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

03 August 2016

Wipro Partners and IDC give rural school learners access to technology

Leading global IT, consulting and business process services company Wipro has launched a three-year CSI project in partnership with South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to set up 29 computer labs across South Africa, benefiting 28,000 students from rural areas. Gavin Holme, Business Head, Wipro Africa, said the company is committed to building a sustainable economy in South Africa, and that Wipro will be providing a broad range of hardware, software, connectivity, education and programme management resources.

03 August 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: Operational excellence is Bytes Technology Group's game

“We focus on middle- and back-office operations and it’s all about wringing efficiencies out of these operations – automating as much as possible, saving on staff costs, reducing breaks due to reconciliation problems, etc," says Mark Neethling, the GM of Financial Services at Bytes Technology Group, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

02 August 2016

Balancing personalities is key to a strong team, says Graham McGregor, New GX Capital Holdings CFO

“The most unsettling thing for anyone is uncertainty,” says Graham McGregor, CFO of New GX Capital Holdings, a BEE investment holding company with interests in the environmental solutions, logistics, power and telecoms, and corporate finance advisory sectors. Sharing his experience, while in his previous position, of a merger that happened between two very different businesses under one umbrella company McGregor says keeping staff abreast of what was happening at all times was crucial: “Because if there’s a communication gap, people fill in the gap themselves.” He also learnt an important lesson:

30 July 2016

Beancounter CEO Marnus Broodryk a "Shark` on M-Net's new show

Marnus Broodryk (pictured), CEO of The Beancounter, an accounting firm currently disrupting SA’s finance industry with its innovative approach, has agreed to dig deep into his own pockets in order to give away big money on M-Net’s brand new reality show, Shark Tank South Africa, for which he has been chosen as a “Shark”. Based on the Emmy-award-winning US series, Shark Tank invites entrepreneurs with potentially lucrative products or business ideas to pitch their plans to the "Sharks” for consideration. If they like the idea, they may offer the entrepreneur a deal. Broodryk said:

29 July 2016

Seyi Bickersteth, National Senior Partner KPMG Nigeria, on Africa's potential to be great

“We [Africa] need to market ourselves more. We have a continent with lots of opportunities for people, we have a young and vibrant population and a growing middle class. We need to let people know that we are open for business and that we are very investor friendly,” says Seyi Bickersteth, National Senior Partner KPMG Nigeria & Chairman KPMG Africa Practice. Seyi has enjoyed a long and illustrious career – one that spans 40 years, in fact – and is no stranger to change. Currently, he oversees KPMG’s business in Africa, and calls his most important responsibilities developing people, outlining the vision for KPMG, and setting the strategy for how the firm will move forward. “Our clients are increasingly telling us they want to succeed in Africa but in order to do that they need a firm that can provide a single point of contact to meet all of their expectations in the region. This guides our strategy.”

28 July 2016

4 reasons for July's unchanged interest rate - KPMG's Maura Feddersen

In line with market expectations, the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) announced earlier this month that it would leave the leading policy rate unchanged at 7%, keeping the prime lending rate at 10.5%. Maura Feddersen (pictured), Senior Economic Advisor with KPMG Economics, Financial Risk Management, has identified four reasons why the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) kept interest rates unchanged.

28 July 2016

Tell better stories & be a better leader: Peter Christie at public sector CFO event

"One of the challenges for corporate leaders is that often, they are not good communicators, or are not very effective communicators. They largely communicate via email, company newsletters or noticeboards, and PowerPoint presentations. To get the key message through you’ve got to be more creative than that and become a better storyteller,” says consultant and academic, Peter Christie, better known as Big Chief Talking Bull.

27 July 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: Zetta Business Solutions make a CFO's life easier

"We can help finance professionals to improve their ability to better utilise their time, by automating and simplifying remedial processes like data collection, allowing them to spend more time on analysis," says Anna Puzone, the head of enterprise performance management at information management company Zetta Business Solutions, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

26 July 2016

Essential learning as CFO Colin Brown shares how critical treasury is to Super Group

Through some incredible tech-enabled financial discipline, CFO Colin Brown helped saving Super Group from the abyss, setting the South African flagship firm on course again for massive expansion. Since then successes have been commonplace, with Colin (pictured with Discovery's Terrence Taylor) winning no less than three CFO Awards and the group regularly reporting spectacular growth. On 21 July 2016, at the CFO event on M&A, Colin provided some candid insight and valuable tips during a round table discussion with a select group of CFOs.

