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Your source for the latest news, expert insights and interviews.

09 June 2017

Walter Leonhardt, Coca-Cola Beverages SA FD, talks continuous improvement

Successfully merging companies is no small feat. Walter Leonhardt, award-winning FD of Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa, talked a group of CFOs through Coca-Cola’s journey of ‘continuous improvement’. “Authenticity is key because it plays on trust. If you want to win the trust of employees, you have to be authentic. You’ve got to do what you say you’re going to do, and follow up on what you say you’re going to follow up on,” the seasoned finance executive said.

07 June 2017

CFOs need to look beyond the bottom line, says Clover's Elton Bosch

“CFOs are the custodians of capital and capital drives a lot of decision-making. Many people don’t look beyond the bottom line, but beyond the economic realities, there are socio-economic issues. CFOs need to start focusing on how they can use capital and explore synergistic opportunities to address not just company issues, but those of the broader community,” said Clover finance boss Elton Bosch, who is widely regarded as one of the leading CFOs in the country.

07 June 2017

Golden opportunity: WATCH Standard Bank's Tiro Motlogeloa at #findaba16

As one of the foremost financial institutions on the continent, Standard Bank has been making great things happen in Africa for over 154 years. The bank currently operates in 20 countries on the African continent, including South Africa, as well as in other selected emerging markets, and employs more than 54 000 people across its 1 221 branches. CFO South Africa is pleased to have retained such a prestigious diamond partner for Finance Indaba 2017.

06 June 2017

Naspers pours $80m into Indian platform

Naspers, a global internet and entertainment group and one of the largest technology investors in the world, today announced that it led an $80 million Series E investment in India-based Swiggy, an online food ordering and delivery platform in India. Ashutosh Sharma, head of investments in India for Naspers, will join the Swiggy board. The investment will help to bolster Swiggy’s growth plans and demonstrates Naspers commitment to help Swiggy become the undisputed leader in food ordering and delivery across India.

06 June 2017

I want to be part of professionalising government, says National Treasury CFO, Silindile Kubheka

“You only have one chance for a first impression. I am always respectful but I never confuse respect with blindly following others,” says National Treasury CFO, Silindile Kubheka. We have tried to unpack the remarkable metamorphosis of the National Treasury CFO from a shy, quiet serial student to a leadership powerhouse with strong views on boardroom dynamics, youth development and ways to professionalise government.

05 June 2017

There's no one-size-fits-all solution in forex, says Standard Bank's Richard de Roos

“Everyone has a different way of thinking about FX and settling and hedging their FX and we must solve and understand for each of these,” says Richard de Roos, Head of Foreign Exchange for the Standard Bank Group. In this, the second article in a series from Standard Bank specialists, Richard talks about forex trends in Africa, what Standard Bank is doing to stay ahead of the pack, and what CFOs should expect in this arena.

02 June 2017

Open up to drive productivity - report

Researchers from the London Business School have found that encouraging employees to keep from showing positive or negative emotions will drag down their performance and that of their organisation. On the other hand, workers who feel that they are able to express themselves freely in the work environment tend be more productive, innovative and creative. Corporate leaders have a vital role to play in creating this sort of workplace environment. “What emotions and experiences are allowed, encouraged and supported and how does this impact an organisation’s strategic priorities such as innovation?” asks Michael Parke, Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School. “When people are invested in their jobs, they can get upset or frustrated with things but they should be able to share those emotions so it doesn’t stymie their work or creativity.”

02 June 2017

Beware the FinTech hype - Accenture report

Did someone cancel the FinTech revolution or has it just been delayed? That's the question posed by a new report on the UK scene, which argues that new entrants have failed to lure customers from incumbents and that VC money has started to dry up. Over the last few years, the FinTech hype machine has been in overdrive, with a digital revolution promising to change market structure, radically improve products and services, and save the high street veterans from sliding into invisible utilities.

29 May 2017

In deal making, understand what you buy, says Deloitte's Karin Hodson

A thorough, smart and stealthy due diligence process is among the top ingredients for successful mergers and acquisitions. We spoke to finance executives and deal makers about the homework a growth-hungry company needs to do. “The due diligence report is often just used to tick the box and the findings are not adequately translated into the pricing and sale and purchase agreement,” says Karin Hodson, Partner and Transaction Services Leader at Deloitte. Failure to undertake adequate due diligence can result in significant erosion in value and potential losses of customers, staff and everything in between, she adds.

24 May 2017

Management shake-up at Lewis; CFO among those leaving

The chairperson, a board member and the CFO are leaving JSE-listed Lewis Group. Lewis said in a statement that David Nurek, Lewis chairperson, had advised the board that he plans to retire after serving as a director and chairman since the group’s listing on the JSE in 2004. Les Davies, who has served as the group’s CFO and financial director since 1989, advised the board that he would be stepping down as CFO and as an executive director of the group. Davies will continue to serve as CEO of the group’s short-term insurer, Monarch Insurance.

