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22 December 2016

Be a productivity ninja: join Think Productive's two-day course

Increasing productivity and dealing with stress and procrastination to work smarter and faster is the first port of call when it comes to transforming lagging enterprises. At the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 in October, Think Productive director of Western Europe and leading productivity trainer, Marcel van den Berg presented a host of tips and tricks that will turn anyone from mild-mannered office worker a into a productivity ninja.

21 December 2016

SNG joins 2017 CFO awards as sponsor

Accounting firm SizweNtsalubaGobodo (SNG) has once again thrown its weight behind the CFO Awards by once again sponsoring the award for Compliance and Governance, which was won by ABI Finance Director Walter Leonhardt in 2016. The annual 'Oscars for South African CFOs', to be held on 11 May, recognises CFOs of listed companies, large corporations, state-owned entities and government institutions and awards them for outstanding performance and leadership.

20 December 2016

Uber's Ebi Atawodi: "Collaboration in the African tech space is practically impossible`

Africa is a continent of over one billion people, 54 countries, vast land mass and a multitude of languages, customs and cultures. Panelists at the Africa Technology Summit held in Lagos, Nigeria, by the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology earlier this month agreed that Africa's diverse markets and the need to adapt to individual circumstances remain a stern challenge for tech startups looking to expand across the continent.

20 December 2016

Don't think risk, think business, says Ryan McDougall, Group FD Trustco Group Holdings

Ryan McDougall, Group financial director of Trustco Group Holdings, was almost lost to the financial world as he came close to pursuing a career in paleontology. Having recently announced he will be leaving Trustco and Namibia to return home to South Africa and take up a position as CFO of MyBucks from January 2017, we caught up with Ryan to chat about his time at Trustco. “I will really miss Trustco. The people create a unique atmosphere of energy and confidence, which other mid-sized companies seem to lack. There is something intangible and exciting about an organisation of this size which can respond rapidly and dynamically to shifting strategies and market trends.”

19 December 2016

There's still room for improvement in transformation, says CFO of Chancellor House Holdings (CHH), Seithati Bolipombo

The matter of diversity and transformation in the workplace is topical and can, at times, be somewhat controversial. Roy Clark penned a broad and insightful guest article about transformation in CFO Magazine. As part of this, we asked Seithati Bolipombo, an inspiring young CFO, to share her thoughts on the topic. “Transformation won’t happen by osmosis or natural selection because at its core, it is a people thing. It comes down to people and behaviour and the decisions that people make,” she said.

15 December 2016

Towards global wealth creation: WATCH Wealth Migrate's Scott Picken at #afta16 #findaba16

While many startups have the long-term aim of going global, real estate investment firm Wealth Migrate already boasts a presence on five continents with investors in 84 cities on its globally compliant platform. At the African FinTech Awards at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 in October, Wealth Migrate CEO Scott Picken explained how his company aimed to solve one of the world's most pressing challenges: bridging the global wealth gap. While 49% of the world's wealth is held in real estate, only 12,9% actually have access to property and less than 1% retire wealthy, according to Scott.

14 December 2016

Crazy! FOUR different owners for award-winning finance boss

It has been a tumultuous year for Walter Leonhardt, the award-winning finance director of the company that bottles and distributes Coca-Cola and many other popular drinks. When he won two of the most coveted prizes at the 2016 CFO Awards he worked for Coca-Cola bottler ABI. Since then, ownership has changed from SABMiller to AB Inbev, with The Coca-Cola Company itself soon becoming the third majority owner – with a sale to a fourth party on the cards.

13 December 2016

EPPF CFO Nopasika Lila's road to success - in her own words

“Growing up, I remember being told that accounting was a difficult field and that those who were studying to become CAs were considered to be part of the elite,” writes Nopasika Lila, CFO of the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (EPPF), in this self-penned piece. “I was initially overwhelmed by the task at hand, but over time I elegantly succeeded. My confidence grew and I’ve learned to be a lot more decisive, deliberate and immediate in my actions.” In this guest article, Nopasika reveals how she charted her path to success, talks about her love for the piano, and shares some crucial lessons about mentoring and people management.