25 July 2016

Lightning-fast reflexes: the agile team

While many other teams in a business have some flexibility as far as deliverables, reporting and project timelines go, this is a luxury not often enjoyed by the finance team. But as the pace of doing business is so much faster today, is it not time the finance function became more agile too? We spoke to experienced CFOs and other industry experts to get their insight. By Toni Muir "Being agile requires openness, the reservation of judgement and the ability to turn on a dime," says Terrence Taylor, general manager: Talent, Analytics, Leadership and Learning at Discovery. You need people with a cosmopolitan outlook, an open mindset and an eclectic set of experiences, he adds, and a leader who is comfortable sharing leadership and power. But what exactly is an agile team, and what makes it so? Moreover, why is this important to the finance function?

22 July 2016

What CFOs can do to ensure a successful M&A transaction

“The first week after we were acquired, I went to sit with management and tried to get an understanding of why they had bought us and what they had promised their shareholders. I then took that, came back home and developed a strategy to give them what they wanted to see,” said Cobus Grove, CEO Digicore Holdings, speaking as a member of the panel at last night’s CFO South Africa event, Where the rubber meets the road, the second in a two-part series on M&A. The evening’s discussion covered the CFO’s role post-deal, including how CFOs meet the multitude of market, investor and board expectations, as well as how to best integrate systems processes and cultures. Cobus was joined by Deon Fredericks, CFO Telkom; Charl Keyter, CFO Sibanye Gold; Ryan McDougall, Group FD Trustco; and Walter Palk, Partner at KPMG.

21 July 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: Monash South Africa produces industry-ready graduates

"We understand that the current financial landscape requires innovation, creativity and the need to understand and address a great variety of complex issues, and have therefore aligned our programmes to prepare students as effectively as possible for the business and economics sphere," says Professor Humphrey Gowar from Monash South Africa (MSA), a platinum partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

19 July 2016

Successful CFOs must be able to self-reflect, says Lewis Kangausaru, CFO of Groeneveld South Africa

"To lead you need to know yourself and why you’re doing things,” opines Groeneveld South Africa CFO, Lewis Kangausaru. Lewis has been a part of the Groeneveld team since October 2013, and is responsible for the full financial governance of the company. He says reflectiveness is a core of the leadership principle: “To be forward-thinking you need to be reflective, to take time to think about what has occurred in a given space of time, the decisions you’ve made, why you’ve made them and the current outcomes.”

18 July 2016

Insider threats: 10 questions CFOs need to ask - by J2's John Mc Loughlin

CFOs need to actively manage IT risk, says John Mc Loughlin, Managing Director of software company J2: “It is vital that the CFO take an active role in managing this risk – as it appears IT may not have the executive drive to get it done themselves.” In this article, John shares some of the top questions CFOs must ask themselves when dealing with risk management and threats, and before declaring their IT policy as sound.

15 July 2016

Brexit affects availability of finance jobs in SA

According to the latest Robert Walters South Africa Job Index, the last quarter saw a 6% overall decrease in job advertising volumes compared to Q2 2015 in SA across all finance functions; with a 15% annual decline in job advertisements in accounting and finance overall. Robert Walters, a leading specialist professional recruitment consultancy, attributes this decline to the compounding effects of consistent political uncertainty, a British and European economy which has been paralysed by Brexit, and challenging currency exchange rates for South African importers.

15 July 2016

Clarkhouse Human Capital's Roy Clark talks diversity and transformation

Roy Clark, MD of Clarkhouse Human Capital, recently moderated a thought leadership session where 20 CFOs were invited to discuss the role of transformation and diversity in the workplace, and what the role of a CFO is in fostering this. In this self-penned piece, Clark delves into why transformation and diversity are such misunderstood notions, and looks at how corporate South Africa can make these ideas work within their organisations.