24 May 2017

Three skills to prise open the C-suite

You may feel that years of hard work may be enough to break the glass ceiling and join the ranks of the financial elite in the corner offices and upper echelons of management, but you’d be better off thinking more strategically about your skills development plan. Being technically proficient in your job is a prerequisite for advancement, not the manna you need to propel upward. The simple truth is that companies prize certain skills above others and this Here are three that if consciously developed, are likely to see you go all the way from open-plan anonymity to the boardroom.

24 May 2017

Platinum sponsor: WATCH Deloitte's Delise Muller at #findaba16

CFO South Africa has the privilege of boasting Deloitte as a trusted partner. The headline sponsor of the CFO Awards 2017 earlier this month, Deloitte is the largest of the Big Four global professional services networks. Deloitte has more than 244 000 professionals at member firms delivering services in audit, tax, consulting, financial advisory, risk management, and related services in more than 150 countries and territories. Revenues for fiscal year 2015 were $35.2 billion.In 2016, Fortune magazine ranked Deloitte as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For[and Bloomberg Business has consistently named Deloitte as the best place to launch a career.

23 May 2017

I came to finance less by design and more by default

“I am operationally focused and have good attention to detail and follow up. If there is a problem I determine immediately what the issue is and address and follow up with management and hold them accountable,” says Melanie Chong, FD of Oakbay Resources and Energy Limited, a company in the business of mining and exploration of energy-related resources. Oakbay mines coal for the local market and owns one of the largest uranium resources in the world. It also mines gold as a by-product at its uranium mine. We caught up with Melanie to talk about her role at Oakbay.

22 May 2017

Look for the opportunity within the crisis, says Standard Bank's Zaid Moola

“In South Africa, the full impact of a downgrade to sub-investment status will probably only manifest over the next 12 to 18 months. Companies in strong balance-sheet positons should be cautiously opportunistic and look for value-enhancing acquisitions both in South Africa and abroad. As much as economic conditions may be tough, my view is that we should never let a good crisis go to waste,” says Zaid Moola, Head of Client Coverage South Africa for Corporate & Investment Banking (CIB) at Standard Bank. In this, the first article in a series from Standard Bank specialists, Zaid talks about the trends he is seeing in his area of expertise and offers expert advice for CFOs.

18 May 2017

4 tips for more effective business presentations

You may be technically proficient in completing your finance duties, but so are many of others who are looking to climb the corporate ladder. Effective presentations and stakeholder communication will set you apart from your peers. Become your go-to person for engaging, informative and enjoyable business presentations that don’t leave the audience nodding off into dreamland and you are sure to see your stocks rise. Here are four tips on deliver more effective business presentations.

17 May 2017

"Bankers of the future will be developers, designers and risk modelling people," says N26 CEO, Valentin Stalf

Banking is like Formula One, says Valentin Stalf, co-founder and CEO of mobile bank N26. This observation came a day after Valentin returned from the famous Monza race track north of Milan in Italy, where N26 was invited as the Fast Companies Series partner by British Formula One racing team, Manor Racing. “Of course, it was very cool to see our logo there, but when you are on the grid and in the pit lane, you also realise Formula 1 is a big myth,” he says. “Just like banking, people think it is really complex. When you get closer to the action, you realise it is a group of normal people working on cars. We have debunked the myth that banking is very complex.” We chatted to Valentin about the practical steps an entrepreneur needs to take to turn a brilliant idea into a thriving business.

16 May 2017

Learn from those ahead of you, says Central Bank of Swaziland's Philile Nxumalo

Philile Nxumalo, GM: Finance, Central Bank of Swaziland, wanted to study Fine Arts, though her father persuaded her to rather pursue a BCom, like her twin brother. Good thing he did, as she’s enjoyed a successful career in finance and finds herself constantly challenged by the fast pace and rapidly changing landscape. “I like the aspects of my job where I have to formulate strategy for the department and translate this into executable plans. It’s a particular strength of mine. I love the thrill of achieving and seeing the results, the execution of strategy – it’s very tangible for me.”

15 May 2017

The CFO should ensure due diligence is accurate and meticulously undertaken, says Sibanye's Charl Keyter

A thorough, smart and stealthy due diligence process is among the top ingredients for successful mergers and acquisitions. We spoke to finance executives and dealmakers about the homework a growth-hungry company needs to do. “You don’t always want to let the staff of the other company or companies know you are doing this process,” says Sibanye Gold CFO Charl Keyter. “You have to be stealthy so as not to raise suspicions.” Charl gives one of the best and certainly most amusing explanations of due diligence:

14 May 2017

Omnia to acquire 90% of Umongo Petroleum

Omnia, through its subsidiary, Omnia Group, has entered into a sale of shares agreement with Lubricant Additives Solutions and Technology and Autumn Storm Investments 294, for 90 percent of the ordinary shares of Umongo Petroleum, for a maximum aggregate acquisition consideration of R780 million. The remaining 10 percent shareholding in Umongo will continue to be held by Autumn Storm, an entity in which the current CEO, Boston Moonsamy, is a shareholder.

