CFO Awards winners share their recognition with teams, CFO SA MD Graham Fehrsen reports


Graham Fehrsen, CFO South Africa MD, has spent the last few weeks visiting several of this year’s CFO Awards winners to deliver personalised CFO Awards. He shares the experience with us.

"The value of celebrating success is there for me to see in each visit. There is great personal satisfaction in being recognised for your efforts and it won't surprise anyone to hear that in each office I visit, the recognition ripples into the wider team," Graham said.

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"My first visit with this year's Public Sector CFO of the Year and Young CFO of the Year winner, Dumisani Dlamini, on a Friday morning in down town Johannesburg, left me quite elated. Every person in the bustling offices of the National Arts Council (NAC) is aware that Dumisani is an award winner and when he introduces me to people he acknowledges their part in the great work being done by the NAC. I'm thrilled by the good news story which, sadly in South Africa at the moment, is a bit of a rarity. Good people doing great work has been acknowledged and it is much more than an award to a single CFO."

"CFOs are busy people and I was privileged to steal some time with AngloGold Ashanti's Christine Ramon to reflect on her winning the Finance and Technology Award. Christine is charming and quick to thank CFO South Africa for the efforts that lead to her acknowledgement through the CFO Awards."

"As the week rounds out I make the journey to Midrand to hand over two awards to the affable Walter Leonhardt at the ABI plant. Walter has been in conversation with his team about the changing horizon as a result of the mega bottling merger. They cottoned onto the fact that the CFO Awards were being delivered and there is a braai and drinks set up when I arrive, where Walter's fellow directors and his team acknowledge his efforts. Walter thanks his family (his eldest daughter has arrived to share this occasion), his fellow directors and his team, giving them all credit for the awards."

"I am once again left with a feeling of elation - a great finance leader acting selflessly and acknowledging those around him. Walter is clearly held in very high regard both as a professional and a person, based on the kind and sometimes cheeky comments."

"The environment is slightly more formal, despite it being a Friday, but Osman Arbee is a gracious and friendly host. Osman was recently appointed the CEO of Imperial Vehicles Division, following a restructure of the global operator. We talk about the challenge of taking the next step. Osman had a long and impressive career within Deloitte and is no stranger to leading and driving culture change. He says he is excited about the opportunity and anticipates the first 12 months in the hot chair will be about getting people to pull in one direction with a clear sense of purpose."

"Strategic clarity is something Osman says every CFO has to have. Stepping away from finance and supporting the CEO and the strategy are non-negotiables for divisional CFOs under his leadership. Learning and networking provide great ways to test thinking and get a sanity check, and it is on this basis that Osman agrees to help CFO South Africa engage Imperial's CFOs more effectively."

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