14 July 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: INCE goes from printer to ground-breaker

"We offer clients an integrated, full-service offering for all their marketing needs – a real one-stop solution which delivers benefits in terms of value, consistency, confidentiality and sheer ease of doing business,” says Alban Atkinson, MD of integrated corporate communications agency INCE, a PLATINUM partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

13 July 2016

Are you future ready? Great insights at CFO breakfast in Cape Town

To be ready for the future, CFOs need to embrace imagination, make bold choices and be intimately connected to customers and employees. Those were some of the main takeaways at a lively CFO breakfast debate in Cape Town's Westin Hotel on Tuesday 12 July 2016. Preceded by a thought-provoking and often humorous presentation by futurist Morne Mostert, the high-level intimate gathering of about 35 people was treated to insights by Woolworths CFO Reeza Isaacs (3rd photo) and retired Remgro CFO Leon Crouse (bottom photo), who played a pivotal role in the success story of Vodacom.

11 July 2016

Peter Christie on the power of storytelling for effective leaders

As a youngster, Peter Christie was enormously fond of Western movies, particularly those which featured North American Indians giving cowboys what he calls “a good klapping”. One movie in particular made a big impression on the youngster: The Great Sioux Massacre, where, at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, shaman Big Chief Sitting Bull led the defeat of General Custer and other troops of the US Army. Peter can still recall a gift he received from his parents at this time: a colourful North American Indian costume that included feathered headdress, leather-tasselled vest, moccasins and tomahawk. Needless to say it immediately became a firm favourite of the energetic six-year-old who, when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, answered without hesitation, “Big Chief Sitting Bull”. Peter being quite the chatterbox, his dad adapted this to “Big Chief Talking Bull”, and the name stuck. Peter has always had a liking for stories – reading them, telling them, watching them, and writing them. As an adult, he turned this talent into a career, establishing a successful consultancy that teaches business people how to unlock their storytelling potential in order to become better, more influential leaders.

08 July 2016

How to become the world's most inspiring accountant: a chat to Coenie Middel

"We have always believed passionately in the role accountants play in creating a better world by helping to make businesses more successful, creating jobs and generating wealth," says Coenraad 'Coenie' Middel, whose firm Middel & Partners has been named as one of the most inspiring accountancy practices in the world and has been included in the recently published ‘The World’s Most Inspiring Accountants’ by author Steve Pipe.

07 July 2016

Meet Simon Ridley (Standard Bank), recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award at the CFO Awards 2016

CFO South Africa chose to honour Simon Ridley (pictured), recently retired FD of Standard Bank and CFO of the Year 2014, as well as esteemed member of this year’s judging panel, by presenting him with a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s CFO Awards. Unfortunately, Simon was unable to accept the award in person and spend the evening celebrating with his peers, as he was touring Namibia on a motorbike at the time of the event. Simon’s colleague, Luvuyo Masinda, CFO Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB), accepted the award on his behalf. Masinda said:

06 July 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: SAIPA looks to transform accounting

"We will ensure that attendees leave with a more nuanced understanding of SAIPA so that they can become our partner in our goal of growing and transforming the accounting profession," says Zobuzwe Ngobese, marketing and communications executive at the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA), a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

05 July 2016

DigiCore CFO Cobus Grove: The Good, the Bid & the Ugly

Most CFOs dream of saving a company with sheer accounting brilliance, fantasise about lining shareholders’ pockets through a spectacular M&A deal, and secretly yearn for fame. Cobus Grove achieved all that before he turned 34 years old. In a series of interviews with CFO South Africa, Cobus shares how he saved JSE-listed company DigiCore and sold it to US firm Novatel Wireless. He talks about his compulsion to keep succeeding and gives candid insight into the personal toll of managing such high-stake corporate manoeuvres.

04 July 2016

What #Brexit means for SA businesses - KPMG Chief Economist Lullu Krugel

South African export businesses in the machinery, vehicle manufacturing and platinum industries could be heavily impacted by the British withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit). So writes Lullu Krugel*, Chief Economist at KPMG South Africa, in an exclusive analysis for South African businesses also might have to consider moving their European offices from London to elsewhere in Europe to keep access to the EU Single Market. Ireland anyone?

