Deloitte Africa appoints Ruwayda Redfearn as new board chair

Ruwayda will be taking over from Trevor Brown as chair of the board with effect from 1 September.

Deloitte Africa has appointed Ruwayda Redfearn as chair of its board with effect from 1 September. She will be taking over from Trevor Brown, who will be stepping down after nine years in the position. 

About her appointment, Ruwayda said that her first priority as head of the board is to be agile, bold and well-informed while guarding the firm’s long-term sustainability.

“This is only possible by ensuring that our business is underpinned by our shared values and strong governance practices. A world-class organisation like ours needs a board that sets the standard for good governance. The board needs to be able to deal with complexity in our world of constant change and challenge.” 

Ruwayda started her career as a trainee at the Deloitte Durban office in 1997. After her New York secondment, she returned to Durban as a manager and was appointed to the partnership in 2004. She was appointed to lead the audit practice of the KwaZulu-Natal region in 2010. During this time, Ruwayda also chaired the Global Young Partners’ Advisory Council, reporting to the global CEO. In 2011, she was appointed to the Deloitte Southern Africa board and remuneration committee. In 2012, Ruwayda took up a CFO role at Grindrod Trading for three years, serving as a board member on a number of the group’s companies. She returned to Deloitte in 2015 as the office managing partner for the KwaZulu-Natal region and managed the risk advisory business for the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal regions. 

She was reappointed to the Deloitte Africa board in 2016 and chairs the firm’s remuneration committee, as well as serving as a member of the performance, reward, succession and nominations committee. Ruwayda is also a senior client leader, responsible for some of the firm’s largest and more complex clients. 

“The appointment of Ruwayda followed a rigorous process that started in March this year [2020] with the board being unanimous in approving her nomination and subsequently being voted in by an overwhelming majority of the partners,” Trevor said. “I am delighted to hand over the reins to Ruwayda for this important role.” 

He added that Ruwayda’s time both in the profession and in commerce and industry has enabled her to bring an outsider’s perspective to the role. “She is known for her ability to form and nurture strong relationships and networks, demonstrating strength in a crisis as well as being able to make tough, bold decisions.”