08 December 2016

Postgraduate planning: WATCH Monash SA's Alvin Liew at #findaba16

With more than 120 000 South Africans planning to embark on a course of postgraduate study over the next 12 months, education remains a key driver of a successful career. At the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 in October, Monash SA acting CFO Alvin Liew examined how to maximise the ROI on postgraduate study and use it to launch an international career, when to embark on a programme of study and how to invest in oneself, drawing on his own experiences.

07 December 2016

Finance Indaba 2017: Purple Group eager to build on success

“We have a completely different approach to financial services. We take what we do seriously, but not ourselves, so we have a lot of fun with our customers. Despite the fact that investment is a very serious discussion, it doesn’t need to be a boring and staid experience," says Charles Savage, CEO of Purple Group, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2017 on 12 and 13 October 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

02 December 2016

Christiaan Engelbrecht joins Ster-Kinekor as CFO

Christiaan Engelbrecht (pictured), who has worked previously for Vodacom, Deloitte UK and Deloitte, took on the role of CFO for Ster-Kinekor from 1 November. We caught up with him to find out how things are going. "If you ask how I feel about my appointment it is difficult to put into words how humbled I am to be considered for this role and how excited I am to co-create with and learn from everyone in Ster-Kinekor and Primedia.”

29 November 2016

Finance teams are a sounding board for decision-makers, says Philip Timberlake, CFO of Liberty Health

When he’s not hard at work heading up the finance team at Liberty Health, CFO Philip Timberlake can be found running along his favourite trails on Table Mountain, developing his “mental fortitude”. The key to being a successful CFO lies in communication, he says: “Within our economy of knowledge, ideas are currency. Of course, to understand, we need to listen, engage and be prepared to let go of our own ideas.”

24 November 2016

Solar for a new Africa: WATCH The Sun Exchange's Morwesi Ramonyai at #afta16 #findaba16

Africa has a huge untapped potential for solar power generation and initiatives that electrify businesses and impoverished communities could help the continent meet its economic development goals. At the African FinTech Awards at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 in October, The Sun Exchange CCO Morwesi Ramonyai talked about the revolutionary bitcoin-based investment scheme that is filling the gap between large-scale solar farms and solar-powered lamps and other items.

23 November 2016

Clean audit for Department of Social Development

The Department of Social Development, whose finance division is headed up by 2016 CFO Awards nominee Clifford Appel, has received a clean audit for the year 2015/2016. It was one of nine other national departments to achieve this hard-won feat. According to the auditor-general (AG), the number of auditees that received financially unqualified opinions with no findings (clean audits) increased overall from 122 in 2013-14 to 152 in 2015-16.

22 November 2016

Evan Tsatsarolakis, Taste Holdings' CFO, talks about the Starbucks and Domino's acquisitions

“We started a new business in Domino’s – our stores had only been open for a year before we started another new business with Starbucks. The food business was like a startup within a startup. At this point in time there are a lot of moving pieces,” says Evan Tsatsarolakis, Group CFO of Taste Holdings, and a CFO Awards 2016 nominee. He adds that while this brings its own complications and challenges, he is confident that future growth opportunities will be plentiful. We sat down with Evan to talk about the two acquisitions, his role as CFO and what it is about Taste Holdings – which began as a family-owned business but which is now a JSE-listed group operating eight brands within its Food and Luxury Goods divisions – that makes the company so successful.

21 November 2016

Ramaphosa believes NMW will help prevent ratings downgrade

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, speaking yesterday at a press briefing at the National Economic and Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) offices, said that, in a bid to avoid a credit downgrade, he intends to highlight the findings of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) report when he meets with ratings agencies later this week, informing them of the “tremendous progress” made on labour stability issues. Ratings agencies Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s (S&P) and Fitch will make their announcements on the country’s credit rating in the next few weeks.

21 November 2016

Like giving birth! MiX Telematics CFO Megan Pydigadu about the NYSE listing

Three years ago, MiX Telematics decided their JSE listing was nice but that what would really boost the fleet and mobile asset management solutions firm was a New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) listing. CFO Megan Pydigadu, nominated for the CFO Awards in both 2014 and 2015, describes the listing process as a roller coaster ride. In this exclusive article, Megan shares a number of important lessons for companies that are considering going to New York.

