Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals

Meet some of our CIRPs > Bridget van Wyk

Bridget van Wyk

Bridget van Wyk, CPA, CA, CIRP, LIT
Regional Practice Leader, Partner
A. Farber & Partners Ltd.
Burnaby, British Columbia

How does a teacher get into the insolvency profession? For Bridget van Wyk, it was a combination of work options and family experience.

After Bridget earned a Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia (UBC) she had been supply teaching with a focus on middle school science and math. “At the time, you could not get a full-time teaching position, so I needed to look at other career paths,” she says. “My Dad is a CA and CPA, and I was always interested in accounting, so that was the logical next step.”

She went on to pursue a diploma in Accounting at UBC and then her own CPA, articling in the audit department at a national accounting firm.

“I knew audit wasn’t my long-term career plan,” Bridget says. “I wasn’t really interested in historical financial reporting, although it provided the background needed to interpret financial statements. I wanted to be the ‘trusted advisor’ who was ready to solve the problems businesses faced in real time. I really enjoyed understanding the operational side of businesses.”

She started looking for a role in advisory services that would capture the aspects of business that excited her. Once she completed her CPA in 2008, she saw a posting in her firm’s insolvency team and applied. She joined the team, practicing in corporate insolvencies and later consumer insolvencies. She was hooked.

Bridget knew the value of professional designations, becoming a CIRP in 2011 and earning her license as a LIT in 2013.

Bridget focused on consumer insolvency full-time when she joined Farber Group’s B.C. restructuring practice in 2015. There, she was responsible for providing debt solution services to individuals, owner-managed businesses and corporations in Alberta and British Columbia.

“I’ve enjoyed working in both areas of insolvency, corporate and consumer,” Bridget says. “No day is ever the same. I enjoy working on corporate files, which challenge my technical abilities as I navigate new industries. On the consumer side, I enjoy helping clients during some of their most challenging times to where they can move forward with a fresh financial start.”

Now a partner with Farber Group, Bridget spends less time on day- to-day client engagements. Instead, she mentors staff and strategizes with other partners to move the business forward amid changing technology and consumer needs.

She also gives back to the industry with volunteer time. She’s a member of the CAIRP Board of Directors and its Executive Committee, and her prior life as a teacher makes her a natural fit for the CAIRP Exam Oversight Committee. She also volunteers on various CAIRP committees to ensure the role of Licensed Insolvency Trustee continues to be the go-to professional for all things debt-related.

“Besides getting to engage with other CIRPs and members of CAIRP, my volunteer work helps maintain my technical skills and keeps my finger on the pulse of the insolvency world,” she says.

Bridget highly recommends this industry that got her hooked.

“Pursuing the CIRP designation is a wonderful path to a fast-paced career,” she says. “Even if you decide to pursue a different career later in your life, the skills you learn while pursuing your designation will set you up for many other opportunities outside the world of insolvency.”