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Ron van Laar, nieuwe CFO van Unica:

 ‘Growth, digitalisation and sustainability while retaining our core values’

Ron van Laar has been the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Unica since 1 July 2021. Six months after taking up the new position, Ron is still surprised at how warmly he was welcomed to the company. “Unica has more than 3,500 employees, but the company culture is open and people-focused, like in a family-run business. With my own eyes, I witnessed the smooth sense of cooperation, and the long-term relationships, and I felt perfectly at home, right away.”

Unica is a market leading provider of technical services, with a solid financial basis and a sustainable growth strategy. What can a new CFO add to Unica? “The real skill lies in recognising that if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. At the same time, there are always opportunities for optimisation and improvement. I see plenty of new chances for Unica, for example in respect of digitalisation, sustainability, and attracting and retaining skilled professionals.”

Technical service provider

With a network of nine business clusters, Unica is one of the largest technical service providers in the Netherlands. To quickly get a feel for the organisation, Unica’s new CFO visited a number of the branches and - despite COVID-19 - was able to meet quite a few colleagues. “To find out just what Unica has to offer, I also spent time with people out in the field, and that proved a powerful learning experience,” explained Ron van Laar, enthusiastically. “I was particularly impressed by the professionalism, speed and accuracy of the field engineers. Another eye-catching aspect was the interaction between the Unica staff and our partners on the ground. They clearly have a long shared working history, and that visibly contributed to the quality of the work and the level of customer satisfaction. I was able to see for myself how good cooperation and long-term relationships with customers, suppliers and other companies in the chain are essential keys to our own success.”

Next phase of growth

Unica’s new CFO is positive, and focused on development and progress. Given his final responsibility for the Shared Services Finance & Control, Legal Affairs, IT, HR, Procurement and QHSE (Quality, Health, Safety & Environment), those are valuable characteristics. A new department, Corporate Sustainability, was recently added. “My role is to further strengthen and optimise cooperation between the Shared Services and the business.”

“It is also important that I help retain the essence of Unica, and its formula for success, by sticking close to our core values in everything we do,” explained Ron. “Unica expects to continue to grow strongly over the next few years, as a result of our entrepreneurial nature and the excellent service we provide to our customers. Our growth strategy is aimed at expanding and strengthening our business clusters through autonomous growth and acquisitions. As a result, Unica will remain in a perfect position to respond rapidly to the opportunities on the market as they emerge.”

‘Our growth strategy is aimed at expanding and strengthening our business clusters through autonomous growth and acquisitions’

Ron van Laar, new CFO at Unica


In Ron’s opinion, those opportunities are numerous. “The demand for technical building solutions, in sustainable and healthy buildings, is set to continue to grow over the coming years. Applications are becoming increasingly advanced. Thanks to our network of specialist companies - all of them masters in their own field - Unica is able to offer a full range of expertise under one roof. That makes them perfectly placed to deliver integrated solutions for even our customer’s most complex challenges.”

Sustainable business practice and improved sustainability are areas that have a personal appeal for the new CFO of Unica. “The fact that we have an important role to play - indeed that we are pioneers in a socially relevant field of work - motivates me personally! A company like Unica can be expected to continue to invest its energy in this field: both for our customers and for our own operations, for example by making our efforts both measurable and transparent.”


According to Ron, digitalisation offers huge opportunities. “In order to achieve sustainable growth in a responsible manner, we must continue to work at reinforcing our foundations. For example by automating business processes through the rollout of a new ERP system. That will be our new digital foundation stone. With the introduction of IFRS, we will also generate greater financial transparency on the basis of an internationally recognised standard.”

Digitalisation is also important in relation to the continued shortages on the labour market. Ron continued, “We face the serious challenge of recruiting more new employees and remaining an attractive employer for our current personnel. Digitalisation can help us and make our work easier, so that we are in a position to deliver solid, broad-based customer propositions. At the same time, we recognise that computers cannot replace experience. Our employees are and remain our greatest asset.”


Ron is also responsible for the process of ‘onboarding’ companies that join Unica. “It is not merely a question of administrative processes, IT and HR. We want new companies to feel welcome and fully integrated in the Unica family,” explained Ron. “Only then can you ensure sound cooperation and reap the full synergetic benefits.”

In the field of finance, too, the new CFO at Unica has clear ambitions. “I intend to further develop the finance function, including a greater role for risk management. It is important to focus attention on risk management because in a fast-growing organisation, the interests also grow at a similar pace. The management of our individual companies will need optimum support in the form of sound information and advice, financial insights and outlooks, and occasional critical judgements. We have to find the perfect balance between short-term goals and long-term value creation, reflected in the form of performance measurement. The use of innovative technology, data analysis and a future-oriented approach within Finance are part of the process.” Ron concluded, “I am really looking forward to my new position! Unica is a successful company, and I am proud to be part of it.”