30 June 2016

Incredible lineup at CFO M&A event 21 July: post-deal integration

The ink is dry. The deal is done. You have just successfully completed an M&A transaction. The question is: what now? At our CFO event on 21 July 2016 at the African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel we will unpack how to go about integration or separation after a deal under the theme ‘Where the rubber meets the road’. An incredible lineup of top five CFOs will help us unpack what needs to happen after a merger, acquisition or sale.

30 June 2016

Meet Leon Crouse (Remgro), recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award at the CFO Awards 2016

“I was not prepared to make a speech but thank you for the kind words and thank you for the award. I retired [from Remgro] at the end of March so it’s also for me a cherry on the cake at the end of my career,” said Leon Crouse, on receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the CFO Awards 2016, held on 12 May at the beautiful Summer Place. Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu, chancellor of the University of Pretoria, South Africa’s first black chartered accountant and role model for many finance professionals, presented Leon with his award.

28 June 2016

Fear and uncertainty after #Brexit - Peregrine Group CFO Robert Katz

The British withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit) would very possibly have an effect on South African businesses, although some industries will be harder hit than others – and some might see opportunities. “Personally I don’t think Brexit is a good thing,” says Robert Katz, CFO of wealth and asset management firm Peregrine Group. “South Africa is a risk-on economy. That means that when there are global jitters, South African stocks get sold off and the rand comes under pressure.”

28 June 2016

A humble CFO is a successful CFO, says Lauren Van Zyl, Divisional CFO of Eqstra Fleet Management and Logistics

“For me, being a successful CFO is not even technical; it’s about being humble. The role can go to your head and that creates drama,” says Lauren Van Zyl, Divisional CFO of Eqstra Fleet Management and Logistics. “Being humble makes you approachable, and the more approachable you are the more likely staff will be to come to you if there’s a problem, and that’s important.” Lauren, who pursued a career in finance after convincing herself she would never be interested in the industry, heads up a team of 45 staff members, and says the people aspect of the job is as rewarding as it is challenging. “That’s what nobody prepares you for. As a finance person, you’re very comfortable with the numbers, with the technical, but you aren’t comfortable with having so many people report to you, trust you and rely on you.” How did you first get into finance and how did you come to be a CFO? “At school, one of my main subjects was speech and drama. I was convinced I was never going to go into finance. When choosing my studies, I first registered for industrial psychology, but I didn’t even make it through one lecture and realised that wasn’t going to work. I changed my degree and went into Informatics. I was doing really well but realised I didn’t have a passion for it – it didn’t gel with me. I found my way to finance and thought I’d pursue general finance, believing there was no chance I’d do a CA. But at that moment I realised I would be stopping just before the finish line, so I decided to go the whole hog and completed my B.Com (Accounting) Honours, and then my articles through Deloitte. After my articles I stayed on for a short period, but I decided I wasn’t audit manager material. I was battling with the concept of siting across the table from a CFO and telling him how to run his business when I didn’t know what it was like to be in his position. I wanted to be able to give a CFO advice based on my own experiences. I felt like I needed that foundation.”

27 June 2016

Creativity needed for big data to drive revenue, says risk actuary Stefan Swanepoel

“Taking advantage of opportunities requires more creative thinking than simple analysis of data,” says risk actuary Stefan Swanepoel, the principal consultant for Directrix Risk Services, an actuarial and corporate risk management consultancy specialising in the pricing, financing and control of risks. Swanepoel has more than 13 years of experience in this field and currently consults to many of the largest South African companies, as well as many large international corporates. A fellow of the Institute of Risk Management and the Actuarial Society of South Africa, Swanepoel followed his father, a state actuary, into the profession after serving time in the military. He spoke to us about the impact of Big Data, risk management, the changing climate in South Africa and how it compares to foreign nations.

24 June 2016

Financial inclusion and money-making: FinTech Africa event massive success

How can FinTech companies help millions of Africans get access to financial services? And what should FinTech entrepreneurs do to build viable, money-making businesses out of this? Those were some of the key questions during a spectacular FinTech Africa event at 23 June 2016, hosted at the beautiful Woodmead offices of Deloitte South Africa and co-sponsored by WeChat, the company that invented the increasingly popular social communications app.

