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23 August 2017

Leaders who show their vulnerability are appreciated, says Nonkululeko Gobodo

“It breaks my heart when I see talented young females and they are just sitting on boards as non-executive directors,” says Nonkululeko Gobodo, the country’s first-ever female chartered accountant. “If women are quitting, we are not going to produce the leaders we need,” she says. Nonkululeko sat down with CFO South Africa to talk about being a role model for female CAs, her deliberate but painful departure from SizweNtsalubaGobodo, and the new chapter in her professional life as a leadership consultant.

22 August 2017

The future of finance will require a convergence of risk and finance, says RMB CFO Markos Davias

“One of my mentors that has impacted my leadership style and journey from early in my career is Hugh Harrison, a partner I worked for at Deloitte. He is now our RMB Global Markets CFO, but even in this role he still challenges, advises and guides me. In him, I have always had someone whom I could trust to place the mirror in front of me. He is brutally honest but fair in his feedback and if it means he needs to make you a little emotional and teary eyed, so be it,” says RMB CFO Markos Davias, who harbours a passion for young accounting talent, promoting diversity and embracing cutting-edge technology. A solid centre-back, strong in the air, leading from the back, stopping goals at all costs – these are some of the phrases Markos uses to describe himself on the soccer field, and indeed, many of these phrases correlate with the CFO’s approach to leadership. “My family, more recently fatherhood, sport and specifically soccer have all had an influence on my life and career choices.”

21 August 2017

Learn to regulate your energy: EAs of CFOs enjoy breakfast together

“Today we want to talk about energy – how you create it and how you work with it – not just for you, but for the people around you,” said Graham Fehrsen, MD of CFO South Africa. Graham was speaking at a sumptuous breakfast for executive assistants (EAs) of CFOs, held recently at the Saxon Hotel in Sandton. “You spend time picking up the pieces for the people who may be going through challenging times at work and are extremely busy, and help them through their days, not only through your work but through your attitude, because you are also there for them personally.”

21 August 2017

The 'Patel factor': Minette Smit and Marylla Govender explain

It has been 17 years since the inception of the South African Competition Act, and competition law enforcement continues to be vigorous and successful. Some now argue that competition law and its associated institutions are becoming a victim of their own success. Where other regulators have mostly proven toothless, the Competition Commission and the Competition Tribunal have been able to pry open cartels and punish offenders. Where broader economic policy has failed to force companies to change tack, competition policy clearly has not disappointed. In this article, competition experts Minette Smit and Marylla Govender explore the most recent trends in competition law, along with the rise of ‘the Patel factor’.

17 August 2017

Finance Indaba 2017: Build your finance future with AdvanceNet

"We will be talking about how to build your future with the Blueprint for Continuous Accounting. This revolutionary new concept is changing the way accounting and finance are performing and creating a paradigm shift across Modern Finance Organisations," says Bridgette Ward, Sales Manager of AdvanceNet, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2017 on 12 and 13 October 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

16 August 2017

Female CFOs should be daring and resilient, says IDC CFO Nonkululeko Dlamini

“Growing into a well-balanced CFO is a journey which requires identifying role models and learning from them. And learning from your own mistakes,” says Nonkululeko Dlamini, the CFO of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), a public development finance institution with the mandate to promote economic growth and industrial development. Nonkululeko and her mentee, Nozibele Tshobeni, a Senior Financial Manager, attended the CFO South Africa Women’s Dinner on 17 August 2017 at the prestigious Saxon Boutique Hotel. We sat down with Nonkululeko and Nozibele to chat.

15 August 2017

I always lead the charge, says Musa Magongo, CFO of SWACAA

“The time has come for the CFO to become an important executive member who pushes for value creation other than the normal traditional financial role,” says Musa Magongo, CFO of the Swaziland Civil Aviation Authority (SWACAA). “The CFO is expected to have a better understanding of the impact of each process, whether commercial or operational, and be able to provide the necessary advice and guidance to the technical team.” In his role, Musa oversees all of the financial management issues of SWACAA, from budget preparation and implementation to monitoring, treasury and reporting. While this includes a focus on both finance and strategy, he says the nature of the role means he spends a greater proportion of his time on strategy, and ensuring that the organisation’s overall strategy is implemented.

