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12 July 2017

What does South Africa mean to you, asks CFO SA MD, Graham Fehrsen

CFO South Africa is a proudly South African platform, even with its Dutch roots. At the recent CFO Awards, we hosted a masterclass with leading CFOs on the topic of race and transformation. What would we say if we spoke openly about these issues and how would it reflect our values and attitude? It was one of the most powerful conversations ever hosted in the CFO South Africa space and attendees have all asked that we continue this conversation.

12 July 2017

CFOs must take heed of digitalisation, says Vusi Thembekwayo

"CFOs need to consider the role that digitalisation is going to play in business. The way business is done is going to undergo a fundamental change over the next five years. The next 12 months are going to be critical for organisations that want to digitalise. On a social level, CFOs have to consider the role they play in broader society. Gone are the days when we can sit back and say certain issues are for politicians, government or industry bodies. If you are CFO making decisions, you have a responsibility to play a deeper role in uplifting communities," says globally renowned public speaker, venture capitalist and entrepreneur Vusi Thembekwayo.

10 July 2017

Finance Indaba 2017: BlackLine allows finance professionals to add true value

“Our platform exists to benefit finance professionals, so is designed to be usable and understandable by them. One of the most common comments we receive from CFOs and finance heads is their surprise in how easily they set up the platform and how quickly they began seeing results.” says Therese Tucker, founder and CEO of BlackLine, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2017 on 12 and 13 October 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

10 July 2017

The CFO is the connector in dealmaking, says Bowmans' Charles Douglas

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. “Ideally, the CFO shouldn’t only focus on the financials, there needs to be a cross-over. The CFO, along with other execs, can really help to join the dots in a deal,” says Charles Douglas, head of M&A at law firm Bowmans.

06 July 2017

Follow a Financial Modelling course, save massive time and bring prosperity to your business!

Financial models are a pre-requisite to successfully identify risks, costs, opportunities and income streams. A financial model helps you to become profitable in a continuously changing business atmosphere. 100% of all CFOs agree that working without modelling is close to impossible. A thorough understanding makes your job easier, saves you massive time and will bring prosperity to your business. Not convinced yet?

04 July 2017

Change is inevitable, embrace it, says Loveness Khunou, Dow Southern Africa CFO

Originally from Malawi, Loveness Khunou, Dow Southern Africa CFO, moved to South Africa in 1989. She has a passion for cultures and languages, and is fluent in eight different dialects. “It shows respect if you learn another’s language. It shows that you value them,” she says. “It allows you to better engage with people, and people relate to you differently if you talk to them in their Mother tongue.”

03 July 2017

Finance Indaba 2017: Cassel&Co is fanatical about finance

By focusing only on professionals and clients in these finance and accounting disciplines, we have been able to develop extended networks of talent and have built a thorough understanding of the environments and challenges facing those recruiting finance and accounting teams in a wide range of businesses, from start-ups to corporates," says Georgina Barrick, MD of Cassel&Co, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2017 on 12 and 13 October 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

03 July 2017

CFOs should expect more change coming, says Standard Bank CIB's Suzette Els

“Allow compliance to participate in front line engagement to create a mutual understanding on key client challenges and pro-actively pick-up on key client challenges,” advises Suzette Els, Chief Compliance Officer for Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking. In this article, part of a series from Standard Bank specialists, Suzette talks about trends in the compliance space, how clients are being assisted with these, and what CFOs should expect.

29 June 2017

Stay safe from cybercrime

In the three years to 2016, almost 16,000 organisations across the globe had their IT systems breached – the equivalent of 17 cases of business email compromise every day, according to the US-based Internet Crime Complaint Center. Recent cyberattacks on companies around the world have rung alarm bells over how firms protect their business from criminals. A new report , Keeping Business Clean, tells business leaders how to crack the hackers on scams such as executive impersonation, where fraudsters dupe unwitting staff into transferring money from company accounts.

20 June 2017

Hollard and Cigna partner to broaden African footprint

Brooks Mparutsa (pictured), executive director of Hollard’s international business, has said that the insurer has “significant acquisitions” planned on the continent in the coming years, and would be partnereing with New York Stock Exchange-listed Cigna, a global hearlth insurer, to offer health insurance to companies working in Africa. Hollard already has offices in Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana and Ghana, as well as South Africa.

