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11 September 2013

CFO South Africa Newsletter | Nel: You can not walk away, after giving your advice | Mocke: Don't give me numbers, tell me what they mean | Two CFO Round Tables October 3rd

CFO South Africa Newsletter | Wednesday 11 September 2013 Dear CFO South Africa member, Read Exclusive CFO South Africa Articles Hennie Nel, Santam: You can not walk away, after giving your advice Hennie Nel did not choose the easiest moment to move to a short term insurance firm, but he says that doing good work in a rough economic climate is actually one of the things he has valued the most so far. Kirsten Mocke, EMC: Don’t give me numbers, tell me what they mean Being able to predict and steer the near and mid-term future is one of the crucial mandates for a CFO or finance director – in Mocke’s experience there is often a lot of room for improvement. Do you want to be interviewed by CFO South Africa? Showcase your work and that of your company to 3500 members of CFO South Africa. Melle Eijckelhoff, Director of CFO South Africa will be in Johannesburg in October and will be conducting personal interviews. If you are interested, send an email to Jurrien Morsch at [email protected] The 5th CFO South Africa Event At the two CFO Round Tables on October 3rd at the Saxon Boutique Hotel, CFOs from top tier South African companies, such as JSE, Lonmin, Discovery Health, TigerBrands, Telkom, Sentula Minings, Eskom, Postbank, SARS, HSRC, Absa, AGSA, Standard Chartered Bank, Dell, FNB, Comair, Nedbank, City of Johannesburg, and many more will be sharing and exploring new ideas about ‘Managing Corporate Growth’. First CFO Round Table What does your agenda look like when it comes to managing corporate growth? For a CFO, there are many aspects to consider when facilitating growth.For example, the numerous strategic options for funding and investing.The need for financial insight to make the right decisions. The risk involved in Mergers and Acquisitions or the entrée of new markets. On top of that, there is a supplier site to manage and economies of scale to benefit from. How do you deal with these challenges today and how could a Finance Modernization look like to streamline systems and processes? Together with 12 of your peers we will discuss these aspects of managing corporate growth and share our experiences and knowledge. Second CFO Round Table Managing Corporate Growth CFOs and finance directors working in South Africa will share their vision and knowledge on Managing Corporate Growth with us at the CFO Round Table. During the Round Table we will share ideas and experiences with the challenges to fund, manage and stimulate corporate growth. For example, How do you get the most out of your working capital and are there opportunities in your company to free up cash for growth? The CFO Round Table will include 12 carefully selected CFOs who will have the privilege to converse in an intimate setting. Stay connected with CFO South Africa Become a member of CFO South Africa Stay on top of current updates in the world of finance and keep track of newly published interviews with CFOs and CEOs by becoming a member on the CFO South Africa Website. Join CFO South Africa on LinkedIn Take advantage right away: Share knowledge, exchange interests and open up business opportunities with other finance professionals through the LinkedIn group:CFO South Africa | Finance Professionals South Africa. Feel free to contact us Do you have any requests, please let us know. Any suggestions or comments are welcome. Kind Regards, Melle Eijckelhoff Director CFO South Africa | [email protected] (c) 2013 | CFO South Africa is published by Alex van Groningen BV To control which emails you receive from CFO South Africa, please change your email preferences at cfo.co.za by selecting under settings "I do not want to receive emails from CFO South Africa | Finance Professionals South Africa"

03 September 2013

Kirsten Mocke, Finance Director EMC: what do the numbers mean?

With nearly 18 years of experience as a finance expert in the IT world, Kirsten Mocke has acquired a good grasp of the strengths and weaknesses in the management of South African IT firms. Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) “is often very high”, sales processes “could be more refined and defined” and forecasting is not taken seriously enough. “Many people can generate numbers.- I always say to my staff: don’t give me numbers, but tell me what the numbers mean.”

28 August 2013

Aarti Takoordeen, CFO JSE Limited: A holistic approach to growth

"I feel there is untapped innovation in the finance world,” says Aarti Takoordeen, who became the CFO of Africa’s leading stock exchange, JSE Limited, in February this year. While Takoordeen may only be 32 year’s old, she has gained extensive experience financial management. “I studied to be a Chartered Accountant as I wanted to manage a business but could not afford to start my own. My career goal is to become a CEO of a business one day,” she says.

28 August 2013

The 5th CFO South Africa Event Registration Closed | Brooks: If we don't do it - some foreign country will | Zimmelman: Trained technicians are hard to come by in South Africa

CFO South Africa Newsletter | Wednesday 28th of August Dear CFO South Africa member, Read Exclusive CFO South Africa Articles Abigail Brooks, Trustco: If we don’t do it – some foreign company will The Namibian firm, Trustco, has recently moved into South Africa and has ambitions to roll out its innovative microfinance and insurance products into the rest of the continent as well. Natalie Zimmelman, AAT(SA): Trained technicians are hard to come by in South Africa HR departments are conservative and bosses are reluctant to let people attend class during working hours, even though they know it will benefit the company eventually. Read more Jan van den Handel, Business Connexion: Balancing risk in Africa Farid Vania, SMEC SA: Patience to develop people Philip Nottingham, CFO a.b.e. Construction Chemicals:Business processes before ERP Showcase your work on CFO South Africa’s Website! Showcase your work and that of your company to 3500 members of CFO South Africa. Melle Eijckelhoff, Director of CFO South Africa will be in Johannesburg in October and will be conducting personal interviews. If you are interested send an email to Jurrien Morsch at jmorsc[email protected] The 5th CFO South Africa Event Get to know Aarti Takoordeen, CFO of JSE and Speaker of the 5th CFO South Africa Event Aarti Takoordeen will give a brief talk on managing corporate growth during the CFO Café at The Saxon Boutique Hotel in Sandton that takes place on 3 October 2013. In the lead-up to this excellent opportunity to get to know this bright young South African she spoke to CFO.co.za to explain a few things about who Aarti Takoordeen is and how she views her job as Chief Financial Officer. Update! The 5th CFO South Africa Event Registration is Full The 5th CFO South Africa Event has reached its participant limit and has closed the registration process. We are excited to welcome 150 CFOs and financial professionals of the South African Business World from companies such as, Standard Chartered Bank, Shanduka, Discovery Health, Winhold, Nedbank, Dell, Servest, Mondeléz, Olam, Jasco, AGSA, Metmar, SAMSA, Postbank, Liberty, City of Johannesburg and J Walter Thompson. For more information click here or contact Kleo Nikolaidis at [email protected] New Partners for the 5th CFO South Africa Event CFO South Africa welcomes Transparent and Wipro as partners for the 5th CFO South Africa Event. Together with CQS, Oracle and Readsoft and CFO South Africa members we are looking forward to having a successful event with our CFO South Africa partners and members. For more information about the 5th CFO South Africa Event click here. CFO South Africa Partners for the 5th CFO South Africa Event: Stay connected with CFO South Africa Join CFO South Africa on LinkedIn Take advantage right away: Share knowledge, exchange interests and open up business opportunities with other finance professionals through the LinkedIn group: CFO South Africa | Finance Professionals South Africa. Follow CFO South Africa on Twitter Stay up to date and in the loop on what is happening in the world of finance by following us on Twitter @CFOSouthAfrica. Also to keep track of newly published interviews with CFOs and CEOs. Feel free to contact us Do you have any requests, please let us know. Any suggestions or comments are welcome. Kind Regards, Melle Eijckelhoff Director CFO South Africa | [email protected] (c) 2013 | CFO South Africa is published by Alex van Groningen BV To control which emails you receive from CFO South Africa, please change your email preferences at cfo.co.za by selecting under settings "I do not want to receive emails from CFO South Africa | Finance Professionals South Africa"

