Welcome to one of our first inspiring leadership stories! She goes against the grain, arises through taking risks, often strives for the greatest heights, and has a strong compassion for others. In this edition, I will evaluate the Queen of the M&A’s successes by delving into the true nature of this individual. Let’s have a look at the Managing Partner of Accuracy Netherlands: Leontine Koens-Betz.
Not following the career her father had in mind for her.
After finishing high school, Leontine decided to leave the safe haven of Rotterdam to study Business Administration at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. This meant she did not follow her father’s advice to study engineering. Back in the old days, engineering was the future, in contrast to Business Administration… Leontine always wanted to be different and not take the easy option. “Did I know what I was doing? No of course not”, she said.
From beginning in accountancy, to starting her own firm in The Netherlands.
After obtaining her degree in Business Administration, Leontine started working at Arthur Andersen with no accountancy background but based on the sole message: ‘we are looking for diversity!’. Leontine started working at Arthur Andersen (American Accounting firm) without having the proper education, but was able to find her way as an auditor. She learned all the fundamentals accounting and financial analysis techniques, but left Arthur Andersen to continue her career in the dynamic M&A world. After gaining experience with KPMG, she set up a new establishment: Accuracy Netherlands. Again, “Did I know what I was doing? No of course not!”.
Leontine always wanted to be part of a male dominated industry. But she is a woman, after all. In my opinion, this is her advantage, because it makes her stand out in the crowd. On the other hand, this could also be a challenge. For example, Leontine was in a conference room with her client. The male host asked her, “could you pour the coffee please?”. She replied, “I think that the men should pour the coffee, to avoid giving in to the stereotype assumption”.