Not only focused on numbers

Zouzou Ben Younes, Controller


“I’ve been good with numbers ever since I was a kid, and during my studies I learned everything about being a controller. At least that's what I thought. But when I started my graduate internship at APG, I very quickly realized that being a controller is much more than pure finance. A controller isn't only focused on numbers, but also on soft skills. These can be just as important, if not more.  Although technical knowledge is definitely good to have once you graduate, communication and advisory skills largely determine how well you can advise management in their financial housekeeping. You need to be a team player and be able to empathize with the people you work with.


Of course, there are days when you're only entering numbers into Excel, getting your systems in order, and filing reports. These tasks are part of my job. I also think it's great to always connect with another part of the organization in order to learn all I can about new issues as and when they arise. Only the people who are in a business can tell you about the issues they face and their motivations. My analyses aren't only based on facts and figures, they’re also strategic. What direction do we want to take as a company, and does my advice help move us forward? These are the kind of questions you have to answer in order to give good advice.

Is it the pension sector that attracted me to this job? To be honest, not necessarily. I find it much more interesting that APG plays a role in society, as a large asset manager. Additionally, all of the factors at play in the pension sector make APG a very dynamic company. This is an ideal organization for someone who’s financially-minded. It’s a company that offers a lot of development opportunities and possibilities, and one that keeps on challenging you. I’m constantly challenged in my field and have already done so many different things at APG finance.”



Soft skills are indispensable for good financial advice.