Kerim Kazgan, PhD, CMA, CPA, DipIFR, SMMM is CFO of Borusan Otomotiv, the exclusive BMA and landrover importer in Turkey. He, furthermore, teaches CMA courses at CMATurk in Istanbul and is Chapter President of the IMA Turkey Chapter.
How, when and why did you join IMA and become a CMA?
I started working at Arthur Young in 1986 in Istanbul. I transferred to Washington DC office in late 1989 right after the merger with Ernst&Whinney, so I left Arthur Young in Istanbul and joined EY in DC. I lived and worked in the US for a decade during the 1990s. In 1995 I was already a US CPA and was in the process of getting my MBA degree from George Mason University. I already knew about IMA and CMA and found it very appealing for my career. I took the exam in 1995, back then it was a 2 day 4 parts written exam (no computer exams yet :-)), I was exempt from Part 2 due to my CPA certificate. I passed all parts in my first sitting and became a CMA. I guess taking the exam in university's Arlington campus which was 2 minutes away from home gave me the home court advantage!
How has your membership and CMA certification impacted your career/life? As a European, why did you choose a global certification instead of pursuing a Turkish one? And what have been your experiences with this certification here in Europe?
I keep telling younger people, especially students who are taking the CMA courses from me, that such certificates are for the long-term. They are not free tickets to stardom, rather they are life-time passports for recognition. I was lucky to realize that early in my career and continued to invest in myself. After I had returned home in 1999, I started my PhD education and got that degree in recent years as well. I also hold DipIFR certificate of ACCA and local accountancy certificates. However, I value my CMA degree differently; I believe it is a clear indication of my knowledge base as well as the depth of my business experience. I am currently the CFO of the exclusive BMW and Land Rover importer in Turkey and my credentials have always helped me getting the respect up front in my business encounters.
You've done a lot of volunteer work for IMA, especially also as the Chapter President of the Turkish Chapter. Can you tell us a little bit about your work, and maybe also tell us about the successful event the Turkish Chapter organized in May.
As the Turkish Chapter, we are a virtual organization organizing quarterly events through sponsorships. We have plans to establish a not-for-profit entity to solidify our existence. We have been very successful in the sense that we ha started with only 3-4 CMA's; now this number is going to 200's! Our objective is to hit the glamorous 500 by the end of 2020.
Our May event took place in Borusan Holding HQ's on the Bosporus; over 100 people attended it and the concept was to welcome the Summer after a busy season. We are looking forward to host IMA Executives this Fall in Istanbul as well. It has been and will continue to be an honor and a privilege to serve as a volunteer for the IMA.