- Programme: Finance for Non-Finance Executives
- Nationality: French
- Job Pre-programme: Board Advisor, Murex
“I wanted to be financially literate. The programme taught me how to interpret financial statements and ask the right questions”
An insatiable appetite to learn has brought Servane Bonnet back to London Business School (LBS) time and again. After completing two Executive Education programmes – Masterclass in Private Equity and Accounting and Financial Analysis – she recently returned for a third: Finance for Non-Finance Executives (FNFE).
Before taking up her current role, Servane specialised in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) while working as a partner for international law firms. She then joined a fintech company as general counsel. More recently, Servane has taken on non-executive director roles , where she advises start-ups on valuations, identifying and targeting investors, regulation and legal issues.
“You need drive and passion to reach the next level,” she says when talking about her career progression. “Fortunately, I was conditioned for it since I’ve had to overcome challenges and adapt to new environments many times, having lived across four continents, worked in very different industries and practised in different areas of law such as M&A, intellectual property and arbitration.”
To be an effective advisor to small businesses, Servane needed to develop her knowledge of certain finance-related topics while getting a refresher course on others. “I wanted to be financially literate,” she says. “The programme taught me how to interpret financial statements and ask the right questions.”
Servane also learnt how to simplify finance frameworks and explain the rationale behind the main principles, for the benefit of advising others. “It’s easy to get lost in the detail when talking about accounting or performance ratios, but you need to keep focused on the big picture,” she says.
Having taken three programmes, Servane is keen to continue her executive training and will soon be back in the classroom for the LBS Sloan Masters in Leadership and Strategy programme. So what is about the School that keeps drawing her back?
“The LBS programmes allow professionals to develop and evolve in their careers,” she says. “I keep coming back as the topics covered are incredibly useful and can be applied immediately, and the quality of the faculty is exceptional.
“I really enjoy spending time with participants from around the world,” she adds. “You learn so much from people with such varied experiences, both personally and professionally, especially as they are all highly qualified.”
Servane says that opportunities to grow – whether on Executive Education programmes or in a new role – should never be overlooked. “You need to keep an open mind and be willing to take on challenges. It’s only by training different parts of your brain that you learn new things and develop.”