23 June 2016

Zaf Mahomed, McDonald's: Demand more - real leaders are listening

CFO South Africa MD Graham Fehrsen was recently invited to sit in on a monthly meeting of the senior finance leaders from one of South Africa’s largest financial services providers. In this monthly meeting, arranged by the CFO, the senior team gets insight from an expert or leader from outside the business - on this occasion Zaf Mahomed (pictured), CFO of McDonald’s South Africa, who shared some of his experience and insights from his time as the CFO of Ellerines.

23 June 2016

Meet Christine Ramon (AngloGold Ashanti), winner of the Finance & Technology Award at the CFO Awards 2016

“Just being recognised as CFOs is great, along with the fact that we are making an impact in the business community. I would like to thank CFO South Africa and the sponsors for this event," said Christine Ramon, CFO of AngloGold Ashanti, on receiving this year’s Finance and Technology Award at the CFO Awards 2016, held on 12 May at the stunning Summer Place. Pictured right: Christine Ramon with Kholiwe Makhohliso (Oracle) Christine was joined at the awards by her three CA siblings: Justine Mazzocco (exco member Deloitte), Veran Kathan (CFO Vodacom Business Africa) and Mark Kathan (CFO AECI), the latter a nominee of the CFO Awards in both 2015 and 2016.

22 June 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: Solve your ERP challenges with 4most

“Businesses and specifically financial professionals need to understand their own business processes enough to evaluate systems and their ability replace or integrate with existing processes, and we are able to assist them with this,” says Marius Fabian, the CEO of SAP ERP solutions provider 4most, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

21 June 2016

BP Southern Africa CFO Udayan Sen: The CFO as co-pilot

CFOs are business partners across multiple business functions – an attribute of the role that has evolved the most in the last decade or so, opines Udayan Sen, CFO of BP Southern Africa. He says: “The once maligned bean counters are now businessmen and women, who by the way also happen to be the head of the finance function. Almost to say, if there was a tag line to describe CFOs, it would say: ‘We also have Finance accountability’. In BP, the CFO is the co-pilot, and supports the CEO to run the business."

20 June 2016

Allianz Risk Transfer and Nephila successfully pilot blockchain tech

Allianz Risk Transfer AG (ART) and Nephila Capital Limited (Nephila) have successfully piloted the use of blockchain smart contract technology for transacting a natural catastrophe swap. The test demonstrates that transactional processing and settlement between insurers and investors can be significantly accelerated and simplified by blockchain-based contracts. It also points to other benefits such as increased tradability of cat bonds and wider opportunities to apply this technology in other insurance transactions. Richard Boyd, Bermuda-based Chief Underwriting Officer of ART, said:

20 June 2016

Abaco Consulting's Derek Brown: Employees as operating costs vs balance sheet assets

How do you really view your employees, asks Derek Brown of Abaco Consulting? As a problematic high and fixed cost to the business or as the business’s biggest and most competitive asset? The dichotomy, he says, is that they are of course both at the same time. By Derek Brown, Abaco Consulting On the one hand, your employees represent one of your single largest fixed costs, and there is continual pressure to reduce that cost by reducing head counts, increasing productivity, the deployment of automation, robotising, process re-engineering, Lean, Six Sigma and Agile initiatives, and if all else fails, the outsourcing of operating functions. Yet, we often proclaim that our people are the differentiator for our company in the marketplace and that they are the company’s greatest single asset in our competition for business. So how do we reconcile these two potentially conflicting viewpoints?

19 June 2016

Vodacom annual report reveals details of execs' remuneration

Vodacom, SA’s largest mobile services provider, recently published its annual report. And in that report were details of its executives’ remuneration. According to the document, CEO Shameel Joosub (pictured) earned just shy of R21.8 million in the 12 months through March 2016. His base salary was listed as R7.82 million, with the balance of R13.98 million attributed to a short-term incentive bonus, itself linked to revenue, cash flows, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation. This is double what the CEO was paid in the last financial year (R10.9 million, comprised of a base salary of R7.2 million and a bonus of R3.7 million), and also excludes benefits and long-term incentives.

