Finance Indaba leaderboard winners grateful for win in an extremely challenging year

Nico Pretorius, Phindile Majikijela and Marizane Meyer are delighted by the challenge outcome.

On 15 October, the first-ever virtual Finance Indaba Network kicked off with a gamified conference and expo experience. Thousands of finance professionals from across South Africa and Africa had the chance to attend insightful Impact Sessions with world-class speakers, interact with virtual partner stands, and network with their finance peers in online chatrooms, to expand their knowledge and networks, and score points to compete for the top leaderboard places.

The leaderboard winner and winner of the R10,000 cash prize, an exclusive invitation to the CFO Awards and a signed copy of Altron CEO Mteto Nyati’s best-selling book ‘Betting on a Darkie’ is Nico Pretorius, head of external reporting at Standard Bank.

About his win, Nico said that the win felt like a ray of hope in an otherwise grim year.

“This year has been challenging for everyone. I’ve had to assist family members going through tough times, my wife embarked on her own small business, which isn’t making an income yet, my parents were involved in a serious car accident, we lost a family member to Covid-19 and so much more,” he said.

When he saw the leaderboard initially, Nico didn’t think he’d get onto it as attendees had already accumulated a lot of points. “I then attended some sessions, visited some booths and did the scavenger hunt. When I went back to check the leaderboard and saw I was actually climbing it really became fun. I started chasing the top as I could really use R10,000,” he said.

Nico will be using the prize money to pay off some of the credit card debt he has accumulated as a result of the fallout from the pandemic.

The second prize goes to Phindile Majikijela, financial controller at TW Profile Services, and in third place was Marizane Meyer, accountant at Jaco Grobbelaar Accountants. Both Phindile and Marizane win R5,000 cash and a signed copy of Mteto Nyati’s book. However, due to an incorrect initial tally of the results, Phindile was initially announced as the winner. In light of this, CFO South Africa awarded the first-place prize money to both Nico and Phindile.

About her win, Phindile said:

“I am very grateful for the win, and it is a reminder that hard work pays off. In this instance it is literal.”

As a CIMA student, she will be putting the funds toward her studies.

Marizane said that she can’t think of a time that she has won anything before “so this was amazing!”.

She explained that the game to collect points encouraged her to go to stalls she might not otherwise have visited, but that she was impressed to learn of quite a few new ways to simplify her job with the products and services the exhibitors had to offer. “I downloaded all the available documents and I am still busy going through all the brochures and information to see what products, programmes and services I can make use of.”

NOTE: Due to a data error, Phindile was initially declared as the overall leaderboard winner, ahead of Nico. We have now corrected the leaderboard scores and will be awarding the first place prize money to both Phindile and Nico.

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