Finance in the family (Part 6): Three generations of accountants

Both Glenn and Lauren Fullerton were influenced by Glenn’s father to pursue a career in finance.

These CFOs have ignored the theory that “opposites attract” in choosing their life partners and have opted for like-minded individuals who have made their own way in the field of finance. Together, these couples have grown as leaders, at home and in business.

Glenn and Lauren Fullerton were in the same Sunday School from the age of three. They connected at a confirmation camp when they were 16, and started dating. “It was just chemistry,” Lauren says. “We had the same interests and shared the same value system.” Just over seven years later, they got married, and after 28 years, they are still happily married.

Both Glenn and Lauren were influenced by Glenn’s father to take up a career in finance. He is also a CA and was the head of the Inspectorate Division of the JSE for more than 20 years.

“From a very young age, my father taught me his interest in commerce and stock exchange,” Glenn says. “He’s a very knowledgeable and wise man who has provided fantastic support to both Lauren and myself, and has been a provider of sage advice to us over many years. He has always ensured that ethics and principles are the key to his and our existence.”

Despite Glenn’s busy schedule as a premier league cricket and hockey player while studying part-time and doing his articles, he and Lauren always found time for each other, even if it just meant studying together. This mutual support has continued into their professional lives.

“I think it would be extremely difficult for someone who isn’t finance-orientated to put up with my work demands and pressures, and understand the impact that such a demanding role has,” Glenn says.

Lauren agrees, saying that they are sounding boards for each other. “It helps to be able to talk to someone who understands the issues and who can provide insights into particular challenges that you are facing.”

Today, Glenn serves as the CFO of Nampak and is responsible for managing the finances of a complex group that spans more than 13 countries with significant operating subsidiaries locally and internationally. For his work at Nampak, Glenn was nominated for the 2018 and 2019 CFO Awards.

Lauren has successfully managed her own consulting business for almost two decades, offering outsourced senior financial management services to a varied range of companies. Having studied part-time while doing her articles, and then spending the early part of her career working for a multinational group, she decided that running her own business would provide her the flexibility that would allow her to achieve the balance she sought as a mother and professional. Now that the children are older, she’s taking on more demanding roles. Her current role is for PPC, supporting the CFO as a financial manager of projects.

Their eldest child, Gareth, is completing his fourth year in business science at UCT and has signed on to do his articles with Deloitte, where Glenn also completed his. Their middle son, Cameron, is doing his first year in accounting science at Wits and has also been signed up with Deloitte.

Their daughter, Katherine, is in grade 9 and enjoys accounting. “She displays a keen interest in business and accounting,” Lauren says. “There is a high probability that she’ll end up going in the same direction.”

They’ve moved their love of entertaining online, enjoying drinks and meals with friends over weekends. To stay balanced, Glenn ensures that he keeps fit and enjoys long distance cycling, golf, walking with Lauren, Katherine and their three dogs, and making use of their home gym. “We have a mini astro turf at home where we are able to play hockey with the kids,” he says.

Other than a full-time working life, Lauren does Pilates with Katherine, but says, “Nothing beats staying in and reading a book. I’m the couch potato in the family, while everyone else is very sporty and active. I love to veg in front of the TV and binge watch a series every now and then.”

Read more: 

  1. Finance in the family (Part 1): Growing together from article clerks to CFOs
  2. Finance in the family (Part 2): From highschool sweethearts to CAs
  3. Finance in the family (Part 3): Love at first stock count for Anton and Zyla de Bruyn
  4. Finance in the family (Part 4): The Sappi Southern Africa CFO and the tax lecturer
  5. Finance in the family (Part 5): The Ntshiza squad