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Discovering new horizons has been a permanent feature of Justin Etty’s life. A certified accountant and auditor, he is now putting his international network and expertise to good use by launching a business venture that brings together investors from Oceania and African entrepreneurs. His project is driven by the skills he is acquiring on the ICCF and Executive MSc in Finance programs at HEC Paris Executive Education.
A karate enthusiast since he was a child, Justin could have had an entirely different life by turning professional. Although he opted for a business career, he has remained no less keen on the first love – today he is a 5th dan black belt and actively involved in various federations. This has brought him a lot on a personal level: on the one hand, exceptional discipline and equilibrium, and on the other a strong taste for geographical diversity through his participation in numerous international competitions all over the world.
After beginning his career in Paris, he seized the opportunity to work on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion, where he was recruited by PwC as a senior auditor, before becoming a partner. “My temperament leads me to constantly explore new horizons and I also wanted to start my own business”, says Justin. “A few years later I had the opportunity to buy out a consultancy firm in New Caledonia, enabling me to fulfill both ambitions.”
Accompanied by the woman who was to become his wife, Justin launched himself into this new adventure. In just a few years, his business has developed from six partners to around twenty, working in three offices. Always on the lookout for new opportunities, Justin has now become involved in another project: developing a mergers and acquisitions consultancy business in Australia to create better links between local investors and his professional network in his native Ivory Coast. This project has turned him into an international one-man band: “The objective is to make the most of my knowledge in the field and my local network in Africa on the one hand, our commercial presence in Oceania on the other and, finally, my skills in structuring the needs of African companies and pitching them to investors.”
It is partly to support this project that Justin has joined the Executive Education programs at HEC Paris. Lifelong training might be a novelty in many sectors, but it is an obligation for all auditors. Invited to take part in the Executive Online Certificate in Corporate Finance ICCF® @ HEC Paris – the very first on-line course in company finance leading to a certificate – Justin discovered a high-quality distance learning course as well as new training opportunities: “I wanted to specialize in finance, and the ICCF was an excellent first step, using a format that enabled me to balance studying with my other obligations.”
It was during this course that Justin heard about the Executive MSc in Finance, for which he is now studying. He highlights the excellent mixture of distance-learning and face-to-face teaching, which enables him to make the most of the melting pot of backgrounds among participants and teachers – from CEOs of SMEs to directors of major companies, managers from investment banks and marketing executives.
These courses involve getting back to the fundamentals and give me deeper insight into the mechanisms my work requires, enabling me to provide an even better service to my clients.” — Justin Etty, Certified Accountant & Auditor – Managing Partner of ATC-NC
Justin believes that he is now better equipped to achieve his objectives, both from the technical viewpoint and in terms of creating networks and connecting people. From this point of view, the image of HEC Paris is an additional advantage. Many investors from Oceania are not used to dealing with Africa, which makes Justin a particularly useful ally for creating new relationships on either side of the Indian Ocean.
It is my firm conviction, which I repeat to my clients and partners, that you should never be afraid of failure or disappointment – and be even less afraid of the unknown, which is never anything more than the next field to be explored!” — Justin Etty, Certified Accountant & Auditor – Managing Partner of ATC-NC
Away from his professional world, Justin follows the same principle: he is preparing to become an international referee when karate becomes an official discipline at the 2020 Olympic Games.