18 June 2016

Plum LLP to buy a 23% stake in Britam investments

Kenya's privately owned Plum LLP has announced plans to buy a 23.34% stake in Britam, a diversified financial group listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange. The transaction will raise Plum's shareholding in the company to 38.54%. According to Plum, the acquisition is aimed at driving Britam's future growth. Britam currently has operations in Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Sudan Tanzania, and Uganda, and offers a wide range of financial products and services in insurance, asset management, banking and property. According to Reuters, the government of Mauritius seized Britam from a disgraced businessman, Dawood Rawat, in April last year, after accusing him of running a Ponzi-like scheme through a Mauritian insurer. Rawat has since filed a case against the government of Mauritius, before the International Court of Arbitration, asking for $1 billion in compensation. His claim is on the basis of illegal appropriation of Britam by the state.

17 June 2016

MD Sneha Shah reveals Thomson Reuters plans for Africa

No matter what the question is, in Sneha Shah’s world, the answer always starts with the same two words: the customer. In an exclusive interview with CFO South Africa, the charismatic Africa MD of Thomson Reuters speaks about her time in New York, the challenges facing modern CFOs and about her drive to help transform Africa’s aid-based economies into knowledge-based economies. Most of the successful projects Sneha has run, delivered because of a firm focus on customers. “For me, the customer is a passion,” Kenyan-born Sneha Sanghrajka Shah reflects. “Too many companies start with their products and ideas, risking irrelevance when the customer needs change. You cannot afford to lose sight of the customer, so my team starts with the customer every day. Even HR, which many organisations would see as a back-office role, has customer-facing targets to meet.” The same rules apply for CFOs, says Sneha, as “they have had to become more customer focused in order to be able to manage the increasing burden of regulation and risk. But overall, there is a trend globally where CFOs are becoming much more market-aware and client-facing. CEOs are becoming less of the singular face to the market and more like coaches to a strong business focused leadership team, and this has led to CFOs and other C-Level roles evolving accordingly.” Reuters has had news reporters in South Africa since the 1860s, and the finance business here started in the 1980s. The name has become synonymous with FX trading across the continent, but Thomson Reuters actually does much more, across a variety of industries and customer segments. “For a global information company with strong roots on the continent, we definitely need to do a better job of sharing who we are and what we do,” says Sneha, as she lists the range of Thomson Reuters services that can benefit businesses and their CFOs. The firm brands itself as ‘the answer company’ and combines news, broad and deep content and industry expertise with innovative technology to provide information to decision-makers in the financial and risk, legal, tax and accounting, intellectual property and science and media markets.

16 June 2016

Capital inflows into Sub-Saharan Africa to slow down, says World Bank

According to the World Bank, investment and capital inflows into Sub-Saharan Africa will continue to slow down as European banks begin looking to Asia for lending activities.This will be further compounded by low commodity prices and worsening economic conditions, as well as currency depreciation in key markets and increasing political tension. The World Bank, in its Global Economic Prospects: Divergences and Risks June 2016 report, said:

15 June 2016

Celebrating success with future-ready finance professionals

The 14th of June 2016 marked a first for CFO South Africa as MD Graham Fehrsen hosted a lively dinner with finance leaders in Durban at the impeccable Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga. Although the bright lights of KwaZulu-Natal may not be quite those of Gauteng, the province is home to a number of significant multinationals and leading corporates. This dinner attracted finance professionals from Olam, Tiger Brands, Mondi, Illovo Sugar and ARB Holdings.

13 June 2016

Peace of mind: Integrated Business Management at Lamb Weston / Meijer

"What has Integrated Business Management delivered for Lamb Weston / Meijer (LWM)?" asks CFO Peter van Wouwe - LWM being one of the world's largest companies in frozen potato products, appetizers and dehydrated potato flakes. "Peace of mind, that’s what." In this article, Marco van Alfen, business planning and control expert at consultancy firm EyeOn, unpacks and demonstrates the concept of Integrated Business Management. Integrated Business Management, Integrated Business Planning (IBP), Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP), Sales Inventory & Operations Planning (SIOP): these are all terms used to indicate the multidisciplinary process by which demand and supply are tuned in an organisation. This is the most basic point at which they agree. During the eighties, the term S&OP marked this reconciliation process. TF Wallace had the key elements of a good S&OP process as: “… a set of decision-making processes to balance demand and supply, to integrate financial planning and operational planning, and to link high-level strategic plans with day-to-day operations.” In many organisations, however, S&OP became a short-term planning process where the past was more often looked at than the future, and the link with strategy was often missing.

