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Are you the Future CFO of the Year?

We're searching UK universities to find the Future Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Year. We're looking for commercially minded, entrepreneurial students who aspire to a career with impact.

Announcing the 2021 finalists


A fully sponsored study package to qualify with CIMA, a personally matched CFO mentor from the CIMA CFO Forum and access to high-profile events throughout the year.


We are delighted to introduce the 2021 finalists for this award.

Alan Potts | Manchester Metropolitan University | Accounting & Finance

Alistair Tait | University of Edinburgh | Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science

Arif Wani | University of Oxford | Human Sciences

Charlotte Johns | University of Bath | Mathematics

Christopher Dy | University of East Anglia | Economics with a Year Abroad

Emilia Dobrzanska | Royal Holloway, University of London | Financial and Business Economics

Freddie Barnes | University of Bath | Business Administration

Jamie Kopelowitz | Durham University | Economics

Oliver Bailey | University of Bath | Management

Parnita Agarwal | University of Manchester | Management

What makes an award winner?

Our winner will be a business and finance savvy student who possesses a variety of skills and personal qualities that will help them become a future business leader. This includes:

  • a commercial mind and entrepreneurial spirit
  • an interest in how finance adds value to a business
  • good ethics, integrity and morals
  • high aspirations and the desire to make an impact on your life and others
  • creativity, communication skills and a high level of digital literacy
  • a growth mindset

How do I win?


Register your details online and answer two questions posed by CIMA.

Must be completed by 01.02.21

Online tests

Receive an email inviting you to sit four online tests designed exclusively by our partners SHL.

Must be completed by 01.02.21

Submit by 01.02.21

Your details must be submitted and all online tests completed by 1 February 2021.

If you are successful in getting through to the next stage, you will hear from us by 26 February 2021.

Assessment centre

If you pass the online tests and successfully make it to the next stage your application will be reviewed by CIMA.

This stage will involve the CIMA business challenge, presenting on a business scenario to a panel of CFOs.

Grand final

The final shortlist of ten students will be invited to the awards ceremony on 30 April 2021, where the award winners will be announced!

CIMA and the Future CFO of the Year Award

We’re CIMA, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. We’re proud to be the largest and most influential body of management accountants in the world. As part of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA & CIMA), we’re home to over 657,000 students and members spread across 179 countries and territories around the globe.

You’ll find CIMA members in all kinds of organisations: big and small, public and private. There’s no one industry or role that management accountants work in. In fact, 225,000 organisations worldwide employ someone with the CIMA qualification.

Our size and global reach means we’re able to lead the way in defining the future of the finance and accounting profession. And we make sure our students and members are involved every step of the way, equipped with the latest knowledge and skills needed to future-proof their careers and the organisations they work for.

Why are we partnering this award?

CIMA is for the commercially minded – the strategists, the ones with ideas and determination, who can see alternative ways to do things. And our qualification will empower you to bring finance into the digital age.

We’re about more than financial accounting. Of course, our students learn the technical skills they’ll need to succeed as a finance professional. But they also learn the digital skills they need to be future-ready. They master the business skills they need to make an impact in and beyond the finance function. They develop the people and leadership skills that are vital to excel in business. They learn to always act with integrity and objectivity.

In other words, the CIMA qualification teaches all the skills and qualities that a great CFO needs.

We love to see our members making an impact at every stage of their career – especially as CFOs make the leap from navigators for the business to true co-pilots, working alongside the CEO to drive business performance and growth.

We’re honoured to support this year’s Future CFO of the Year Award and can’t wait to help discover the financial leaders of the future. See yourself with leadership potential? Someone who’s brave enough to try new things and seize opportunities? Sounds like we’re a great fit.

To find out more about how studying CIMA gives you the opportunity to make an impact, visit

What is the CIMA CFO forum?

The CIMA CFO Forum is a high-level community group formed and attended by senior finance business leaders from across the UK and from many different sectors in business. This provides a great opportunity for you to benefit from the guidance, mentorship and knowledge from a current CFO, who will support you on your career journey.

Entry criteria