27 August 2013

Abigail Brooks, Trustco: the importance of soft skills and confidence

“I needed a bigger challenge,” says Abigail Brooks, Financial Controller at Trustco Financial Services since May 2013. The Namibian firm has recently moved into South Africa and has ambitions to roll out its innovative microfinance and insurance products into the rest of the continent as well. Brooks is based in Johannesburg and will be overseeing the financial department. “What is crucial for this position is soft skills and confidence,” she says.

23 August 2013

Farid Vania, Group Finance Manager SMEC SA: patience to develop people

Personality, many CFOs nowadays proclaim, is just as important as accounting acumen. But don’t make the mistake of sending everyone who makes a flat impression in a first job interview packing, implores Farid Vania, Group Finance Manager at SMEC SA. “I interview a lot of finance people with a thousand degrees, who – despite this but because of their background – initially don’t come across as very dynamic,” he says. “But if you let them go and they end up at small enterprises they might not develop at all – and developing people is one of the things I enjoy the most.”

23 August 2013

Jan van den Handel, Group Finance Manager Business Connexion: balancing risk in Africa

Exposure to political uncertainty and ever changing exchange rates make it tricky to run – let alone start – a sustainable business in Africa. But, although the African market is difficult to get into, it’s the next destination, even though the risks are considerable. “If we want to grow, that is where we have to go,” says Jan van den Handel, Group Finance Manager: International Operations at Business Connexion.

20 August 2013

Philip Nottingham, CFO a.b.e. Construction Chemicals: Business processes before ERP

“First you have to make sure that your business processes are robust and world class, only after that does it make sense to invest in a brand new, upgraded or different ERP system,” says Philip Nottingham. Half a year ago the experienced finance expert was hired as CFO by a.b.e. Construction Chemicals and one of his main tasks was to roll out more efficient automation. “There was a general idea that our systems were old, but there was generally more information available than we realised. That is why I have delayed the investment in a new ERP for now.”

16 August 2013

Natalie Zimmelman, AAT(SA): vocational training crucial for number crunchers

“CFOs often use Chartered Accountants to do work where they really don’t need them, as they cannot always rely on their junior staff,” says Natalie Zimmelman. She has made it her mission to convince South Africa that number crunchers – from cashiers and meter readers to bookkeepers and accountants – need to receive vocational training. “In many jobs people don’t need the ability to manage, but the ability to do.”

14 August 2013

CFO South Africa Newsletter | Guest Speaker Aarti Takoordeen | 140 Participants for the 5th CFO South Africa Event

Dear CFO South Africa member, Guest Speaker of the 5th CFO South Africa Event We are honored to announce that the CFO Café guest speaker at the 5th CFO South Africa Event will be Aarti Takoordeen, Chief Financial Officer of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Aarti Takoordeen will speak at the CFO Café which will take place at 18.00, after the CFO Round Tables and CFO Master Classes. Participants of the 5th CFO South Africa Event will benefit not only from Aarti’s business expertise but also from the expert knowledge of specialists from CQS, Oracle and ReadSoft who will share their insights at the CFO Round Tables and CFO Master Classes. 140 Participants Registered for the 5th CFO South Africa Event! The 5th CFO South Africa Event will be buzzing with conversation as distinguished CFOs will be present at the CFO Round Tables from Standard Chartered Bank, Shanduka, Discovery Health, Winhold, Nedbank, Dell, Servest, Mondeléz, Olam, Jasco, AGSA, Metmar, SAMSA, Postbank, Liberty, City of Johannesburg and J Walter Thompson to share ideas, experiences and business cards. At the CFO Master Classes even more influential financial professionals will be present from companies such as Tiger Brands, Aveng Group, Philips South Africa, Heineken, McCormick, Sanlam, Telkom, FOX International Channel, SNG, Graftech, Kellogg’s, ABSA, Comair, SARS, Bentel Associates International, The Jupiter Drawing Room, TBWA South Africa WWF South Africa, SABS, Nissan South Africa, G4S, Johnson and Johnson Medical, Eskom and many more… Free of charge CFO South Africa is here to help you with gaining knowledge, boosting your network and finding career opportunities. Join our events, free of charge, and be part of the leading growing network for financial professionals in South Africa. Not registered yet? The 5th CFO South Africa Event has reached its participant limit and has closed the registration process. If you are still interested in attending, please send an email to Kleo Nikolaidis at [email protected] Aarti Takoordeen, CFO of JSE Enjoying a sundown at the CFO South Africa Café in May CFO South Africa News Read Exclusive CFO South Africa Interviews Alwyn Smith, Group Financial Manager of FPT: What you want to achieve will come in time Werner Barnard, Mondeléz International: People skills make the difference Chris Povall, CFO of Accéntuate Doing more with less CFO South Africa Welcomes New Partner CFO South Africa would like to welcome ReadSoft as the new partner of CFO South Africa. We are looking forward to working with ReadSoft and building a prosperous relationship that will benefit all our CFO South Africa members. You will have the opportunity to meet some of ReadSoft's experts at the 5th CFO South Africa Event on October 3rd at the Saxon Boutique Hotel. Would you like to become a partner of CFO South Africa? We would like to think with you about how we can best match your objectives with those of CFO South Africa. On that basis, we will provide you with a tailor made proposal. Find out general information about opportunities on our Partner Proposal and contact Jurrien Morsch at [email protected] CFO South Africa Partners for the 5th CFO South Africa Event: Do you have any requests, please let us know. Any suggestions or comments are welcome. Kind Regards, Melle Eijckelhoff Director CFO South Africa | [email protected] PS 1. Join the 5th CFO South Africa Event now. Please register here. 2. Follow CFO South Africa on Twitter 3. Your company profile viewed by 3500 finance professionals? Let us interview you! Please contact Jurriën Morsch at [email protected] To control which emails you receive from CFO South Africa, please change your email preferences at cfo.co.za by selecting under settings "I do not want to receive emails from CFO South Africa | Finance Professionals South Africa"

02 August 2013

Alwyn Smith, Group Financial Manager, FPT: "What you want to achieve will come in time."

Alwyn Smith is an Excel man through and through. No fancy informatics programmes for him; this CA prefers to do things manually. “I love Excel so I try to automate as much as possible to pull numbers from other sources. I’ve done courses in Visual Basic (the back end of Excel) and in writing macros, and so have extensive training of Excel.” New Technology This does not mean Alwyn is not interested in new technology. On the contrary, the Group Financial Manager looks forward to how innovations can impact at the coalface. “Driving technology forward and evolving business, especially through mobile technology is also part of the Group Financial Manager’s role. For example, salesmen can go to customers and do sales orders at premises and upload to ERP. Using tablets, they could get sign-off right there with the customer.”