12 June 2016

SA's GDP loses 1.2% in Q1 of 2016

South Africa’s GDP growth rate was -1.2% in the first quarter of 2016, according to Statistics SA. Furthermore, expenditure on real GDP fell by 0.7% in the first quarter of 2016. The main contributors to the negative growth rate included the mining and quarrying industry (down 18.1%) and the transport, storage and communication industry (down 2.7%). Moreover, the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector, and the electricity, gas and water sector also contracted significantly (-6.5% for the former and -2.8% for the latter). Conversely, finance, real estate and business services was the strongest performer in value added in the first quarter, increasing by 1.9%, primarily due to growth in finance and real estate services.

10 June 2016

KPMG's Gavin Maile: Fit to function

“If you are not active and reasonably fit, you cannot perform to the level that is expected of you as a top executive” says KPMG partner Gavin Maile. In this exclusive interview, Gavin reveals why he become an accountant, the challenges KPMG South Africa faced with the acquisition of the assets of Arthur Andersen in 2001, and what qualities a good CFO should have. Gavin heads the teams that services the automotive and construction industries in South Africa and candidly discussed the challenges they face in 2016. It might be an exaggeration to say that Gavin eats Comrades marathons for breakfast, but it is not far off the truth. He gets up at 5:15am most mornings to run or cycle, and has, over the years, completed 27 Two Oceans Ultra marathons, 11 Comrades marathons and 15 Cape Town cycle tours – among many other sporting exploits.

09 June 2016

Newsletter: Kuben Naidoo new registrar of banks | Finance is the backbone of business | SA equity market moves to 3-day settlement cycle

CFO South Africa Newsletter | Thursday 9 June Dear CFO South Africa Member, Read Exclusive CFO South Africa Articles Kuben Naidoo new registrar of banks The Reserve Bank recently appointed Kuben Naidoo (pictured), one of its three deputy governors, as registrar of banks. Naidoo will fill both the deputy governor and registrar roles, effective 1 June, following Rene van Wyk’s recent retirement at end May. Finance is the backbone of business says Fabian Cazares, Philips He... A CFO should have a clear view of the potential risk areas and their mitigation actions, says Fabian Cazares, CFO/Head of Finance Southern Africa for Philips Healthtech. "Risk management is a key area, especially in volatile and emerging markets. The CFO needs to ensure that there is a proper risk management strategy in place and closely drive this, as well as to develop both short and long-term mitigation actions to guarantee business continuity." Fabian sees change as a journey, and believes that communication and transparency are important in effecting change, as they allow all stakeholders to see both the impact and benefits of such undertakings. SA equity market moves to 3-day settlement cycle The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has announced that the final market testing phase of the project which will see its equity market move to a shorter, T+3 settlement cycle has been successfully completed. Read more exclusive articles on - Finance Indaba 2016: Purple Group opens markets up for everyone - Local bank notes for Zimbabwe - Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 22 Out now. CFO Magazine issue 1 - 2016 The 3rd CFO Magazine CFO South Africa is out now. With 84 pages packed full of need-to-know information delivered in sharp, insightful articles. Read the latest insights from Reeza Isaacs, CFO Woolworths, Vusi Thembekwayo, Mary Vilakazi, CFO MMI Holdings and Lindani Dhlamini, CEO SekelaXabiso and more. As our online member we would like to give you the opportunity to read the CFO Magazine South Africa online and free of charge HERE. (please make sure that you are logged in with your account). Would you like to also share your story in the next issue? Please contact Shay van Huyssteen at [email protected] or at +27 11 083 7515. Visit Finance Indaba Africa Visit the Finance Indaba 13 & 14 October at the Sandton Convention Centre and boost your profits by 100%. Finance Indaba Africa is the biggest annual expo and conference for finance professionals. It brings together peers technology suppliers, platforms, banks, tools, specialists, CFOs and thought leaders. Over 5,000 visitors tap into a wealth of resources, knowhow and inspiration. Gain unparalleled insights. Cut costs dramatically, send sales & productivity through the roof and boost your company's profits by 100 percent. RSVP now here. Become a partner Are you enabling businesses to cut costs, boost sales, productivity and company profits? Don't miss out the chance to connect with new prospects, to brand your company and to become more successful. Share your ideas at the Finance Indaba and help the country grow. Please contact Graham Fehrsen at [email protected] or at +27 11 083 7515. Diamond Partners" width="500" /> Join the ultimate peer to peer advisory network Various CFOs and finance directors from Eskom, Nedbank, Transnet, Alexander Forbes, Standard Chartered Bank, Hollard, Absa, Servest, Business Connexion and Super Group are members of CFO South Africa. Your peers understand best the issues you face and the challenges that impact your business. Together you will share your experiences at CFO South Africa’s events and help you advance in your career, company and knowledge. Get introduced to experienced colleagues that are happy to share their knowledge with you. 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For more information please have a look here and contact Shay van Huyssteen at [email protected] Stay connected with CFO South Africa Follow CFO South Africa on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook Stay up to date on what is happening in the world of finance by following us on Twitter @CFOSouthAfrica, LinkedIn and Facebook. Next to that you can keep track of newly published interviews with CFOs and CEOs. Feel free to contact us Any suggestions or comments are welcome. Kind Regards, Graham Fehrsen Managing Director CFO South Africa | [email protected] To control which emails you receive from CFO South Africa, please change your email preferences at by selecting under settings "I do not want to receive emails from CFO South Africa | Finance Professionals South Africa"

