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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.

02 May 2017

Former British minister delivers FinTech boost to African farmers

Former UK government minister Mark Simmonds (pictured) has teamed up with FinTech veteran Hirander Misra on a venture that aims to help African smallholder farmers boost their earnings by connecting them with local commodity exchanges. The Financial and Commodities Ecosystem (FinComEco) says it wants to improve food security, economic diversity and financial inclusion by connecting farmers with exchanges, financial infrastructure and national economies.

02 May 2017

Lead by example, says AFGRI's Johan Geel

AFGRI CFO Johan Geel sees massive potential on the continent for the food industry, as long as the approach is correct. He says: “Find trustworthy people, work with the correct information, do proper research, go there and make sure of things yourself – don’t stay away. Johan has been nominated for the CFO Awards in both 2016 and 2017, an impressive double-whammy that less than a handful other CFOs can boast about. We chatted to him about the past, present and future for AFGRI.

01 May 2017

When dealmaking, enter with a focused mind, says Standard Bank's Andrew Balnaves

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. “Prepare, ensure all parties are on the same page and don’t get distracted by unnecessary details,” advises Dr Andrew Balnaves, Executive Vice President of Africa Corporate Finance at Standard Bank.

28 April 2017

World Bank launches African digital entrepreneurship programme

The World Bank has launched an accelerator for African digital entrepreneurs. The five-month long XL Africa – which includes a two-week residency in Cape Town and the Venture Showcase pitching event – is backed Finland, Norway, and Sweden, XL Africa. Participants will be mentored global and local experts through a tailor-made curriculum, increase their regional visibility, and receive access to potential corporate partners and investors.

27 April 2017

The heart of business: WATCH futurist Graeme Codrington at #findaba16

Graeme Codrington is an acclaimed international speaker, consultant, and best-selling author who has built a career out of preparing companies for change. He is an expert on the future of work and the disruptive forces that are shaping it. As an author and researcher, his insights and analysis are sought after by business schools and CEOs around the world, with five degrees, four best selling books and a full-time research team at his company, TomorrowToday, to back it up.

26 April 2017

Banking must adapt to be future-fit, says futurist Keith Coats

In order to meet the demands embedded in the future, banking will need to adapt. It will need to change the way things are done and bring the delivery closer to the rhetoric. In short, banks will need to rethink their traditional business models completely. Futurist Keith Coats, director at TomorrowToday Global, says it is time for banks to face their demons. Keith sheds light on the top three challenges banks are facing that will determine their future.

25 April 2017

Effective CFOs know their business, says Standard Bank's Sean Berrington

"In the early days of the Group IT transformation it became clear that, unless the finance team transformed as well, we would become irrelevant. As a result, we needed to radically relook at how we run our staff engagement and processes," says Sean Berrington, CFO for Group IT at Standard Bank. Sean has been the finance boss of a “billion-dollar IT organisation” since mid-2016. Add to this his intimate experience of agile ways of working and he might just be the ideal person to talk to about the crossroads of threats and opportunities that technology and finance bring to banks and finance professionals.

21 April 2017

Nasdaq launches global FinTech investment programme

Nasdaq, one of the world's leading providers of technology and services to the capital markets, has announced the launch of a venture investment programme, Nasdaq Ventures, dedicated to discovering, investing in and partnering with unique FinTech companies worldwide. The programme's main objective is to identify and collaborate on new technologies and groundbreaking services and solutions which align with Nasdaq's clients' needs and the company's long-term objectives in the global capital markets.

20 April 2017

Sustainability is key: WATCH SAICA CEO Terence Nombembe at #findaba16

CEO of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) Terence Nombembe is one of the captains of industry shaping the accounting profession and has been a champion of the Finance Indaba since day one. Calling the Indaba a "unifying event that will help us build the nation" in his presentation, the former Auditor General of South Africa outlined his strategy for transformation of SAICA, which is based on effective collaboration and responsible leadership.

19 April 2017

Cost, risk and digital are top priorities in uncertain times, says Deloitte

A need for increased profitability in a low-growth domestic economy and increased global uncertainty are pushing chief procurement officers (CPOs) to add more value to their organisations. Defensive strategies being implemented by CFOs are demanding rapid, sustained cost reduction in parallel to a greater focus on risk from procurement. Traditional procurement operating models are therefore changing, driven by a lack of talent and an increase in digital innovation.

19 April 2017

5 cornerstones of investor communication

Consistent, transparent investor communication can encourage ongoing evaluation and accountability, sheds light on new investment opportunities, attracts new investors and bodes well for future growth. Global financial services giant EY has gained some key insights into effective investor communication from discussions with CFOs, investors and executives as part of its Master CFO Collection of studies. Here are five EY tips on gaining investor confidence.

18 April 2017

London, Singapore remain top FinTech hubs

FinTech has become a truly global phenomenon, with hubs popping up in cities around the world, although established players such as London and Singapore continue to be the top centres, according to a report by Deloitte. The study is the second output of the Global FinTech Hubs Federation, an initiative by Swift's innovation arm Innotribe and the UK's Innovate Finance to create a cross-border and open platform that brings established and emerging hubs together.

18 April 2017

A CFO understands the entire business, says PRP Solutions CFO Hiten Keshave

“I believe in four aspects of a leader: commitment, appreciation, respect, and trust. If you put the first letter of each of those words together it spells CART. A cart has four wheels and those form part of the carriage of a company and a team going forward. If I have those four aspects to my team, I believe we’ll be successful together,” says Hiten Keshave, CFO of PRP Solutions, a company in the business of people resource planning and which provides a management-by-exception workforce-based management system that operates in the cloud.

13 April 2017

5 ways to get the most out of millennials

Millennials, or those born between 1981 and 1996, – rightly or wrongly –have earn reputation for being enigmatic, difficult to work with and somewhat entitled. Their personalities have been shaped by rapid changes in personal computing and technology and a laissez faire approach to parenting. Empower your millennial employees, however, and you will be able to turn confusion into productivity. Here are five tips on getting the most out of millennials.

13 April 2017

The modern CFO: WATCH the JSE's Aarti Takoordeen at #findaba16

JSE CFO Aarti Takoordeen is an award-winning finance professional who is in great demand at industry forums for her views on the evolution of the CFO role. A chartered accountant, she began her her career as a finance manager at NamTech and later served as a TSG Finance Manager for Hewlett Packard. After working for Johnson Controls as its Finance Director, she became the CFO of JSE Limited in February 2013. She was named the Young CFO of the Year at the 2014 CFO Awards.

12 April 2017

Zeder posts modest results after drought

PSG-controlled Zeder Investments, the JSE-listed agri-investment company, reported a rise in recurring headline earnings per share of 0,5% from 42,4c per share to 42.6c per share during its annual results presentation for the year to February, on Monday. Although relatively modest, the rise was perceived as strong in view of the worst drought to have impacted South Africa’s agricultural sector in over 30 years and ongoing political uncertainty.

11 April 2017

Be proactive about risk, says Kiran Kumar, Finance Head for Africa at Wipro Technologies

Originally, from Bangalore, India, Wipro Technologies’ Kiran Kumar, has been living in South Africa for close to five years, initially sent here to reinvent the company’s processes and controls. He was elevated to head of finance towards the second half of last year, though he still shoulders the responsibilities of his previous role as finance controller. “I enjoy the visibility of the entire business. I don’t think anybody other than the finance team has such visibly of a company; it’s all encompassing.”

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