Former Alexander Forbes CFO Deon Viljoen won the CFO of the Year Award in 2015 CFO.
Former Alexander Forbes CFO Deon Viljoen (now Discovery Limited CFO) was announced as the CFO of the Year at the CFO Awards on 14 May 2015 at Summer Place in Hyde Park, Johannesburg.
Deon accepted his award saying:
“You pick up wisdom from those who work for you and those who work with you.”
Later, he told CFO South Africa
“I was very surprised and humbled to win the CFO of the Year award and it really took quite a while to sink in. There were a lot of strong candidates. Why did I win? Maybe the judges looked at my achievements over a longer period and how I have performed as an Alexander Forbes executive through truly difficult times? The company has come out at the other end as a stronger, well-positioned business.”
Deon has been on the panel of judges for the CFO Awards since 2016.
Deon joined the Alexander Forbes Group in 2003 as the finance director of investment solutions. In 2007 he was promoted to CFO of the group. In 2016 he was appointed as acting CEO of Alexander Forbes. He also served as an executive director of the group and on several of its subsidiaries’ boards. He continued as Alexander Forbes’ CFO until 2017, when he left to take up the role of Discovery Limited CFO.
Not shying away from broader roles, Deon also served on industry bodies such as the SAICA Banking Industry Group. He also chaired the Investment Management and the Collective Investment Schemes Industry Groups for 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.
When asked to define his qualities as a CFO, Deon had the following to say:
“I always try to understand all of the moving parts of the business and I am usually able to find sustainable, long-term solutions that accommodate all stakeholders. I like dealing with multi-dimensional issues and consider myself capable of offering a perspective that perhaps nobody has thought of.”
However, he added: “I strongly believe that you should define yourself not by what you do but by who you are.”