here are few examples trough my career path:
I started in retail banking, studying the financial situation and the solvability of individuals and small companies to grant loans either for personal reasons or professional business extension.
I then started the financial controlling career in Capgemini where I was responsible of controlling the P&L of a strategic business unit as well as accompanying them in all the finance processes such as budgeting, forecasting, reporting, and understanding the actuals. My team also helped the CFO office to prepare the external communication to the financial market.
I then moved to financial risk analysis department where I reviewed the financial risks of major contracts that Capgemini signs with clients. This was exciting as it required - in addition to financial skills - coordinating with other departments such as legal & delivery to understand the financial consequences. I also coordinated the group investment committee which overlooks diverse investments done in the group to validate them.
Finally, and after passing the three levels of the CFA exam (chartered financial analyst), I moved to the mergers and acquisitions department.
What exactly does your job involve? What are your daily missions and main challenges?
I help my company to realize external growth through acquisitions. This includes exploring, analysing & valuating the target companies. Driving the acquisition from A to Z starting by discussing with the executive management to leading the due diligence with all streams (HR, legal, operations, communication, finance, Tax, Ethics, Cybersecurity) until negotiating and signing the final contact with the sellers. Challenges would be to find the right strategic fit, understand the interest of each party involved to better adapt your communication. Connecting dots is also important as you need to spot related points from different streams and communicate accordingly.
Networking starts at school, your friends & teachers today can be your references, your mentors, your role models, or your advisors in the future
Your greatest success? Your most important project?
This is a tough question as every accomplished project is a success with its unique learning. Every accomplished acquisition is a roller coaster journey of lessons. I continuously participate in training programs provided by Capgemini to enhance my skills and meet people around the group. I recently worked on a project on how to increase the number of women in the delivery department in the Netherlands. I find the topics very important. Unfortunately, will all the efforts constantly done for diversity, women still leave the workforce before climbing the ladder. Statistics also show that less women pick technology as a sector to work in. Efforts and time will change these facts and we all have a responsibility for it to happen.
What are the possibilities of evolution within your company?
The message we always hear in Capgemini is ‘Get the future you want’, mobility is highly encouraged. I just told you my story and I believe if you work smart with the right people, build your network and stay curious, there are always opportunities to evolve.
In your opinion, what are the 3 main skills (apart from the academic background) you must have to succeed in your position?
Adaptability, openness, and ability to navigate across cultures.
Communication as you are the ‘Chef d’orchestre’ if you don’t communicate and try to speak the languages of different departments, the symphony will be a mess.
Networking, when you know people, you can reach them and work with them easier.
What advice would you give to a candidate who wants to start a career in Finance (academic background, professional experiences during studies, student organisations, etc.)?
I would recommend doing multiple internships in different types of organisation & areas of finance to try to identify your strengths, areas to improve and to discover what you like, and don’t like. Networking starts at school, your friends & teachers today can be your references, your mentors, your role models, or your advisors in the future.
What is the first skill/quality your company looks for in a candidate?
The first quality I would think of is agility. We are in a constantly changing environment therefore the capacity to adapt is key.
Last question, what is your motto or philosophy?
Work smart play hard. Life is too short to live the same day twice.
Capgemini is a French digital services company founded by Serge Kampf in 1967 in Grenoble as Sogeti. It is the country's largest consulting firm and is among the ten largest in the industry worldwide.
Capgemini INVENT will be present on February 2, 2023 at the GEM Career Fair: the major recruitment event at Grenoble Ecole de Management, which brought together 65 companies and 1047 students.