Name: Mirjam ‘t Lam
Title: Chief Financial Risk Officer
When did you join Arise and what was your motivation for taking up this position?
“Together we can create and achieve more”, was the idea of the founding shareholders of Arise. By bundling the investments in financial institutions (partner banks) in Africa and creating a network by adding more partner banks the premise was and still is that greater impact can be created in an economically sustainable manner.
As I fully believed that the creation of the Arise platform had the potential to indeed contribute to Africa’s local prosperity by investing and developing our assets, I didn’t hesitate when I was asked to join the company as the CFRO and build together with the CEO, Mr Deepak Malik, the company to what Arise is today.
What aspect of your job do you most enjoy?
Diversity in context and content. In my role as CFRO I am blessed to meet and work every day with people from diverse backgrounds that have different nationalities and different roles in the organisation they work for. This diversity enriches my life and contributes to my ongoing personal development.
In addition, I have the joy of being involved in setting the strategic direction of Arise as well as running the day-to-day operations. Having the ability to be practical on the ground with the Arise team as well as being in the boardroom is an unusual combination, which I greatly appreciate.
What has your top three highlights been?
In my role as CFRO my top three highlights have been building the Arise team and organisation, delivering on the strategy and business mandate as set out at inception and seeing the evolution of Arise evidenced by our last annual conference and positive feedback on the recent webinars that we held.
My top three personal highlights include sharing my life with my partner, Youssif, his kids and our families, the opportunities afforded to me to travel, work and meet people on all continents and lastly realising that I am fortunate to be Dutch and living in a country that except for some deficiencies, has a lot to be grateful for.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
By keeping an open and honest dialogue and building relationships from the start, I have always managed to overcome the challenges I have faced in my role. However, if I were to mention a challenge it would be communication. I always believe that this is one aspect that we can continually improve upon.
Sum up Arise in one sentence
It’s a difficult task to summarize Arise in one sentence…. One word is easier, namely Arise. Meaning stand up, roll your sleeves up and create the enabling environment for our partner banks to contribute to the prosperity of people in Sub Saharan Africa.