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2018 Top 35-under-35 Finalist: Vincent Berends

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South Africa

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Vincent Berends is the founder of the Optima business group – a group of companies that bring the disciplines of accounting, administration, finance, financial planning, insurance and legal practices together, as opposed to clients having to use various professional service providers.

Name: Vincent Berends (33)

Region: Northern Region

Job Title: Managing Partner / Founder

Years in this position: 7

Company Name: Optima Financial and Tax Solutions Mpumalanga

Entry Category: Practice

Vincent built this business model with the focus on clients and by building trusting relationships with both clients and other professionals. This model has resulted in the opening of the first franchised accounting office in Pretoria in 2017. The franchised office can provide clients with a personal one-stop, integrated service offering provided by the group’s expert professionals. The franchisee accountant, therefore, does not need to be an expert in business but can focus on what an accountant does best knowing that he or she has access to various hand-selected experts in other value-adding disciplines when needed.

He was born to lead, inspire and excel in everything he pursues. He believes that nothing is impossible and that the only limitations in life are those imposed on oneself. Growing up in Mbombela (Nelspruit), he realised that everything starts with a plan – whether it is to build a house or starting a business – and that proper planning prevents poor performance. Every achievement and end result he achieved can be traced back to a plan he had formulated beforehand. He, therefore, regards himself as a business strategist as opposed to a consultant.

Vincent believes in the fair and equal treatment of every person and business – nothing upsets him more than when someone is being treated unfairly. This has earned him the respect of many, but also (unfortunately) resulted in him being ‘less popular’ with others. Vincent has also been involved in a project that has the potential to change 22 million commuters’ lives. Unfortunately, the details of the project cannot be shared at this stage, but an official launch is expected next year.

Although challenging at times, Vincent believes in having a proper balance in life and enjoys spending quality time with his family, wife and three stepchildren.

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