12 May 2017

CFOs must be open to frank conversations about race and transformation

Hosted by globally renowned public speaker, venture capitalist and entrepreneur Vusi Thembekwayo, yesterday’s CFO master class sought to bring to light the uncomfortable issues about inequality, the real impact of BEE and the prejudices that business leaders still have – be they white or black. Vusi opened the session with some chilling words, saying that one of the greatest lies told about South Africa is that the country had a peaceful transition to a democratic state.

12 May 2017

Glorious 2017 CFO Awards: the sky is the limit for financial excellence

Vodacom's CFO Till Streichert was the big winner at the 2017 CFO Awards, taking home the title of CFO of the Year and adding the coveted Strategy Execution and Finance Transformation awards to his collection for good measure. The annual glamorous celebration of excellence in the finance profession was the biggest, best and brightest edition of the event to date, as the crème de la crème of the country's finance leaders gathered at the stunning Summer Place in Hyde Park, Johannesburg.

10 May 2017

Simplifying M&A deals: ansarada MD Arie Maree explains

While African M&A continues to rise, it seems that information security remains a major barrier to closing deals. Research conducted by ansarada found that 71 percent of CFOs involved in M&A deals have experienced increased risk and delay due to a loss of information or a security breach. This includes a temporary or permanent loss of data within documents, emails, devices, and IT systems. Considering the sensitivity and confidentiality at stake, it is alarming that information loss remains such a big issue. What can deal makers and CFOs do to ensure they remain secure?

09 May 2017

A good CFO maintains discipline in the organisation, says Mike Benfield of Macsteel Service Centres SA

“I want people to think logically about the business and pose questions to effect change. People must be challenged and held accountable to achieve the business’s objectives,” says Mike Benfield, Group CFO of Macsteel Service Centres South Africa.” Benfield, who has been in his post for 18 months, has enjoyed a successful and diverse career that has seen him occupy finance roles for companies including Metorex, Bateman Engineering, Norse Air, Super Group, Investec and Ster-Kinekor, after completing articles at Arthur Andersen. Having made a choice to study finance over engineering, he says he has no regrets, and believes it is those aspects of his personality that are interested in engineering and the challenges that it presents, that help him to be a better finance person: ‘It helps me move across the corridor to the operational side, and gives me more of an interest in the other areas of the business. I would be unable to add value from a finance perspective without a good operational understanding of what makes the business work.”

08 May 2017

Cybersecurity skills shortages leave us open to attack, says MWR Infosecurity SA's MD, Riaan van Boom

According to Europol’s 2016 Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA), several EU states have found that cybercrime offences have surpassed traditional crimes, with trends such as crime-as-a-service and ransomware rising significantly. Given the increasing sophistication of the attack landscape, hacking has become a genuine threat facing organisations and countries across the globe. And yet, the ability of those targeted to manage such attacks remain, for the most part, limited. Riaan van Boom, Managing Director, MWR Infosecurity South Africa, unpacks the issue.

04 May 2017

Knowledge is power: WATCH Thomson Reuters' Kamal Patel at #findaba16

Founded in Toronto in 2008, multinational mass media and information firm Thomson Reuters aims to provide professionals with the intelligence, technology and human expertise they need to find trusted answers. Thomson Reuters operates in more than 100 countries, and has more than 60 000 employees around the world. The firm is a trusted partner of the Finance Indaba and CFO SA and showcased its services at last year's event.

03 May 2017

Stay curious to be relevant in 2020, says CFO SA's Graham Fehrsen

Artificial intelligence (AI) already has the ability to read, write, present and take on a physical presence, all with alarming intelligent and coherent patterns. By 2020, a bot might write this piece, moderate a panel at a CFO Summit, and deliver outstanding insights to you, the finance professional, across multiple platforms. If this bot can build trusted relationships with people and creatively collaborate, I am definitely out of a job. And so are you.

03 May 2017

Cash-flush Apple posts disappointing earnings

Apple has announced financial results for its fiscal 2017 second quarter ended April 1, 2017. The tech behemoth posted quarterly revenues of $52,9 billion, falling below market expectations, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2,10. These results compare to revenues of $50,6 billion and earnings per diluted share of $1,90 in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 65 percent of the quarter’s revenue. iPhone shipments disappointed, with Apple stocks falling by as much as two percent in active after-hours trading.

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