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May 7, 2021

In this episode of the EMEA Recruitment podcast, we speak to Shavanka Ratnayake, the Chief Financial Officer, nexus at Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore.

“A career is a marathon, not a 100m sprint. There will be many ups and downs, so you need to be prepared to ride through the hard times.”

The theme of cycling came up consistently throughout Shavanka’s conversation with Paul Toms. In fact, Shavanka used the extra time he had during the COVID-19 pandemic to learn to ride a bike. His average cycle is now 50-60km!

Shavanka talks through his career in Finance, which has seen him work for three UK banks across a variety of Finance functions, all within Singapore. He explains that none of his career moves were planned, but he has grasped opportunities and embraced new challenges.

It’s his current role as the CFO for nexus that is proving to be Shavanka’s greatest challenge yet, but opening people’s minds to new ways of doing things is also “very rewarding”. Shavanka explores what the future of banking may look like, with the potential of the model nexus is using to be worth $7 trillion in ten years’ time.

Looking specifically at the future of the Finance function, Shavanka and Paul discuss the changing role of the CFO and the qualities that Finance professionals will need moving forward. Shavanka also reveals the skills that he has come to realise CFOs need, which younger Finance professionals may not be aware of early on in their careers. 

Shavanka offers the three simple steps to take to reach the level of CFO that have worked for him. He finishes with the one thing he wishes he’d known before embarking on a role in the Finance field.


To find a certain part of the episode, please use the timestamps below:

01:21: Using time during the pandemic to learn new skills
04:43: An overview of Shavanka’s career
07:14: How Shavanka got where he is today
09:03: Which role has challenged Shavanka the most
13:29: The nexus model of banking
16:23: How data is affecting Finance roles
18:12: The qualities Shavanka looks for in Finance professionals
19:24: Where Shavanka’s passion & drive comes from
22:00: What future CFOs need to know
24:20: How to get to the level of CFO
25:51: 1 thing Shavanka wishes he’d known at the start of his career
27:10: How to reach out to Shavanka directly


If you’d like to message Shavanka via LinkedIn, his profile can be accessed here


We’re proud to bring you the EMEA Recruitment podcast in partnership with Operation Smile. The volunteers at Operation Smile deliver vital surgery to children and adults with cleft lip and palate – if you’d like to find out more about this cause or donate, please click here:


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

You can find out about our full range of recruitment services through our website:

We also share relevant news and insights for Finance professionals on our LinkedIn page:

If you’d like to connect with Paul via LinkedIn, visit his profile:

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To share your ideas for the EMEA Recruitment podcast, please contact Rose: 

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