14 August 2017

The impact of cybercrime on SA companies: are we better or WORSE off?

During the last year, the public became painfully aware of what cybersecurity experts have long been warning us about: That cybercrime is on the rise and that everyone is a potential target. The recent WannaCry and Petya attacks have revealed that hackers have adopted an increasingly financial focus, as they demand ransom (usually in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin) in exchange for unlocking the affected users’ data. Companies throughout the globe have been affected in the latest attack this June, with South African companies being no exception.

14 August 2017

Cipla SSA CFO Nishant Saxena shares his tips for creating a top team

Nishant Saxena won two Awards at this year’s CFO of the Year Awards – High Performance Team and Young CFO of the Year. He received this recognition because he took Cipla’s struggling, low-margin, sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) unit and turned it into one of the most profitable pharma players in South Africa. In so doing, he completely transformed the finance department, creating a high performance team in the process. Nishant shares his top tips for creating an efficient team.

10 August 2017

Finance Indaba 2017: Shanduka Black Umbrellas enables entrepreneurial dreams

"As one of the leading ESD organisations in SA we can support finance professionals with entrepreneurial dreams and capabilities in their journey to develop sustainable businesses. The support we provide encompasses training, physical infrastructure in our incubators, and mentorship," says Nyasha Dzumbunu, CFO of Shanduka Black Umbrellas, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2017 on 12 and 13 October 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

09 August 2017

Create a lasting legacy, says Standard Bank CIB CEO, Kenny Fihla

“The biggest ambition that I have is to always leave a better legacy than the one I found when I took on a responsibility,” says Kenny Fihla, who took over from David Munro as chief executive of Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) in May this year. “What will the next generation of people or leaders in my role think when they assume the responsibility that I’m currently fulfilling that forces me to think about my actions? I get obsessed thinking about that – the creation of a lasting legacy.”

09 August 2017

Finance Indaba 2017: Alternative Circle is broadening the financial inclusion spotlight

"We believe that the user is the true source of value in any business, and if you service them well you can grow them and they in turn will grow your business," says Kevin Mutiso, CEO and co-founder of Alternative Circle, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2017 on 12 and 13 October 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. Finance professionals and accountants register for the Finance Indaba for free with code FB2017! In the coming weeks and months, we will be chatting to all the Indaba partners, asking them why they are joining the event and what their most important message for finance professionals is. Do you want to hear how Alternative Circle can help with your KYC processes? Do you want to be informed about the latest and greatest in finance? Then don't miss the Finance Indaba Africa 2017. The Finance Indaba is the biggest annual event on the continent for financial managers and specialists who are seeking partnerships to drive progress. Thousands of delegates will gain valuable insights into realising financial performance and growth, becoming more efficient and accessing funding, among a host of other opportunities from leading players in financial services.

04 August 2017

Flutterwave raises $10m for African expansion

Nigerian FinTech Flutterwave announced it has secured $10 million in Series B financing. Four investors contributed to the round: Greycroft Partners, Green Visor Capital, Y Combinator, and Glynn Capital Management. Flutterwave, founded by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, provides technology, infrastructure, and services to enable global merchants, payment service providers, and pan-African banks to accept and process payments via any channel, including web, mobile, ATMs and POS. The company helps businesses in Africa go global by smoothening the exchange of funds in more than 150 currencies. The company revealed that it intends to use the funds to hire talent, build out its global operations, and accelerate its expansion across Africa.

02 August 2017

Deloitte puts executive compensation under the spotlight

A recently released Deloitte report found that annual cash bonuses paid to the CEO and CFO over the last six years are considerable in relation to guaranteed pay, with only 12 percent of instances where a bonus was not awarded to either executive over the last six years. The report also found that increases to CEO guaranteed pay over the last five increase periods exceeded inflation by a considerable margin on a compound annual growth rate basis.

01 August 2017

Award-winning Cipla SSA CFO Nishant Saxena on how he made a loss-making entity super successful

Nishant Saxena successfully took Cipla’s sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) entity from a struggling, low-margin organisation to one of the most profitable pharma players in South Africa. The success yielded double success at the CFO Awards in May 2017 for the Indian expat, who played a key role in shifting the strategy and improving the finance team. “Finance is like an internal venture capitalist responsible for ensuring the right returns on investment, and as Cipla’s largest acquisition ever, all eyes were on South Africa’s performance.”

