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Mar 14, 2022

We were pleased to welcome Ian Wells, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Hoya Vision Care in the Netherlands, to the EMEA Recruitment podcast.

“I don’t come to work for a paycheque; I come to work because I want to build something.”

We start the episode on a positive note, with Ian revealing the silver linings of working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He tells Paul Toms about the joys of his two young children coming into his home office during the work day. 

A skill that Ian has learned during this period is how to delegate; he tries to focus on the activities that allow him to bring the most value to the organisation, leaving others in his team to do the work that they’re best at. 

As the CFO of Hoya Vision Care, Ian is “fortunate” and “blessed” to be able to spend quality time with the CEO on a daily basis and drive forward the organisation in the way he thinks is best. His team – the largest he’s ever managed – also supports with the direction the business is moving in, although Ian admits that his skillset has changed from the day-to-day activities to ensuring all the pieces fit together. 

He joined Hoya Vision Care in April 2020, when the world had just stopped. Making sure that the business was able to supply for its customers and remain financially sound has ensured that the company has come out stronger on the other side. Ian has even managed to build a Finance organisation that fits into what he wants to achieve with the business in just 21 months. 

We often find that successful people don’t choose their career; they tend to have taken risks or opportunities, or landed a position by coincidence. Ian, on the other hand, has had a five-year plan since his third year of university, when he realised he was probably doing the wrong degree (Economics) and wanted to become a Chartered Accountant. But the end goal was always CFO. Even now, as he sees his vision become a reality, he has a five-year plan for the future – it’s his one piece of advice for anyone embarking on their career.

Ian is sure that he never wants to do the same job for five years or more and that he needs to achieve something in his role. His approach to building a legacy is a sure-fire way to ensure that the “good stuff” will come to you, he believes. 

Ian applies this to recruitment. When hiring someone new into the team, he’s already thinking about their growth opportunities. Personality fit, however, is as important to him as experience and ability. 

We explore the changing skillset required in Finance, as business intelligence and data become even more vital. Bringing in support in this area has helped him develop, which he hopes will future-proof Hoya Vision Care as a business. 

It was managing during COVID that forced Ian to trust the team. He’s always had a mental block when it comes to giving away work that he’s capable of doing himself. Nevertheless, he’s not been disappointed since he’s started delegating.

We find out the pieces of advice that Ian would give to anyone early in their Finance career, who also wants to become a CFO one day. He has three key steps to success.

Finally, Ian reveals two of the key mentors who’ve given him great advice since his beginnings in the Big 4.


To find the most interesting part of the episode to you, please use the timestamps below:

01:19: The silver lining of the pandemic
03:13: How to prioritise when WFH
06:32: The blessing of being a CFO
08:56: The challenges since joining Hoya Vision Care
11:18: Why Ian’s always had a 5-year plan
16:59: Leaving a legacy
19:14: Bringing BI & Data into the business
21:33: Ian’s key to successful recruitment
25:20: Realising he needed to trust his team
28:59: Selling the story of the organisation
34:11: Advice for anyone wanting to become a CFO
39:47: Ian’s key mentors
44:32: How to reach out to Ian

If you’d like to get in touch with Ian, you can connect with him on LinkedIn


We’re a proud partner of Operation Smile, an international medical charity that provides life-changing surgery to children and adults with cleft lip and palate. If you’d like to find out how you can help us create 100 new smiles, please visit:


This episode was hosted by Paul Toms, Founder of EMEA Recruitment, and Rose Jinks, Senior Marketing Executive. 

You can find out how we help companies bring in top Finance & Accountancy talent through our website: 

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To connect with Paul, visit his LinkedIn: 

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If there are any topics you’d like us to cover in future episodes of the EMEA Recruitment podcast, please let Rose know: 


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