Greg Davis, Standard Bank: 4 principles for Africa - influencing


In January Greg Davis, CFO Africa at the Standard Bank Group, introduced his key principles for doing business in Africa and elaborated on being in control. Last month he explained the finer details of the second i: interacting. In this Expert Insight he talks about the third principle: influencing.

Just to reiterate, with our team that is covering 19 African countries, with finance staff situated in all of them, we follow our 4i principles, ensuring we are:

  • in control
  • interacting
  • influencing
  • and getting the most out of our infrastructure

In this Expert Insight, I am focusing on the third i: influencing - Great Ways to influence in Africa?

Be in Control - if you can't get the basics right you won't get a seat at the table.

Interact - you need to understand the business and its operations to be able to add value.

Partnership - be seen and be a true partner albeit independent in thought. Successes and failures should be shared as one team.

Be innovative - your knowledge of the effects of actions on the financial performance and stability are held highly and allow you to offer guidance that is new and different. However, don't forget to listen to all aspects of the business and not solely financial impacts.

Join the dots - as CFO you have an overarching independent view of the business which is of great value to help all business areas understand the impacts they have on the company and vice versa.

Learn to say No - this is an important and relevant tool of a CFO. It should be used sparingly but it should be used at the right time. As guardian of the businesses resources and key stakeholder of the shareholder and the Regulator's saying No is sometimes required.

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