30 July 2013

Jonathan Lang, Head Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group: The challenges of investing in Africa

“It is amazing how many South African and foreign companies are entering the rest of Africa at the moment, some without taking legal advice prior to, or after, their arrival. Some investors invest millions, buying a diamond mine in the DRC for example, but are unfortunately often then hit with unforeseen problems and need to come to us for legal help ,” says Jonathan Lang, head of the Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group (BGAG), one of the leading law firms in South Africa. “You have to be careful when doing business in Africa as it runs on a timeframe, language and way of its own and it makes all the difference to have expert legal advice at the outset, as litigating in the courts of some African countries is very challenging.

29 July 2013

Werner Barnard, Mondel?z International: People skills make the difference

“People skills are what set good and bad leaders apart,” says Werner Barnard, Finance Business Lead: Integrated Supply Chain at Mondel?z International. Barnard is an ambitious man, a business leader of the type that believes a strong finance background is a stepping stone to even greater things. Barnard has just landed at snack company Mondel?z, formerly known as Kraft Foods, after a career that saw him fulfil roles in the chicken processing industry and telecoms. Mondel?z is an international firm with 62 brands under its wings, including Cadbury’s chocolate, Jacobs, Tuc and Stimorol. The company has five factories in Africa: one in Port Elizabeth (chocolate), Namibia (‘seasonal’ chocolate), Swaziland (bubblegum, Halls and Eclairs), Botswana (chewing gum) and Kenya (drinking chocolate). “There is massive growth potential in Africa, so that makes it very exciting.”

19 July 2013

Chris Povall, CFO Accéntuate: Doing more with less

“The role of CFOs in organisations has not changed as much as some people like to think it has,” says Chris Povall, Chief Financial Officer at Accéntuate Limited, a listed South African company that specializes in vinyl, laminate and wooden floors, chemicals for the flooring industry and a broad range of cleaning chemicals. Povall is a highly experienced finance leader, having held influential positions at Impala Platinum, Times Media, Chemical Services and Protea Chemicals. “What has changed is the technical and compliance side of the job: rules, regulations, IFRS… there are more and more regulations and standards to comply with. Each day we have to do more with less.”

19 July 2013

Michael van Straten, Financial Director Servest Marine: "Treat one with respect and you will get it back."

Michael van Straten begins our interview with a walking tour of Servest Marine’s operations at Cape Town harbour. Seeing him greet dock workers by name and check on the boats of “the competition”, I’m reminded of my first feeling when I met Michael at the CFO Café some months previous – here was someone who knows his place in the world and makes one feel instantly at ease. Not bad for a man who until last year was working for one of the largest multi-nationals in the world….

18 July 2013

CFO South Africa Newsletter July 18th 2013: Upcoming Event October 3rd 2013 | CFO South Africa Welcomes New Partner

Dear CFO South Africa member, Don’t miss CFO South Africa’s Upcoming Event The time to register for the next CFO South Africa Event has come. On Thursday October 3rd 2013 at the Saxon Boutique Hotel, prominent financial professionals and directors will represent Johannesburg’s finest companies at the exclusive 5th CFO South Africa Event. CFO Master Class 16.00-18.00 The 5th CFO South Africa Event, titled “Managing Corporate Growth” will take place on Thursday, October 3rd at the Saxon Boutique Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg. During this event two Master Classes will take place in which 50 financial professionals will take advantage of an expert speaker providing insight on how you can improve your processes, ICT and skills to enable Corporate Growth. CFO Round Table 16.00-18.00* CFO South Africa is also organising a unique series of exclusive CFO Round Tables from 16.00 to 18.00 on October 3rd at the Saxon Boutique Hotel. You will be able to enjoy an in-depth conversation with an exclusive group of financial executives. During the Round Table we will share ideas and experiences with the challenges to fund, manage and stimulate corporate growth. The CFO Round Table will include 15 carefully selected CFOs who will have the privilege to converse in an intimate setting. If you are a CFO of a top tier company than let us invite you. Please send an email to [email protected] CFO Café 18.00-20.00 Afterwards the CFO Café will commence, in which 100 other financial professionals, including CFOs and Finance Directors, will be able to network and meet new financial professionals while enjoying an environment that stimulates inspiration and networking. This unique reception, offers you the chance to meet your peers and discuss the latest insights on the role of the CFO. Also you can enjoy a speech by our special guest from the South African Business World, Raj Mahabeer, CFO of Auditor General South Africa. For more information click here or contact Steffie Bosman at [email protected] CFO South Africa News Read Exclusive CFO South Africa Interviews and Articles · Humphrey Borkum, Chairman JSE Limited: Extraordinary accomplishments since democracy · Alex van der Watt, University of Johannesburg & SAICA: Grooming the CFOs of the future · CFOs discuss their challenges during successful Executive Dinner in Johannesburg. Read more. CFO South Africa Welcomes New Partner CFO South Africa would like to welcome CQS Technology Holdings as the new partner of CFO South Africa. We are looking forward to working with CQS and building a prosperous relationship that will benefit all our CFO South Africa members. Do you have any requests, please let us know. Any suggestions or comments are welcome. Kind Regards, Melle Eijckelhoff Director CFO South Africa | [email protected] PS 1. Join the 5th CFO South Africa Event now. Please register here. 2. Follow CFO South Africa on Twitter 3. Your company profile viewed by 3500 finance professionals? Let us interview you! Please contact Jurriën Morsch at [email protected] * The CFO Round Table is for senior financial executives working in companies with revenues exceeding 100 million rand. If you are not part of the target audience but would like to participate in the event, please contact [email protected] or download our Partner Proposal.

12 July 2013

Humphrey Borkum, Chairman JSE Limited: Extraordinary accomplishments since democracy

“A listing at the stock exchange is still the best way to raise capital,” says Humphrey Borkum. It’s something you would expect the chairman of JSE Limited, the largest stock exchange in Africa, to say, but not a lot of CFOs have felt like taking their business public lately. “When companies get bigger though, these considerations become inevitable,” says Borkum. “I believe there will be a number of new big JSE listings in the future.”

09 July 2013

Alex van der Watt, University of Johannesburg & SAICA: Grooming the CFOs of the future

“It is very exciting to work with the new generation,” says Alex van der Watt, auditing lecturer, Head of the Department of Accountancy at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and education specialist on the board of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). “When I studied we more or less just accepted what professors said. There is a new generation now, which is challenging the way things are. They are the CFOs of the future.”

09 July 2013

CFOs discuss their challenges during successful Executive Dinner in Johannesburg

Every day, margins are being squeezed, skilled staff members need to be found and growth needs to be funded. The challenges that CFOs and Finance Directors face are multiple and they all come at the same time. What better way to recharge their batteries than bouncing some ideas off fellow finance leaders in the industry? Or shedding some frustrations during a delicious dinner in a top restaurant, surrounded by colleagues who share them?