20 November 2016

ArcelorMittal South Africa, Barloworld and Nampak tops in integrated reporting

Leading black-owned assurance and advisory firm, Nkonki, on Friday announced the results of its sixth annual review of integrated reporting among the Top 100 JSE Listed Companies. The report, ‘Integrated Reporting – Raising the Bar’, assesses how the companies measure up in terms of applying the International Integrated Reporting Council’s (IIRC) Integrated Reporting (IR) Framework. ArcelorMittal South Africa, Barloworld and Nampak came out tops.

15 November 2016

The Woolworths watershed: Reeza Isaacs, CFO of the Year 2016

“Setting a target, being clear about it and measuring it are some of the key ingredients for my success,” says Reeza Isaacs, group finance director at Woolworths, who was elected CFO of the Year 2016 at the CFO Awards on 12 May. Reeza talks to us about his adventures in Australia, acquiring a new brand, his passion for transformation, and changing the mindset of the business to focus on balance sheet and return on capital.

14 November 2016

Invest in staff well-being for better business success - CFOs weigh in

Healthier companies outperform the market by as much as 50 percent, recent studies indicate. If health is an important measure of a country’s developmental status and needs, the same goes for a business. In this regard, companies are becoming more attuned to the need to both measure and report on their staff’s health and well-being. We spoke to two top CFOs and two corporate wellness experts to find out what companies can do to invest in the well-being of their staff – and what ROI they can expect.

11 November 2016

Brian Molefe, Eskom CEO, quits

"I have, in the interests of good corporate governance, decided to leave my employ at Eskom from 1 January 2017," wrote Brian Molefe (pictured), CEO of Eskom, in a statement released today regarding his decision to leave the company. "I do so voluntarily: indeed, I wish to pay tribute to the unfailing support I have had since I took up office from the chairman, the Board and with those with whom it has been my privilege to work. Together we brought Eskom back from the brink. I will take time off to reflect before I decide on my next career move."

10 November 2016

Banks must reconsider core competency: WATCH Standard Bank's Danielle Laity at #afta16 #findaba16

As the oldest bank in the country, Standard Bank has a lot of challenges to overcome in terms of legacy systems. During her pitch at the African FinTech Awards at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 in October, the bank’s manager of innovation capability Danielle Laity explained what her organisation was doing to better serve its customers in an era marked by fear in the banking sector amid the threat of being unbundled and attacked.

09 November 2016

Donald Trump becomes US president: six lessons for CFOs

The historical victory of Donald Trump in the US elections has taken the world by surprise. In the next few days, weeks, months and years there will be countless analysis, debates and studies to explain why hardly anyone saw it coming. CFO South Africa Editor in Chief Joël Roerig doesn't want to wait that long and has listed six important lessons South African CFOs should learn from the property baron, tv-star and president-elect.

08 November 2016

Anthony Leeming, Sun International CFO, becomes CEO

Graeme Stephens (pictured), the CEO of South African hotels and casinos operator Sun International, will be stepping down from his role at the end of April 2017 to take up the role of CEO at SkyCity Entertainment Group. He will be replaced by Anthony Leeming, the company’s current CFO. Leeming has been with the group for 17 years, having joined as group financial manager in 1999. He held various group finance roles prior to his appointment as CFO in March 2013. He will take over the CEO role effective 1 May 2017. Stephens has been with the group for more than five years. As yet, no announcement has been made regarding the replacement CFO.

07 November 2016

Executives should be ready for multiple possible futures, says Dr Morne Mostert

“It seems that many executives continue to make decisions not only based on the past but even in the interest of the past or in its defence,” writes Dr Morne Mostert, Director of the Institute for Futures Research at Stellenbosch University. According to him, “the intellectual agility to engage simultaneously with multiple possible futures is highly likely to increase as a prerequisite for a chair in the boardroom of the future”.

04 November 2016

Women and success: Roy Clark chats to top CFOs Mary Vilakazi and Jo Pohl - #findaba16

Two vibrant women, Jo Pohl and Mary Vilakazi, whose dynamism and energy radiates throughout the room, sat down with Roy Clark from Clarkhouse Human Capital and discussed their views on women and success. To say it was inspiring is an understatement – these two women shared such powerful messages that even the most astute and experienced business person would walk away with a burning passion to succeed.

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