CFO Dinner celebrates the role of finance leaders during the crisis

After Covid-19 hiatus, an impressive group of CFOs came together for a conversation at the Saxon.

The excitement was palpable among the top CFOs that gathered for dinner at the Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg on 25 May, the first such engagement in over a year-and-a-half. With all Covid-19 protocols strictly adhered to, there was an incredible energy in the room and CFOs spent the evening sharing notes and anecdotes, sampling the exquisite food and toasting the pivotal role finance leaders have played during the pandemic-induced economic crisis.

There were lots of laughs and some serious undertones, with common threads like empathy, decisiveness, time management and mental wellness all high on the agenda. Stories were shared candidly during the dinner, which was made possible by longtime CFO South Africa partner and supporter Standard Bank.

The dinner was attended by:

  • Adriana Weilbach, CFO Telesure
  • Bothwell Mazarura, CFO Kumba Iron Ore
  • Brian Chivere, Community Manager CFO South Africa
  • Clive Potter, Head: Client Coverage, Wholesale Clients SA, Standard Bank CIB
  • Craig Sumption, CFO Hatch Africa
  • Joël Roerig, MD CFO South Africa
  • Mark Kathan, CFO AECI
  • Megan Pydigadu, CFO EOH
  • Nopasika Lila, CFO Barloworld
  • Raisibe Morathi, CFO Vodacom
  • Simon Adams, CFO Nando’s South Africa
  • Zaf Mahomed, CFO Cell C
  • Zaid Moola, Head: Wholesale Clients SA, Standard Bank

What became abundantly clear is that CFOs have had to step up and grow since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the South African shores in earnest in March 2020. Their people management skills have been severely tested, their grasp of risk and cash flow have been essential to their business, and the pace of change has accelerated and veered in many different directions.

Various CFOs spoke for the very first time in a forum of their peers about the extremely tough calls that had to be made once lockdown was announced in South Africa last year. There was a much greater sense of responsibility for surrounding communities, family members of employees, and the need to provide hope than ever before during similar CFO Dinners in the past.

“It has been such a privilege to get together again with some of our country’s leading CFOs,” said Brian Chivere, community manager of CFO South Africa. “It is a real sign of trust that everyone was comfortable to get together during such difficult times.” Brian also thanked Standard Bank for their continued support and said he looked forward to getting together with groups of finance leaders in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban soon again.