25 June 2013

Eric van Marle, Vice President Transparent: South African CFOs are the drivers of great change

“You don’t want to know how many CFOs and banks we have helped with matchmaking,” says Eric van Marle. A networker at heart, Transparent’s Vice President likes to bring together business people who can help each other forward – something that aligns neatly with CFO South Africa’s approach. Van Marle is excited about Transparent’s presence in the South African market and he is not planning to curb his enthusiasm. “This market is very hot at the moment. South Africa has clearly made great leaps in economic development and everyone’s focussing on keeping that trend going. That’s where we can help.”

19 June 2013

Alan Winde visits Holland | CFO Awards 2014 | CFO Round Table in the Saxon | Interview CEO EOH | CFO South Africa Newsletter June 19th 2013

(In the picture from left to right: Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Finance, Kent Karro, Senior Partner Horwath Zeller Karro, Asher Bohbot, CEO EOH, Craig Thompson, Managing director Michael Page) Dear CFO South Africa member, Good day! Hope you had a great start to your week. Thank you for participating with us online with CFO South Africa - here is this week’s update. Interviews with thought leaders Last month our director Melle Eijckelhoff had an exciting visit to Cape Town and Johannesburg and met with several prominent South African thought leaders. Read their interviews here: • Asher Bohbot, CEO EOH: Appropriate expectations in Africa; • Craig Thompson, Managing director Michael Page: Help build a country; • Kent Karro, Senior Partner Horwath Zeller Karro: Dealing with tax morality; Read new interesting articles and interviews on CFO.co.za We had the honour to meet with Minister Alan Winde during our CFO day in The Netherlands and we met with leading CFOs in the Saxon Boutique Hotel. • Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism; In Search of Excellence in Holland; • CFO Round Table in Johannesburg: CFOs exchange notes on IT and automating processes; Your company profile viewed by 3500 finance professionals? Let us interview you! If you also would like to share your ideas with the CFO community, please get in touch with us to arrange an interview. Please contact Jurriën Morsch at [email protected] CFO South Africa announces CFO Awards 2014 We are proud to announce the establishment of a new prestigious yearly award to honour the best performing CFOs in the country. The CFO Awards will take place to honour the best performing CFOs in the country and is preparing to celebrate the success of many others. We are now in the process of composing the jury for the CFO Awards. Victor Sekese, CEO of South Africa’s largest black audit and accounting firm SizweNtsalubaGobodo and Alex van der Watt, Academic and Head of Department of Accountancy - University of Johannesburg and also SAICA board member are the first to commit to be in the jury for the prestigious yearly CFO award ceremony. Are you interested in joining our jury please send an email to [email protected] Read more on the CFO Awards here. Meet CFO South Africa in 2013 & 2014 • CFO Master Classes and Cafés September 2013 in Cape Town & Sandton • CFO Master Classes and Cafés October 2013 in Cape Town & Sandton • CFO Master Classes and Cafés November 2013 in Cape Town & Sandton • CFO Day & CFO Awards March 2014: cfoday.co.za We are at the stage of planning the definitive dates and topics of our CFO South Africa Fall program as we speak. Please check our website and our bi-weekly newsletter regularly to stay updated on the confirmed dates and topics of these events. Would you like to suggest a speaker, a location or a topic for our next events? Please share your ideas with us and send a mail to [email protected] Become a partner of CFO South Africa Meet top CFOs, claim thought leadership, create value and develop business. Various Global companies like Accenture, Oracle and Tranparent are partners with CFO South Africa. Just like us, they believe we can contribute to the growth of their business and network in South Africa. As a partner of CFO South Africa you find yourself in a network in which you can contribute to sharing knowledge, seizing opportunities and growing your business. Are you interested in a partnership or do you require more information? Please contact [email protected] or visit http://www.cfoafrica.net Are you enthusiastic about CFO South Africa? Please invite your friends and colleagues to join by sending them this link: http://cfo.co.za Do you have any requests, please let us know. Any suggestions or comments are welcome. Kind Regards, Jurriën Morsch Community Manager CFO South Africa | [email protected] PS • Join CFO South Africa on LinkedIn Take advantage right away: Share knowledge, exchange interests and open up business opportunities with other finance professionals. • Follow CFO South Africa on Twitter Stay connected, up to date and in the loop on what is happening in the world of finance by following us on Twitter. Also to keep track of newly published interviews with CFOs and CEOs.

18 June 2013

Asher Bohbot, CEO EOH: Appropriate expectations in Africa

“It is important to understand that the markets in the rest of Africa are very different from South Africa,” says Asher Bohbot, founder and CEO of the South African IT company EOH. There is a bit of hype around investing in Africa lately and Bohbot warns that expectations of returns need to be realistic. At the same time the experienced entrepreneur acknowledges the opportunities are enormous. “Africa’s growth is greater than ours in South Africa, so there is no question that the continent is a destination for growth for South African enterprises.”

22 May 2013

Robin Beetge, Managing Director ReadSoft Southern Africa: Improving the yield from the green fields of Southern Africa's business

If I had to use one word to sum up the Southern African region right now it would be optimism. It is incredibly encouraging to see the growth in the region, driven by an expanding economy, and this is translating into a market with strong international reach and growing opportunities within corporates and governments alike. As a leading global provider of software for back office process automation, ReadSoft already has a presence in more than seventy countries, on six continents with seventeen subsidiaries, but it too has turned its attention to Southern Africa as a key market for development. It has worked with partners for more than eight years in the region, but in 2012 ReadSoft Southern Africa was officially incorporated with new offices located in Johannesburg.

17 May 2013

Lesley-Anne Wilkinson and Wilfred Ascott (IBM): talking about Globally Integrated Enterprises

“The journey that we have made as IBM to become a Globally Integrated Enterprise is something we like to talk about,” explained Lesley-Anne Wilkinson, who heads up the IBM Institute for Business Value in the Middle East and Africa. Together with her marketing colleague Wilfred Ascott, Wilkinson on Friday met with director Melle Eijckelhoff of CFO South Africa to discuss IBM’s Africa expansion, the role of CFOs and the Smarter Planet philosophy that is driving IBM.

16 May 2013

CFO Round Table: 'Transforming a day in the life of a CFO'

From left to right: Juan Mostert (Dell South and Central Africa), Grant Scrutton (Winhold), Ranga Mabgwe (Stewart Scott International Mafuri), Melle Eijckelhoff (CFO South Africa), Philip Nottingham (abe Construction Chemicals), Alain Ozan (Oracle), Craig Coltman (De Beers) and Sandeep Gandhi (Village Reef Gold Mining Company). Other participants were: Anbann Chetti (Nedbank Corporate Banking), Ian Graham (General Electric Oil & Gas & General Electric Southern Africa), Nichola Dewar (Postbank), Werner Barnard (Kraft Foods) and Pieter Bensch (Oracle).