26 July 2017

Robust business conversations drive a high-quality audit, says Deloitte's Andrew Mackie

“I would encourage every incoming CFO to find a way to do some deep thinking as to who they are and how to fill the role,” says Andrew Mackie, Deloitte’s new Head of Audit & Assurance for Africa, comprising 15 countries and 185 partners. In this interview, Andrew talks to CFO South Africa about his passion for audit and transformation, the balancing act that finance executives have to go through every day, and how clarity of purpose and priority is what really matters for a leader.

25 July 2017

Working at Transnet, I am basically doing my national service, says CFO Garry Pita

“It has been tricky to get politicians, our people and other stakeholders to understand that we can’t keep throwing capital at our problems. We need to focus on operational efficiencies,” says Transnet CFO, Garry Pita, winner of the Transformation & Empowerment Award at this year’s CFO Awards. Garry took over as Group CFO in February last year, replacing Anoj Singh, who was seconded to Eskom.

21 July 2017

Standard Bank's Richard Stout talks IPOs at CFO Summit

“There has to be a pretty compelling case as to why a company should list. You have to know why you're doing it because it's a costly endeavour both from a time perspective as well as economically,” said Richard Stout, Head of Equity Capital Markets Standard Bank. Stout was speaking at the recent CFO summit about sentiment in capital markets and whether initial public offerings (IPOs) are a useful avenue for raising cash in the current economic environment. “You're moving to an environment where you have a responsibility to a bunch of institutions that are going to expect you to execute a strategy and create value. I've done IPOs for the better part of 20 years and I think they are a great way of raising capital, but not every company should take that route.”

21 July 2017

Harness technology to navigate regulatory flood - Executives urge forward thinking at CFO Summit 4

Seven minutes. 300 million. $321 billion. Every seven minutes a new piece of regulation is introduced globally, the number of pages of regulation in existence and the number of dollars paid since the financial crisis of 2008. In an intriguing presentation at CFO Summit 4 at Summer Place in Sandton on Thursday, Thomson Reuters Africa MD Sneha Shah examined how the flood of regulation was impacting companies around the world and provided solutions for those that were struggling to cope with compliance.

20 July 2017

Claas Kuehnemann appointed SAP SA acting MD

German-based software giant SAP has appointed 25-year veteran Claas Kuehnemann (pictured) as acting managing director for Africa. This following allegations that the company's South African subsidiary paid a Gupta front R100 million in kickbacks for it to access lucrative state contracts. SAP has initiated an independent investigation into the matter, placing its SAP SA management team on administrative leave while the review is underway.

19 July 2017

Finance Indaba 2017: Use DocFox to simplify compliance procedures

"DocFox provides a single solution - endorsed by global law firm, Norton Rose Fulbright - which gives a FSP of any size the assurance that they will remain compliant with ever-changing legislation, while simultaneously creating a seamless customer experience and reducing operational costs," says Ryan Canin, CEO of DocFox, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2017 on 12 and 13 October 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

18 July 2017

FinLeap FinTech incubator raises EURO39m

FinLeap, the startup platform behind Germany's solarisBank, has secured €39 million in equity capital to support its ongoing FinTech incubation programme. Next to the founding shareholder Berlin-based HitFox-Group, new institutional investors include the German insurer Signal Iduna, Japan's SBI Group and Dutch bank NIBC. Hannover Re, the third largest worldwide reinsurer, also raised its stake having participated in the platform's last €21 million raise.

18 July 2017

CFOs must have a deep understanding of operations, says Hatch CFO Craig Sumption

Craig Sumption has been with Hatch, a global concern headquartered in Canada and supplying engineering, project and construction management services, process and business consulting and operational services to the mining, metallurgical, energy and infrastructure industries, for more than a decade. He assumed the role of Regional Director of Finance for the firm's African, European and Middle Eastern operations two years ago. A passionate finance man who knew very early on that he wanted to go into the field, the father of three's grasp of the numbers remains second to none. He shared his thoughts with us about volatility, moving into Africa and leadership.

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