We asked five CFOs how they choose finance - and whether they considered any other career.
CFO South Africa asked these five CFOs whether they knew from the start that they wanted a job in finance and they responded:
Otsile Matheba, A2X CFO, says he almost registered to study electrical engineering:
“Straight out of high school, I had an Accenture bursary to study electrical engineering. At the very last moment, when I went to register, I realised this wasn’t something I wanted to do. It was one of the bravest decisions I’ve ever made,” he says thoughtfully. “I left the paid-for engineering route and, the child of a single parent, found myself without funds to study. It was a big debt for myself and my mother, who had to dig into her savings. But later on you see the rewards of your hard work, because I really put my heart into my studies. All I knew was that I wanted to be in business. I had some friends studying accounting and decided to join them. I have no regrets.”
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Matthias Vogt, Afrox CFO, says finance was always the plan:
“I’ve always enjoyed financial and commercial things and I think it fits my personality well. It’s about the ability to create, because I think you can create and guide through finance; you can really shape an organisation and its future. You can work with your models and become very convincing and can achieve a very high level of influence. It has broadened how I see the world; how companies interact and how the financial world works.”
Riaan Davel, DRDGOLD CFO, says he never considered anything else:
"I took an interest in finance and business at a young age, so it was always the career for me. I never considered anything else. Upon completion of my articles, I wanted to break into commerce and industry and relocated to Johannesburg."
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Riaan Koppeschaar, Exxaro Resources CFO, says he followed his father’s chosen career:
“I was always interested in the finance environment. I was probably influenced by my late father’s chosen career – he was an accountant. When I studied I was also very interested in the field of investment management. If I had to choose over I might have chosen a career in investment management.”
Philip Nottingham, Construction Chemicals CFO, says there was never anything else he wanted to do:
“My father was a bank manager for most of his life. I think that first sparked my interest in finance (I would use the Telkom ‘BELTEL’ system [anyone under 45 is probably going to have to Google it] to pay my own pocket money into my account – under his supervision of course!). There was never really anything else I wanted to do, so the progression from high school to varsity (I went to UPE, now NMMU) and then onto articles at Deloitte PE, was pretty much laid out from the start.”