15 May 2013

Top CFOs discuss challenges during Executive Dinner

From left to right in the picture: Steffie Bosman (CFO SA), Peter Walsh (Servest), Melle Eijckelhoff (CFO SA), Kudakwashe Chipanda (Johnson & Johnson Medical), Eric van Marle (Transparent), Morrison Smit (Ardor SA), Ranga Mabgwe (Stewart Scott International ), Jobo Moshesh (SITA), Errol Campbell (Edenred South Africa), Amanda Albäck (Tongaat Hulett Starch), Mariette Ebersohn (Mango Airlines) and Carolina van der Ark (Transparent).

15 May 2013

Victor Sekese, CEO SizweNtsalubaGobodo: CFOs struggle with sustainability

“I have pity for CFOs,” says Victor Sekese and for the first time in the interview his characteristic thundering laugh is lacking. The Chief Executive Officer of accounting firm SizweNtsalubaGobodo has an intimate understanding of the tricky position many South African financial bosses find themselves in these days. “They are in a very difficult position, because the economy is down but they have to look at the long term business. If they don’t invest, they lose out.”

14 May 2013

Jonathan Lang, Head Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group: Expanding into Africa

“Our vision is to build a group network of offices in eight to twelve African countries,” said Jonathan Lang, head of the law firm Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group. On Tuesday Lang met with Melle Eijckelhoff of CFO South Africa, the fast growing CFO-platform for networking and knowledge sharing in the country. They discussed the legal and financial challenges of South African finance professionals especially those venturing further into Africa.

13 May 2013

Kent Karro, Senior Partner Horwath Zeller Karro: Keeping up with the taxes

“In my field we have to run faster and faster to stay in the same place,” says Kent Karro, partner and chairman of the Cape Town based consulting firm Horwath Zeller Karro. On Monday Karro met with Melle Eijckelhoff and Steffie Bosman of CFO South Africa, the leading networking platform for CFOs and finance professionals in South Africa. He provided a great number of fascinating and eloquent insights into the ever-changing tax landcape in South Africa.

13 May 2013

IMF Sees Positive Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa

The near-term outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains broadly positive, with growth projected to accelerate modestly to around 5½ percent in 2013–14, following a year of strong growth in 2012, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said today. In its May 2013 Regional Economic Outlook, Building Momentum in a Multi-Speed World, the IMF said that these favourable prospects partly reflect the gradually improving outlook for the global economy, while locally, investment in export-oriented sectors is an important driver of growth going forward.

25 April 2013

Rolam Ait Si Birouk, CFO Ropetec: African challenges are cash, skills and tax

“NETWORKING is very, very important for finance professionals who are working in Africa,” says Rolam Ait Si Birouk. As CFO of Cape Town-based company Ropetec, which does maintenance and inspection work in the oil and gas industry, Rolam has a lot of experience working in countries like Angola, Ghana and Congo. “We are all facing the same challenges in these markets and it will be great to hear how other people find solutions to these challenges.”

23 April 2013

Bright Amisi, Group Finance Manager at SABS: `Risk management is going to become a key part of the CFO portfolio`

Bright Amisi (37) has been the Group Finance Manager of the SABS, a leading conformity assessment industry player, since 2008. SABS is the largest conformity assessment body in Africa and is the official publisher of South African National Standards (SANS) used across all sectors of the economy. He thinks the most challenging about his position are that the non-finance issues demand a lot of his time. He doesn’t always sit in his office worrying about the numbers; He is frequently out there trying to enable the business to be successful. Everybody wants advice before making decisions. Before joining SABS Bright was employed by the Development Bank of South Africa as the GM: Finance and Administration - NEPAD for three years. Bright has also previously served as the Finance Director of Africare Zimbabwe, Head of Finance and Administration for the Red Cross in Zimbabwe and as an Auditor. He holds an MCom (Accounting), BSc (Hons) and is an Associate member of ACCA, CIMA and CIS. Bright is married to Diana with four kids and is a Formula One fanatic! Which skills do you think a finance professional should master to be successful in his/her work? A finance professional needs knowledge of accounting standards (IFRS), tax, ICT systems and systems integration, as well as risk management.

19 April 2013

Ian Graham, CFO of GE Oil & Gas Africa & GE Southern Africa: "South Africa can be a launch pad for the continent"

“South Africa has the unique opportunity to be a launch pad for the whole of Southern Africa and the rest of the continent,” says Ian Graham, CFO of GE Oil & Gas Africa & GE Southern Africa. As part of the huge American multinational company General Electric, GE is quickly growing its operations in Africa. There are huge opportunities in countries like Angola, Mozambique and Zambia,” says Ian. “If South Africa can leverage this, they can also minimize their exposure to slower economies like Europe.”

14 April 2013

Callen Hodgskiss, HPCA: opportunities for finance talents at NGOs

“FOLLOW what you value,” is the advice of Callen Hodgskiss. As CFO of the Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa (HPCA) he knows what he is talking about. “I hope young financial professionals realize there are a lot of opportunities in the NGO sector. It is a dynamic environment and there is a lot that you can contribute. There is growing need for qualified people at NGOs and the salaries are becoming more and more market related.”

11 April 2013

Brett Tromp, CFO at Discovery Health: the softer side of a CFO

“FIRSTLY, always do more than your job description tells you to, so people will recognize your value.” The advice could sound gratuitous coming from anyone else, but if anybody can shed a light on a successful career for young finance professionals it must be Brett Tromp. “Secondly,” he says, “create a market for yourself in your organisation. Find executives to talk to and establish a brand of knowledge and trust. Those two things can be the big secret to a successful career and quickly moving up the ladder.”

09 April 2013

Grant Scrutton, Finance Director Winhold Limited; `It is never boring, never the same, never "done"`

Grant Scrutton is Finance director of Winhold Limited which is a JSE-listed holding company with its main investments being in its subsidiaries, Gundle Limited and Inmins Limited. Gundle manufactures polyethylene bags, construction sheeting, consumer and industrial packaging, agricultural film and dam linings and distributes to the agricultural, chemical, construction, food processing, industrial and consumer markets, as well as installing dam linings in sub-Sahara Africa. Inmins comprises 19 strategically located operations servicing the mining and industrial sectors with a wide range of consumable and maintenance products, and includes divisions specialising in hose, mining pipe systems, chain and sprocket systems and conveyor belting.

05 April 2013

Jonas Schöfer (The Hackett Group): Freeing up cash from working capital

(On the picture from left to right: Melle Eijckelhoff (CFO South Africa) & Jonas Schöfer (The Hackett Group) The Hackett Group is a stalwart name in the international business world and has now come to South Africa “to free up working capital”, says Jonas Schöfer. He believes that many large South African companies can free up between 10 and 30 percent of their working capital, just by improving the quality of their processes. “That is where The Hackett Group can help you,” says Schöfer, representing the firm together with Hackett's performance partner "IQBusiness Group", South Africa's largest independent consultancy and a Level 5 BBBEE accredited entity. In an interview with CFO South Africa Schöfer says he has met with “around 100 South African CFOs” so far to discuss the proven, hands-on approach of Hackett, a global working capital consulting firm dedicated to delivering sustainable cash flow improvement across business operations. The company, which is headquartered in Miami but operates and deploys globally out of 10 offices including Johannesburg, claims to have delivered more than $25 billion in cash to its clients in the last decade only, “creating the liquidity to fund acquisitions, product development, debt reduction and share buy-back programs.”. The South African client reference sheet already covers companies from Retail, Chemicals, FMCG, Construction and Packaging.

