Discovery: Deon Viljoen

Deon Viljoen has been group Chief Financial Officer since May 2017. He is also on the board of directors for Discovery.

Interview: Meet Deon Viljoen

Deon joined the Discovery Group in May 2017 as Group Chief Financial Officer and serves on the main board of directors of Discovery Limited, a company listed on the JSE. He also serves on the group executive committee and a number of subsidiary boards and committees within the group. 

Prior to that, he was with Alexander Forbes Group since March 2003 where he originally joined as Finance Director of Investment Solutions, and was promoted to Group Chief Financial Officer in 2007. In his role as Group CFO, Deon served as Executive Director on the main board of the ultimate holding company, Alexander Forbes Group Holdings Limited, a company listed on the JSE. 

Before joining the Alexander Forbes Group, Deon was a Partner and Director of PricewaterhouseCoopers Johannesburg in the service line of assurance and business advisory services having joined one of its predecessor firms in 1987. During his time in the profession, he specialised in banking and other financial services clients both in PwC’s Johannesburg and London offices and served on a number of industry bodies such as the SAICA Banking Industry Group and also chaired both the Investment Management and the Collective Investment Schemes Industry Groups for a number of years. As part of his specialisation in the financial services industry, he often advised clients and presented on specialist topics such as financial risk management. 

Deon obtained his B.Com Accountancy (cum laude) from the then Rand Afrikaans University (now University of Johannesburg) and went on to complete his B.Com Honours Accountancy before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (SA) (1987).

Deon was nominated CFO of the year by CFO Magazine in 2015. Deon said his recipe for success includes finding “sustainable solutions that accommodate all stakeholders”. 

Deon won the CFO of the year award in 2015.

Work
2017 – Present        Group Financial Director, Discovery
2007 – 2017            Group Chief Financial Officer, Alexander Forbes
2003 – 2005            Financial Director, Investment Solutions Holdings Ltd
1987 – 2003            Partner (from 1995), PwC

Education
1982 – 1986            B.Com, Accounting, University of Johannesburg

About Discovery: Discovery Limited is a South Africa-based financial services group that is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange with its headquarters in Sandton. Discovery offers a range of products including medical aid administration, life insurance, credit cards and investments, underpinned with Vitality rewards. 

The company’s main clients are large-, medium-, and small-sized employers for health insurance, as well as individual clients who buy health and life insurance and investment products from it. Through its repeatable business model, the company exports the Discovery intellectual property to other industries and markets, including the UK, US, China, Singapore, and Australia.

Discovery has more than 12 000 permanent employeesand close to 10 million clients in 16 countries. In 2017 new business increased premium income by 16% to R16 993 million.