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My ACA experience: Kenneth

Kenneth chose to complete a master’s degree in finance before embarking on the ACA to help him build up a sophisticated knowledge of markets. After graduating he secured a training contract with PwC and now works preparing companies to go public. He says the ACA trains you to be a business advisor rather than just a financial reporting accountant.

Kenneth Law, Manager, Capital Markets at PwC

Kenneth Law Capital Markets Group Manager, PwC

ICAEW route: Finance degree

Industry: Various

Location: UK, London

Kenneth's story...

The international recognition enjoyed by ICAEW is the main reason I chose the ACA qualification. If I decide I want to work in Hong Kong, Singapore, China or indeed globally later in my career, I know it will open doors for me.

After graduating with a first-class honours degree in Finance, Accounting and Management from the University of Nottingham, I decided to further my education with a master’s degree in Finance at Warwick Business School, to build in-depth knowledge of the financial markets.

Upon completing my master’s degree, I joined the PwC graduate programme in audit, principally servicing multinational and listed companies in the consumer and industrial products and services sector. 

Working in audit not only helped me to develop my technical ability, but also my people management skills. You are given a great deal of responsibility at the early stage of your career in audit, to lead teams and manage others on a day-to-day basis. 

The opportunities to interact with clients from different roles also enabled me to develop a good overview of how different businesses operate.

At times, it’s tough to balance study with work, but the support I received from PwC and the strong network I developed with other ACA students were invaluable. 

During the second year of my training contract, I had the opportunity to work on a special project alongside a specialist team from PwC Capital Markets Group. After completing the project, I continued to maintain this internal network within the firm and was offered the option to make an internal transfer after obtaining my full ACA qualification.

I currently work as a manager in PwC Capital Markets Group.

This role entails providing advice and assurance services  to companies looking to raise debt or equity and to listed companies carrying out merger and acquisition activities. 

In addition, we also provide ‘IPO readiness’ assessment for companies planning on going public on the London Stock Exchange.

Given the rigorous listing requirements, the process can be intense and expensive, and clients need to be prepared early to be ready to ‘go public’.

As you can imagine, in this role it’s essential to stay commercially aware. Each morning I check Bloomberg, the BBC and the FT to keep on top of what’s happening in the wider economy and the global financial markets.

It was not difficult to make the decision to study for the ACA after researching relevant qualifications. ICAEW has a wide global presence and reciprocal memberships with many major accounting bodies around the world. 

Also the ACA is not only about the numbers. It equips you well with better commercial sense, and trains you to be a business advisor rather than just a financial reporting accountant.

I am confident and open-minded about my future prospects. I believe that the global recognition of ICAEW and its global membership network will open the doors to international work opportunities.

 

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