26 March 2013

DJ Kumbula, CEO InnoVent: "Better rates than the bank or own cash"

(On the right picture starting from the left Melle Eijckelhoff, Director CFO South Africa and DJ Kumbula, CEO InnoVent) “We can prove to any bank or corporation that InnoVent can give them a better rate than they can fund themselves at.” At the end of the remarkable story of InnoVent, DJ Kumbula does not hold back. He is convinced that his asset leasing and management company provides a service that beats purchasing equipment by borrowing money at the bank or any other form of funding including internal funding. Looking at InnoVent’s portfolio of blue chip and JSE listed clients, it appears there is something here. “Our philosophy is: deliver what you promise and you have got customers for life.” CFO South Africa recently met with InnoVent Group CEO DJ Kumbula and Business Development Manager Willem Venter to discuss InnoVent’s unique approach to asset finance and management which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The company employs about 50 people in the Johannesburg office and the Qrent division, and has recently opened offices in London and Scotland. “Our Qrent division is doing well in Zimbabwe and Zambia has opened its doors,” Venter announces. The story of InnoVent began when the Zimbabwean-born Kumbula and his South African friend Zakhe Khuzwayo, both Chartered Accountants started their small office with two telephones and a shared desk. “We worked in the industry prior to us going on our own” The duo was not impressed with the approach of lease providers towards customers and the negative connotations associated with the leasing industry due to the small print and onerous terms on clients especially at the end of the lease period.. “Leasing can be a nightmare for a client if it is provided by an unscrupulous lessor.. There are things lessors can do which may be legal, but totally unethical and immoral which costs the client more money in the long run than they had budgeted for. We saw that lessors were making massive short term profits at the expense of their clients, ultimately resulting in a short relationship with the clients. So we decided to start our own company focused on the long term – low profits throughout, but long term sustainable client relationships”. What InnoVent basically does is “subsidised asset finance, because we want your asset back when you no longer want to use it. We have created a massive and active secondary market for your otherwise redundant assets – we give you back some of the value we realise in the secondary market by subsidising your finance costs right at the beginning when you source the assets”, Kumbula explains. If those assets are laptops, for example, InnoVent takes them back after the lease period which the client determines and remarkets them through Qrent in a different secondary market. “Our mission is to keep finding secondary markets that yield good value for used assets so we can pass on higher subsidies to our primary clients when they finance through us . We never want to look at our primary clients for profits, but rather as a reliable source of high volumes of used assets.” “For our primary customers we look at all blue chip companies and organisations with sophisticated and astute CFOs that understand our product and are willing to engage with an open mind.” The move to London and Scotland also fits in that model: “In the UK there is no real second hand market for used assets. Now we offer companies in the UK the subsidised financing as well as help them with their CSI initiatives and Green disposal as we recondition their assets at end of lease and redeploy them on the African continent in small businesses, schools, government institutions and with teachers at highly affordable prices.” The list of raving testimonials about InnoVent is impressive and includes a recommendation by Discovery, South Africa’s largest health insurer. InnoVent Rental and Asset Management Solutions (Pty) Ltd, the full name of the company, does not only lease out ICT hardware, but also motor vehicles, yellow metal equipment, telecoms equipment, medical equipment and other moveable assets. “Leasing through us helps you manage your cash flow. We do asset management, you don’t have to worry about green disposal of redundant stuff, you keep up to date with the latest technologies and we offer you the best rate.! Our biggest challenge is not our business model, it’s traditional mind sets of decision makers and the negative connotations associated with the leasing industry especially with people that had a bad leasing experience in the past.” According to Kumbula some leasing companies have “traumatised” some South African finance professionals that have vowed to never lease equipment again. The main difference at InnoVent, Kumbula says, is the end of contract service and transparency. “We help you understand the contract up front, educate you during the process, assist with asset managements and give you notice about the end of the contract – instead of leaving you to manage on your own. We have a moral obligation beyond the contract to assist our clients in achieving the results they set out to achieve when leasing through us. In an effort to enhance this value for our clients and support a positive long term client relationship, we are the only leasing company in our segment who have a dedicated in-house remarketing division, Qrent. We are also the only ones with an in-house logistics team that helps clients return assets at the end of the lease period hassle free and avoiding any nasty so called damages bills ” About 30-40 percent of our clients have come to us from competitorsdue to our reputation as an ethical lease provider”. According to Kumbula, CFOs have a natural tendency to be conservative and he calls on them to keep an open mind for solutions like InnoVent which can improve their business. “As an individual I also like to own my assets. If I have an old phone, I keep it as a backup or give it to a family member,” Kumbula said. “But for a business that uses laptops or desktops it makes good financial sense to get a good leasing deal that enhances your financial and asset management. We now lease equipment to maybe 40 of the top 150 organisations in South Africa. We generally have a good success rate if we get in front of a CFO.”

20 March 2013

It is time for CFO South Africa

Since its launch in September 2011 CFO South Africa has become the leading networking platform for CFOs and finance professionals. The fast-growing online and offline community is moulded on a successful formula in The Netherlands, where the platform has become as essential for finance professionals as adding and subtracting. We spoke to Alex van Groningen, founder of the Dutch CFO and South African platforms about the opportunities in South Africa, his business model and the ambitious plans of CFO SA.

15 March 2013

Delphine Maidou, Allianz: "There is no way back"

“We’re investing in Africa, because we believe in the continent.” CFO SA encountered a lot of positivity about the growth of the African economy in the last week, but no testimony has been as outspoken as that of Delphine Maidou, CEO of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) in South Africa. And no testimony has been so significant – who else but a professional risk insurer with a worldwide footprint is better qualified to judge the economic prospects of Africa?

15 March 2013

Jo-Ann Pohl, CFO Standard Chartered Bank: Creating a CFO buddy system

A buddy system in which young CFOs get paired with experienced counterparts could greatly benefit the South African financial world. It is one of the many ideas that occupy the mind of Jo-Ann Pohl, the energetic and enthusiastic CFO of Standard Chartered Bank. On Friday Pohl met with Alex van Groningen and Melle Eijckelhoff of networking platform CFO SA to discuss the need and opportunities for more interaction between top financial professionals.

14 March 2013

Jonas Schofer, The Hackett Group: assisting CFOs

Many large South African companies can free up between 10 and 20 percent of their working capital, just by improving the quality of their processes. That is what Jonas Schofer of The Hackett Group said on Thursday when he met with CFO SA’s Melle Eijckelhoff. Over the last months Schofer has met with around 100 South African CFOs to discuss the proven, hands-on approach of Hackett, a global working capital consulting firm dedicated to delivering sustainable working capital improvement across business operations.

