Five Visionary CFOs taking on inspiring tasks

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Find out how these CFOs help lead some of South Africa’s most successful companies.

As leaders in their organisations, CFOs have an important role to play in the execution of their companies’ strategies and inspiring other people to have the same meaningful impact. This year, CFO South Africa partnered with A2X to bring you a series of interviews highlighting South Africa’s best and brightest CFOs, their insights and challenges. Here are only some of our favourites:

On the back of a successful Visionary CFO Series in 2021 and 2022, A2X has once again partnered with CFO South Africa to bring you a series of interviews highlighting South Africa’s best and brightest CFOs, their insights and challenges. Find out how they help lead some of South Africa’s most successful companies in this bi-weekly interview series.

Read all about the Visionary CFOs here.

André du Plessis, Capitec co-founder and former CFO
After 22 years of building what he hopes will become the best bank in the world, André du Plessis (featured) retired in June this year. However André prefers to think of it as “refocusing”.

“I think one of the ongoing highlights of my time at Capitec has been observing how our efforts have helped the community,” André says. “We have become their financial friend and have grown with our clients through helping them. We identified a need and have endeavoured to service this need.”

André doesn’t intend to leave his legacy at that, though. “I will continue to be active with Community Keepers, an NGO that provides counselling to communities, mainly children, who need help, which I co-founded 12 years ago,” he explains. “I hope to remain involved with business and the community through connecting with new business owners and entrepreneurs to share what my teams and I have gone through, and to try and better their businesses.”

Read more: André du Plessis plans to “refocus” after 22 years as the CFO and co-founder of Capitec

Megan Pydigadu, EOH group FD
“This is the award I would have liked to win the most because it goes to the team. An award can be about one person, but this one is about the team – and I have an amazing team.” These are the words of Megan Pydigadu, CFO at EOH, who took home the High-Performance Team Award at the 2021 CFO Awards.

Megan, who has been at EOH for three years, joined the organisation during a challenging time when it faced questions about ethical practices at senior management level and faced corruption charges.

“I had to build the team from scratch and had to ask people to come into an environment that was full of question marks and uncertainty. It is not about I, it's about the team and the effort they put into turning things around,” she says.

Read more: EOH FD Megan Pydigadu reveals the making of a high-performance team

Mike Davis, Nedbank CFO
Mike Davis has had an interesting career trajectory – often navigating corporate mergers, but then finding his place and holding a significant role in the new entity.

Mike acknowledges that he’s been fortunate to learn a lot and successfully navigate a number of big business changes in his career. “I have enjoyed the path that I’ve taken. I know it’s quite unusual with multiple mergers and acquisitions. I’ve always been close to the migration or the transition as we’ve reshaped the business after each of these mergers, which does create opportunity but also challenges. Things change all the time, and I have certainly been lucky to do well through most of these changes, and I’ve learnt a heck of a lot.”

His journey of change and success got him to where he is today – in the role of CFO of Nedbank.

Read more: Mike Davis unpacks policy, power and pandemics

Pramy Moodley, Sappi Southern Africa CFO
Pramy Moodley, CFO at Sappi Southern Africa, started baking during the Covid-19 lockdown as a way to manage the stress of navigating the crisis. “Whenever my work pressures got too high, I would go into the kitchen and start baking cakes for my family.”

It was during one of her baking sprees that Pramy came up with the idea to start a bake sale within Sappi Southern Africa’s Shared Service office, the proceeds of which would go to a charity. A few women in the office bought into the idea and also started baking to contribute to the sale. “We have quite a few ladies who are really good bakers, and you’d be surprised what they come up with, like milk tarts, chocolate brownies, caramel popcorn, samoosas, carrot cake, red velvet cake, and more!” Pramy says.

Since the initial bake sale, eight of the volunteers (including Pramy) have created a team called “the Women of Work”, where they try to empower the women in the office through informal talks, providing advice, and financial and career guidance.

Read more: CFO Pramy Moodley baking her way through crises

Charl Keyter, Sibanye-Stillwater CFO
While people across the world were learning how to bake banana bread during the Covid-19 lockdown, Charl Keyter got familiar with the finer details of long-range shooting.

He explains that long range shooting is very similar to finance: “When it comes to shooting, if you don’t follow the recipe, trials and errors established over many years by other people, you can potentially end up in an undesirable outcome. If the recipe says you need to put 40 grains of propellant in a casing, there’s a reason for it. If you exceed tolerances, you can potentially damage your rifle.”

He adds that accounting is also about accuracy and following standards, policies and procedures.

Read more: CFO Charl Keyter – a strategist at heart

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