Deon Viljoen relishes new CFO job at Discovery
“Invigorating!” That is what CFO of the Year 2015 Deon Viljoen called his first few months as CFO of Discovery, where he started in May this year, following a tough but celebrated tenure as Alexander Forbes CFO. “It has been a lot of fun, it has been busy, it has certainly been no controlled arrival,” said Deon during a recent CFO Summit in Johannesburg.
Deon is passionate about the CFO role and has been a member of the panel of judges for the CFO Awards since 2016. He guided Alexander Forbes, the country's largest retirement fund administrator, through a delisting and a relisting in a period of just seven years.
Deon specifically noted the vast difference between the strategies of Alexander Forbes and Discovery. He said:
"Both companies have very valid strategies but they are very different. Alexander Forbes has focused on trimming down to its core, while Discovery is taking a core competency and expanding it to geographies and sector, building on its shared-value model."
One of the biggest tasks that Discovery has set itself is the launch of a bank under its financial services umbrella. Deon plays a crucial role in that. "It has been brilliant to work with [CEO] Adrian [Gore]. We have a phenomenal team," he said.