19 June 2017

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 24, 2017

Do you want to keep up to date with the latest developments in finance, but you are short of time? Don’t worry. CFO South Africa weekly collects 10 of the most important articles from international media for your convenience. 1. Apple Bank here we come Guys, it's happening. Did you miss the news? You probably did, because the announcement was tucked in between demos of the latest iMessage stickers. Millennials... sigh. At the annual developer conference WWDC, Apple announced their next move into the world of Financial Services. If you thought Apple Pay was as far as they would go, you were mistaken. Sorely mistaken! 2. Amazon, Whole Foods, and the Future of the (Old) New Economy I heard the news today, oh boy — Amazon is buying Whole Foods Market in a deal worth nearly $14 billion. The combination of these iconic companies, both of which have come of age in the last two decades, raises obvious questions. Does the transaction reflect how hard it’s been for Whole Foods to keep Wall Street satisfied with its growth and profits? (It does.) Does the deal underscore just how expansive a vision Jeff Bezos has for Amazon, his dream of it becoming the “everything store”? (No doubt.) 3. Why accountants need to get a grip on blockchain By strict definition, blockchain is a global digital ledger of economic transactions that is transparent, continually updated by countless users, and considered by many as almost impossible to corrupt or hack. But in the broader sense, blockchain is also a lightning rod for highly charged opinion, confusion, and even fear. Some argue that blockchain will completely transform finance, accounting, and auditing. Others are decidedly more circumspect regarding its impact. And a certain segment is nervous, not knowing whether blockchain will make portions of the accounting profession obsolete – perhaps large ones, specifically as it relates to the current audit and tax practices focusing on compliance. 4. CFOs Still Spurning High-Return Projects Modern finance theory says that as long as an investment earns a rate higher than the cost of capital, it creates value for a firm. Thus, when the hurdle rate exceeds the cost of capital, a firm is passing up value-creating projects, explains John Graham, professor of finance at Duke University. 5. 5 Leadership Mistakes Even the Best Bosses Make If you think your boss is some freak of nature and you're the luckiest person alive, I'll break it to you gently: He or she is human and will make mistakes. The great ones rise up from their errors by A) acknowledging they made a mistake and correcting a behavior (think humility), or B) acknowledging a blind spot that needs to be addressed, then doing something about it. Lets dive into a few prevalent leadership mistakes that even the best and smartest leaders tend to make. 6. How artificial intelligence can deliver real value to companies After decades of extravagant promises and frustrating disappointments, artificial intelligence (AI) is finally starting to deliver real-life benefits to early-adopting companies. Retailers on the digital frontier rely on AI-powered robots to run their warehouses—and even to automatically order stock when inventory runs low. Utilities use AI to forecast electricity demand. Automakers harness the technology in self-driving cars. 7. How Can You Tell Someone Has True Leadership Skills? Look for This ... Ever been in an important meeting where a topic on the agenda causes tension that you can cut with a knife? Instead of colleagues speaking up to solve an issue, you get poker faces and eyes looking down to avert what nobody wants to deal with. The same is true when it comes to having those tough conversations to call someone to the carpet. We procrastinate or avoid the confrontation, because it's never pleasant, for example, to tell someone she's not cutting it. So when people ask me, "What's the secret to great communication?" my usual response baffles some, because it can seem so counterintuitive: "Be radically transparent." 8. The benefits of thinking like an activist investor The rapid growth and influence of activist investors has many executives nervously looking over their shoulders. Even large companies are increasingly vulnerable (Exhibit 1). But there is a benefit to be had by those managers with the courage to take as hard a look at their own company’s performance as a performance-minded outsider might. The objective isn’t necessarily for managers to do what activists would do—activists’ performance is mixed, after all (Exhibit 2). Instead, the goal is for managers to examine their own strategy, governance, and operations with an eye to unearthing opportunities to improve performance. 9. How To Write A Work Email When You’re Really Pissed Off Just don’t. But if you absolutely must, do it like this. 10. Top 10 tips for great teamwork Doing great teamwork or being an inspirational team leader are terms we often hear bandied in our workplace or perhaps in the plethora of management aid books now available. Leader, player, server of teams – we all have a part to play. Yet, how well are you playing your part? In the first of a new series of articles by global job board CareersinAudit.com, Simon Wright, operations director, provides a top 10 teamwork checklist.

19 June 2017

If you want to see deal success, plan, says Ansarada's Arie Maree

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 cannot over-plan,” says Arie Maree, Ansarada Managing Director for Africa and the Middle East. “Once the rubber hits the road with a deal, there are tight timelines, plenty of stress and lots of money at stake. More planning means a smoother due diligence and ultimately, a smoother transaction,”

13 June 2017

Lead the way you want to be lead, says Fabian Naidoo, CFO of Right to Care

“As a leader, you should create an environment that allows for growth in the team and for people to feel passionate about the work that they do,” says Fabian Naidoo, divisional CFO of non-profit organisation (NPO), Right to Care (Rtc). Fabian is currently also acting as finance director of the RtC Group. Fabian says his philosophy about work can be summed up by this quote from Steve Jobs, ‘The only way to do great work is to love what you do’.

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.

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