13 March 2013

FD Centre meets CFO SA: how to escape the whirlwind

Companies and CFOs of big firms find themselves increasingly caught in a whirlwind, where urgent matters get priority and other important issues get shelved, Rowan de Klerk on Wednesday explained to the founders of the networking platform CFO South Africa. De Klerk is the CEO of FD Centre, an innovative company that places respected, experienced Finance Directors with smaller organisations and in the CFO offices of larger companies.

13 March 2013

Karen Elstob, IQ Business: "Learning from other industries"

“There is a lot of value in making connections cross-industry,” said Karen Elstob, who is responsible for Business Development at IQ Business. On Wednesday Elstob met with the founders of CFO South Africa, the leading networking platform for financial professionals in South Africa. They discussed the challenges and opportunities in the financial sector. “Professionals can learn a lot from colleagues in other industries,” Elstobs said, emphasizing the significance of the CFO SA initiative.

13 March 2013

DJ Kumbula of Innovent welcomes opportunities CFO SA

“Give us 15 minutes in front of a CFO of a big corporation and we will convince them of our rental and asset management solutions,” said DJ Kumbula, CEO of Innovent. The Johannesburg-based company offers innovative alternatives to company-purchased capital equipment, saving money for clients and keeping their equipment up to date. The list of raving testimonials is impressive and includes a recommendation by Discovery, South Africa’s largest health insurer.

12 March 2013

CFO SA announces CFO awards 2014

CFO South Africa on Tuesday announced the establishment of a new prestigious yearly award to honour the best performing CFOs in the country. The fast-growing networking platform for financial professionals is embarking on a process to elect the best Chief Financial Officer of South Africa, culminating in a festive award ceremony in March next year. One of the first influential people who has committed to be on the jury is Victor Sekese, CEO of accounting firm SizweNtsalubaGobodo.

21 January 2013

Sizwe Nkosi, CFO, Metmar Limited: `CFOs will need to improve their leading from the front and tap into the entrepreneurial sphere of their brains to remain relevant.`

Sizwe Nkosi is CFO of Metmar Limited, which has two main divisions: trading in commodities and investing in resource projects and companies. The commodities trading division focusses on international trading of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastic products and chemicals. The investment division invests in mining and minerals projects and companies with the main intention to secure long term cost effective off-take agreements to be traded by the trading division. The main office of the company is in Bryanston with satellite offices in Boksburg, Germiston, Durban and Zimbabwe. Metmar Limited is listed on the main board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

26 November 2012

Alan Winde - Ministry of Finance, Economic Development & Tourism: "There is definitely room for more co-operation between government and companies"

Alan Winde has been a member of the Western Cape Provincial Legislature since 1999. During his first term, he served as Western Cape Provincial Finance Chairman and Executive Committee Member with the Democratic Party. Prior to being re-elected in April 2009, he served as the Chief Whip of the Official Opposition in the Western Cape, as DA Spokesperson on Environment and Planning and as Deputy DA Spokesperson on Economic Development and Tourism.

22 October 2012

Bonface Ndawala - Group Financial Control Executive Globacom: `Key issues in the industry of finance at the moment would be the impact of the debt crisis in Europe and America`

The fastest growing telecommunication company in sub-Saharan Africa, Globacom provides world class cutting edge technology and designs telecom solutions to suit the needs of various publics, irrespective of size. As a company, Globacom recently made history as the first single company to build an $800 million high-capacity fiber-optic cable, known as Glo-1. It is the first successful submarine cable from the United Kingdom to Nigeria; and it will decrease telecom costs and provide very reliable bandwidth to all the cities connected to the cable.

12 October 2012

André Dippenaar - CFO BioTherm Energy: "It's adapt or die"

Founded in 2003, BioTherm Energy Proprietary Limited (BTE) is one of South Africa’s first independent power producers (IPP). In October 2007, BTE commissioned its 4.2 MW Biogas Project at the PetroSA refinery in Mosselbay in the Eastern Cape Province. This project was the first non-recourse project financed IPP deal to be concluded in South Africa. This project was also the first project to successfully register and monetise carbon credits in South Africa.

20 September 2012

Anoj Singh - CFO Transnet: "The CFO is playing the role of Chief Strategy Officer"

Transnet is the largest and most crucial part of the freight logistics chain that delivers goods to each and every South African. The company is fully owned by the South African government but operates as a corporate entity aimed at both supporting and contributing to the country’s freight logistics network. It aims at developing South African industry, reducing the cost of doing business, while at the same time operating efficiently and profitably. Transnet employs 60,000 people and had a yearly turnover (for the financial year to March 31 2012) of R45 billion.

02 September 2012

Bikash Prasad - CFO Olam International (East & South Africa): "Forecasting and budgeting are more crucial than ever"

Bikash is qualified member and rank holder of the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of India, a member of Institute of Management Accountants, USA, MBA in Finance and DBF from the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI). He has been awarded by the Finance Minister in India for top rank in the examination of the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of India. He is a recipient of government scholarship for the highest marks in board exams. He has also received scholarship from ICFAI for academic excellence.

27 August 2012

Frikkie Kotzee - CFO Kumba Iron Ore: "CFOs have had to switch their focus more to efficiency and cost control"

Kumba Iron Ore Limited is a leading value-adding supplier of high quality iron ore to the global steel industry. Kumba is a member of the Anglo American plc group, of which three of its mining businesses are based in South Africa: Platinum, Kumba Iron Ore and Thermal Coal. Kumba Iron Ore employs over 6300 people, of which nearly 75 work at the financial department of the company. The company was listed on JSE in November 2006.

06 August 2012

Ted Baxter - CFO Norton Rose: "Not forecasting and budgeting is simply burying your head in the sand like an ostrich"

Ted Baxter, CFO of Norton Rose South Africa, was educated in Harare, Zimbabwe and came to South Africa in 1982. After a short period in the banking industry with Nedcor, he joined a manufacturing company in the accounts dept and within 2 years became financial accountant. It was at this time that he embarked on his studies to become a Chartered Secretary and Administrator (A.C.I.S.) and qualified in 1988, being registered in United Kingdom and South Africa. He is also registered as a public practitioner with the Institute. Ted joined the Boart Longyear International Group, head office, and became the group's assistant company secretary, before being appointed as Admin Manager & a divisional director at Boart Longyear Research Centre, responsible for their financial and administrative affairs. The work was extremely varied exposing Ted to the world of technology and its application in business, the setting up of time and billing, special projects, costing systems and converting research from a cost centre to a profit centre, obtaining joint funding from the CSIR and the establishment of a research centre in Ireland through obtaining financing from the Irish government and the negotiation of tax incentives. Ted sat on a number of committees in the worldwide group including finance & internal audits and IT.

01 August 2012

Chantelle Ah Sing - CFO Sekunjalo: "The CFO has to find new methods to expand business in smarter ways to add to its growth and profitability"

Chantelle Ah Sing is CFO of Sekunjalo Investment Group. The Sekunjalo Group is a collation of companies and investments and funds. In 1997, Dr Iqbal Survé, a self-described medical doctor, philanthropist and social entrepreneur, and three of his comrades founded Sekunjalo, an investment holding company that sought to offer "a gentler capitalism" that stressed putting people before profits, and talent development as a means of raising the lives of previously disadvantaged South Africans. By 1999, the company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, making 36-year-old Survé the youngest CEO of a listed diversified conglomerate. From its inception, Sekunjalo only purchased controlling stakes in companies, hoping to empower black workers. Sekunjalo staffs nearly 600 employees, of which approximately 50 at the financial department of the company. The company has a yearly turnover of R440 million.