09 June 2016

Meet Walter Leonhardt (ABI), winner of two awards at the CFO Awards 2016

“Yeehaw!” said a clearly elated Walter Leonhardt, financial director of ABI, when accepting the Compliance & Governance Award from SizweNtsalubaGobodo CEO, Victor Sekese. Becoming serious again, Walter continued: “Thank you very much for the recognition. The words Prof Nkuhlu said earlier about how seriously we all need to take governance and compliance got me thinking. I work for an organisation where fast and furious is sometimes quite sexy. There’s lots of things happening all the time and we take compliance and governance seriously. I thank you very much for this recognition.”

08 June 2016

SA equity market moves to 3-day settlement cycle

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has announced that the final market testing phase of the project which will see its equity market move to a shorter, T+3 settlement cycle has been successfully completed. The JSE currently settles on a five day (T+5) settlement cycle. The transition, scheduled to take place on 11 July this year, will align South Africa to international best practice settlement standards. Dr Leila Fourie (pictured), JSE Executive Director, said:

07 June 2016

Finance is the backbone of business says Fabian Cazares, Philips Healthtech CFO Southern Africa

A CFO should have a clear view of the potential risk areas and their mitigation actions, says Fabian Cazares, CFO/Head of Finance Southern Africa for Philips Healthtech. "Risk management is a key area, especially in volatile and emerging markets. The CFO needs to ensure that there is a proper risk management strategy in place and closely drive this, as well as to develop both short and long-term mitigation actions to guarantee business continuity." Fabian sees change as a journey, and believes that communication and transparency are important in effecting change, as they allow all stakeholders to see both the impact and benefits of such undertakings. The majority of your career seems to have been with Philips, albeit in different capacities and divisions. What keeps you here? "Something I really like about Philips as a company is that they take seriously the development of their employees. Philips use to be well known in electronics, but its focus in the healthcare arena is making a greater impact in people lives. This echoes the vision, mission and values of the company, and that motivates me to stay here." In which post that you've held over the years did you learn the most? "I've been with Philips for 10 years, seven of which I've worked in emerging markets. I would say that in this position I've learnt the most because I've had the opportunity to build the business all across the African continent, for example." What key learnings have you taken away from your assignments in emerging markets? "I'm originally from Mexico, so I feel familiar with emerging markets. My main takeaways, especially in South Africa and Africa, are about the passion, entrepreneurship and desire of people to improve their lives. These values are reflected in both the social and the business environments." You've been in your current role since July 2015. What have you achieved during this time and what more do you still want to achieve? "As Philips Healthtech focuses on the development of new business in the healthcare arena, I have been setting the roadmap for the enablers required. But this isn't enough just yet. I want to keep achieving; keep making a difference and ensure I am the agile business partner required for this market and my organisation."

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