Living in the present and being the best at whatever you do. But also looking ahead, improving yourself and working on personal growth, both in your career and your personal life. These are the things that motivate Gert van de Laar (43). Restless by nature, he embarked enthusiastically on the adventure of starting something new with Kees-Jan Nielen. It wasn’t an obvious choice for someone at a large accountancy firm whose clients included well-known and listed international companies, or for a top accountant who oversaw the quality of his colleagues’ work. But Gert believes that it’s possible to combine all the good qualities of a larger accountancy firm with a different, more personal approach. That’s why he works every day to build an organisation that can deliver the most effective solutions to what are often complex problems. In his view, the only way to do this is to put the client first and to work constantly to improve the level of service. And to ask clients for feedback. What do they think about our services? What needs improving? All this should be absolutely normal – but in fact it’s highly unusual in the accounting world. Gert sees this as his biggest challenge. He wants his firm to be distinctive, to make a real difference. The only way to succeed, he believes, is through ‘co-creation’, and not just with the client, but with the entire team. He is convinced that diversity – both in people and in opinions – always produces better results. Gert is not fond of mediocrity.