20 July 2012

Ronel van Dijk - CFO Spur Group: "Shortly after I took over I changed the way we report on our international businesses. That benefited us"

Ronel van Dijk, CFO of Spur Group, has a B.Rek (Hons) from the University of Stellenbosch. She qualified as a CA(SA) in December 1997 and thereafter spent a year working in the London office of Arthur Andersen & Co. She returned to Cape Town as audit manager with the firm. Ronel joined Spur head office as group financial manager in January 2003. In January 2005, Ronel was appointed as chief financial officer and company secretary, and she was appointed to the board in September 2006.

16 July 2012

Zunaid Bulbulia - CFO MTN South Africa: `It has become a lot more stressful`

"I see the CFO becoming more strategic and crucial to overall business success than ever before; I already find myself playing a constructive role in parts of the business that were the exclusive domains of the functional executives concerned only a few short years ago." Zunaid Bulbilia, CFO of MTN South Africa, a company he joined prior to its commercial launch in January 1994 definitely feels it has become 'a lot more stressful'.

03 July 2012

Mariette Ebersohn - CFO Mango Airlines: `Goodbye bean-counter, hello unpredictability`

"The CFO position was traditionally a “bean-counting” job primarily responsible for various accounting, reporting and budgeting exercises. Nowadays, the role is much more unpredictable with a number of additional expectations raised beyond traditional technical accounting and regulatory field of expertise." After having interviewed a great number of male CFOs, we are proud to introduce to you the first female CFO in our series. We wonder - would she have a different view on the industry, her role, the world? We'll find out. Please meet Mariette Ebersohn, CFO of Mango Airlines - South Africa’s leading low-cost airline. The airline was launched on 30 October 2006 with bookings going on sale at midnight on the same date; its first flight took place only two weeks later. Mariette joined Mango’s team in August 2008.

28 June 2012

Richard Farber, CFO Discovery: "They don't teach you how to deal with people at university"

“I make a special effort to meet all new staff, within Discovery’s Finance division, before they are hired. Partly because I want to personally feel if they are ‘good’ new employees, but also because I find it very important that they feel welcome in the company. The fact that the CFO has taken out the time especially to meet them, contributes greatly to that sense of ‘feeling at home’.” Richard Farber, CFO of Discovery, is a firm believer of the open-door culture that is very vivid in Discovery. “If people have a problem, I want them to know my door is always open – and that my being the CFO does not form a barrier for stepping into my room and talking to me.”

25 June 2012

Craig Tingle - CFO Mediclinic: "I trust you. Don't drop me"

“Giving people and managers more power has proved very beneficial to the company.” Craig Tingle has a firm belief in giving people more accountability and responsibility, for them and the company to grow simultaneously. Craig (53) currently holds the position of Chief Financial Officer of Mediclinic International, the sixth largest listed private hospital group in the world with operations in South Africa, Namibia, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. It is supported by 21,000 staff members internationally.

20 June 2012

Pieter de Jager - CFO Andulela Investment Holdings: "I don't count my chickens before they hatch"

“Financial management in the manufacturing space is the most technically challenging arena for finance professionals,” says Pieter de Jager, Chief Financial Officer of Andulela Investment Holdings. He joined the board of Andulela Investment Holdings as CFO in 2008. Andulela is an investment holding company listed on the Equity Investment Instruments sector of the main board of the JSE Limited. The company employs over 550 people and seeks to hold primarily South African strategic investments in mining and metals companies.

15 June 2012

Henk Engelbrecht - CFO StratCorp: "The CFO needs to be a strategic thinker who understands the relationship between all the components of a business, its environment and the broader economy"

Henk Engelbrecht has only been acting as Group Financial Director of StratCorp since March 2011. It has been an interesting time so far. “I am a firm believer in not accepting the status quo and to always look at every aspect of the business critically to establish if there are better and more efficient ways of doing business.”

06 June 2012

Ian Blackie - CFO Wesgro: "Advances in technology will put even more pressure on the CFO"

“I would expect people to be able to tell me why they are doing something in a certain way. If the answer is “because we’ve always done it that way”, it really tells me a lot about that person and their attitude towards the company and their work.” Ian Blackie, CFO of Wesgro, was initially placed at Wesgro in November 2010 by Deloitte one a short term contract. He calls himself ‘very fortunate’ to have been offered the position of CFO of the company, as he had been looking for an opportunity to move to the Western Cape for some time already. When he was officially appointed CFO, he withheld from making any drastic changes thus far.

23 May 2012

Warren Prinsloo - CFO Jasco: "Either step up and play your part or step down"

"We have to ask ourselves how we as a country can compete with countries like South Korea and other Asian Tigers. Frankly, I don’t think we can," says Warren Prinsloo (39), CFO of Jasco Group. Warren is a qualified Chartered Accountant (SA) and has been a registered member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants since 1999. He is also a member of the Institute of Directors South Africa and has more than twelve years of experience in finance and commerce. He completed his B.Com at Wits University in 2004 followed by his B.Acc in 2005. He passed the Board exam in 2006 and then completed his articles before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1998.

18 May 2012

Jannie Serfontein - CFO Eqstra: "A good CFO is able to see in the figures that which is not immediately obvious to others`

"Don't change something when it's working." That is exactly why Jannie Serfontein did not make any radical changes once he was appointed as CFO of Eqstra Holdings in January 2011. After completing his studies at the University of Pretoria, he qualified as a chartered accountant in 1998. He started his career at Deloitte & Touche in 1999 and spent two years in the United States of America in Deloitte & Touche’s Washington DC practice as part of their global development programme.

14 May 2012

Top JSE performer's secret to success

Calgro M3, a relatively low-key residential development company listed on the JSE, has again come under the spotlight prompting interest over its meteoric rise on the local bourse in comparison to competitors like RBA and Sea Kay Holdings. CEO Ben Pierre Malherbe has attributed the company’s success partly to its fully integrated model in the property sector. Commenting specifically on Calgro’s results, he said, “We are converting our pipeline into construction and that is what you are seeing coming through. We bought our own agricultural land and we’ve got our own town planning company. We go through a process where we get the land zoned and these properties are now ready to go to market.”

10 May 2012

The impact of global economic trends on entrepreneurial activity in South Africa

As South Africa’s economy is susceptible to global trends, it is imperative that entrepreneurs are cognisant of both local and international economic trends, as they are undeniably going to play a role in the success of their company. This is according to economist Ulrich Joubert, speaking at the recent series of Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® competition workshops. According to Joubert, any economy operates within the framework of Government policies, be it fiscal or voluntary. “Every year when the time for the Budget speech arrives, businesses wait with abated breathe to absorb how the imminent rise in costs will impact them financially.”

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