Todor Petkov (EMBA’20): Time Your EMBA Correctly

Todor Petkov (EMBA’20) is a successful business leader with truly international experience in the field of finance. Currently the General Manager of the KBC Shared Services & Digital Development Center, he completed the AUBG EMBA Program in 2020. We spoke to Todor to learn more about his successful career and hear his thoughts and advice on the EMBA Program.

How did your career start? How has it progressed since?

My career started almost 20 years ago at the World Trade Center in Amsterdam, where Barclays Global Investors had their offices. This was the first real job that I landed right at the heart of sophisticated asset management – learning about ETFs and Alpha Tilts.

After that, I worked for 11 unforgettable years at Achmea – the largest Dutch insurer. There, I learn a lot and grew as a personality. Thanks to my drive to learn and develop, amazing colleagues and a lot of hard work I grew organically from a junior analyst to a CFRO. There I also learnt the insurance trade inside out. During the last six years of my tenure, I was expatriated to a number of countries and worked in Paris, Sofia, Moscow and Bucharest – a rich cultural experience full with exhilarating professional challenges.

Then I decided to go back to Bulgaria together with my family, where I continued to explore the depths of Finance and Management, by joining two separate international greenfields in Financial Services. Unfortunately both investors eventually decided to leave the Bulgarian market, which was a clear sign for me to pivot outside of big corporate into freelance consulting. This worked better than expected until two years ago when KBC – a Belgian Bank owner of UBB and DZI - offered me to join their team. They tasked me with setting up their new Shared Services Center – nearshoring back-office processes to Varna. This was such a success that since February 2021 I was promoted to General Manager of the newly formed Digital Development Center – another new exciting investment of KBC on the Bulgarian market.