5 CFOs on work-life balance


We scoured our archives to find out how five CFOs approach work-life balance and achieve mental and emotional steadiness

The elusive work-life balance. Is it essential? Does it even exist? Whatever your feelings about it, it is a fact that balancing competing priorities, whether they involve family commitments, career obligations, creative outlets or exercise, is a crucial skill in modern day life and one that is particularly relevant to the demanding CFO role. We scoured our archives to find out how five CFOs approach work-life balance and achieve mental and emotional steadiness.


For Torre Industries CFO Shivan Mansingh, achieving work-life balance is an annual undertaking that involves his young family and travel.

“I think I have achieved work-life balance. A lot of people take a short-term view of a work-life balance. I try to balance it over a year because you have some periods that are very busy, and others which are less busy. Between that I try and take some rest where I can. In my personal life, I have a two-year and a baby on the way – due in April. My wife is a high flier, so life for me is very interesting. My greatest hobby is to travel; to simply get away from everything and unwind. We travel together as a family,” he says.

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Chris Patricios (pictured), group CFO of Primedia, has taken to long-distance running as a way to find tranquility in his busy life.


“It’s challenging, but it’s healthy to have a challenge. I started running six years ago to get fit. I got into half marathons, which I still maintain is the perfect distance. I always said I’d never do a marathon. I did four Two Oceans half marathons and thought, ok, let’s give the Ultra - which is 56 kilometres - a bash. I’ve done it twice now. I recently succumbed to some pressure from my running mates and have entered Comrades next year. When I’m training for something, I run six days a week.”


Bombela CFO Chantelle Loots takes advantage of her company's in-house initiative.

“I am a very keen golfer but unfortunately only get to play over weekends. I play beach volleyball twice a week, which is great! Our company also started a Bombela cycling team. Very little training goes into this, but 25 kilometres off-road is very manageable with your colleagues!”


Oakbay Resources FD Melanie Chong has an outlet that fits in perfectly with her career ambitions.

“During the period when I was very involved with BWASA I had a very active social life, which was focused on networking. I enjoyed this period but now have a less active social life, but still active, as I enjoy interacting and meeting new and interesting people. I always have time for a good conversation and a point of view that stimulates the mind.”


Sports fan and Sacoil CFO Damain Matroos may not find too much time to watch the action on TV anymore, but he supplements his love for sport by spending quality time with his family.

“The majority of my time is taken up by work and all the free time I have is spent with my family. I used to watch lots of sport, but lately I have spent less time watching sport to ensure that I have more time for my family, who are the most important part of my life. For me, work-life balance means you have to work when you have deadlines and you have to make time to spend with your family for the important issues, like watching your daughters’ ballet or other school activities.”

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