CFO of the Year Till Streichert shares his CFO challenges

Vodacom’s Till Streichert, CFO of the Year 2017, talks us through six of the biggest issues he has faced while being a CFO. “I love my job and the profession.”

1: The CFO role
“As a CFO, you have a unique scope. You can dive deep into very specific topics or reach as far as to co-pilot the business with the CEO. This is an incredibly rich remit and if you play it right, you can be incredibly influential and help steer the organisation.”

2: Leadership
“I listen to people, try to create an environment in which people feel good, and enjoy coming up with great ideas. Of course, you sometimes have to lead from the front. I am still in the space of partnering and learning from colleagues, harnessing the intellectual firepower of my team.”

“I have an open-door policy and make myself available at short notice. If people want to see me, they will see me on the same day.”

“At Vodafone Romania, we implemented an open-floor policy, with a clean desk at the end of each day and choosing where we sat from day to day. This worked very well, with people passing by and talking to us.”

3: My toughest task
“Our subsidiary in Tanzania has been subjected to comply with a listing mandate called out in July 2016. Six months is an incredibly short timeframe to prepare a company for an IPO but through working closely with all key stakeholders we made it successful.”

4: Succession
“We have a big focus on developing our people. We do that through positioning people in the right roles, which gives them the right challenges so they can learn. Succession planning is incredibly important and this is reviewed regularly by the relevant board committees.”

5: Transformation
“In the past 18 years, Vodacom has spent more than R1 billion transforming the lives of people through the Vodacom Foundation. Reflecting on our 2015/2016 financial year, Vodacom achieved a level 2 B-BBEE status, scooping up the most empowered company award on the JSE.”

“During this period, we invested R28 billion with B-BBEE suppliers, of which R2.8 billion was spent on black-owned small, medium and micro enterprises, R7.2 billion to greater than 51 percent black-owned suppliers, and R5 billion to greater than 30 percent black women-owned suppliers.”

6: Economic headwinds
“The macro-economic environment in South Africa is impacting our financial performance. Since a large portion of our capex is foreign-dominated, a weaker rand, metical or shilling is affecting us. To manage this, we employ hedging instruments and try to localise our expenditure.”

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Tags: challenges, expert insight, till streichert, vodacom

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