Interview Guideline CFO Awards


In March and April CFO South Africa will interview all nominated CFOs. We ask each of the judges to be present during two interviews. The reports of these interviews will be added to the dossier of each CFO and will be used by the judges to determine their individual votes.

The goal of the interview is to get a clear picture of the CFOs involvement in the overall success of the company and the way he or she has distinguished him- or herself.

To help the interviewer structure the interview, and to make sure we address the same issues in each interview, we have created a set of interview questions as a guideline.

For each of the award categories there are 4 basic questions from which we start the interview. Follow-up questions based on the CFOs response will make the interview complete.

Nominated CFOs

- Colin Brown - CFO of Super Group
- Simon Ridley - CFO of Standard Bank
- Kevin Johnson - CFO of Howden
- Craig Barnard - CFO of Invicta Holdings
- Anoj Singh - CFO of Transnet
- Rob Evans - CFO of Datatec
- Dudley Saayman - Finance Director of BAT SA
- Garth Saunders - Finance director of SAB
- John Snalam - CFO of Coronation Fund managers
- Wynand Greeff - Financial director of PSG Group
- Dalu Majeke - CFO of the National Treasury

- Jannie Serfontein - CFO of Eqstra
- Wallace Holmes - CFO of Afrocentric
- Tryphosa Ramano - CFO of PPC
- André du Plessis - CFO of Capitec Bank
- Brett Tromp - CFO of Discovery Health
- Aarti Takoordeen - CFO of JSE
- Megan Pydigadu - Group FD of Mix Telematics
- Lawrence Weitzman - CFO of Business
- Nichola Dewar - CFO of Postbank

Interview Guidelines per category:
1. CFO of the Year

The CFO of the Year has shown financial leadership and outstanding performance over a number of years. He or she is very involved with the strategy of the company and is a true business partner. The CFO of the year has been the driving force behind growth and profitability and strives for excellence in all aspects of the financial profession. The CFO of the Year is leading by example and has outperformed all others based on Skills, Attitude and Results.

  • Q1
Why do you like being a CFO?
  • Q2
What is the toughest decision you made last year?
  • Q3
What is your recipe for success?
  • Q4
Can you describe your relationship with the CEO?

2. Finance Transformation Award

The winner of the Finance Transformation Award has shown great improvement in the way the finance function operates to meet future challenges. The CFO who wins this award has been very successful in redefining the financial function and made great efforts to become a cost-effective, service-oriented partner to the business. He or she has shown courage to radically rethink the way finance works and operates.

During this process, the CFO has met key stakeholder requirements and considered the better practices and lessons of others. The winner of the Finance Transformation Award has worked hard to realign all aspects of the operating model - process, organization, people and technology - to become a finance master.

The winner is respected for his or her efforts to stimulate a culture of added value, excellence and continuous improvement within Finance.

  • Q1

If you compare your financial department today with the way it operated two years ago. What is the biggest accomplishment and how did you get it done?

  • Q2

What aspect of finance still needs improvement and how are you planning to do this?

  • Q3

What is the role of technology in your finance team?

  • Q4

What percentage of time does your team invest in data collection and basic accounting? What percentage of time does your team invest in analytics and advising your management team?

3. Strategy Execution Award

The winner of the Strategy Execution Award has dealt with serious and intense changes in the business environment. Nevertheless, by responding timely and in an agile manner, the business successfully adapted to the new demands and challenges. The new business strategy has been implemented successfully. The CFO who wins this award has created the right (financial) conditions to execute the new strategy. The CFO and his team have contributed with valuable insights, analyses, the (re)allocation of assets and the alignment of the finance function with the new strategy. Moreover, the CFO has managed to keep the business financially healthy while staying agile and competitive.

  • Q1

Each company will - at some point - reach a cross road where a structural strategic choice needs to be made. What did your cross road look like, how did you asses the strategic risk and what choice did you make?

  • Q2

In what way are you involved in strategic decision-making?

  • Q3

What external factor has the biggest impact on the financial performance of your company and what measures do you take to overcome this?

  • Q4

How agile is your company and how does Finance contribute to agility?

4. Compliance & Governance Award

The Compliance and Governance Award goes to the CFO who is a champion in helping the business achieve its goals in a way that is open, honest, ethical and principled. Working in a globalised and complex business environment, he or she faces a complex assortment of new and sometimes challenging laws and regulations. The winner of the award has contributed heavily to build and implement systems designed to detect and prevent compliance breaches. Last but not least he or she is leading the development of a strong compliance culture and best practices that secure buy-in from executives, managers, employees, contractors and business partners all at levels.

  • Q1

How do you keep up to date with regulations?

  • Q2

Can you tell us what your compliance program and auditing committees looks like and who is involved?

  • Q3

How do you deal with the difference in interests between your shareholders and your other stakeholders?

  • Q4

What level of transparency do you reach in your (integrated) reporting and how has it developed over the years?

5. High Performance Team Award

Outstanding financial talent management and teamwork is crucial to be considered for this award. The winner has demonstrated his capabilities to build a high performing financial team that is both efficient and customer focussed. Based on a clear vision, this CFO has invested in talent development to align future needs with the available skills set. The winner of the award is an inspiring coach for his co-workers and gives attention to personal and professional development of his employees.

  • Q1

Who will take your place as CFO when you resign?

  • Q2

What is your involvement in the recruitment of financial professionals for your organisation?

  • Q3

How much time do you spend on coaching and what is your span of control?

  • Q4

How would your internal stakeholders describe your finance team? What are you most proud of?

6. Public Finance Award

The Public Finance Award for Excellence in Government Finance recognizes innovative programs and contributions to the practice of government finance that exemplify outstanding financial management. The winner of the award recognizes has shown leadership in his organisation and has promoted improved public finance in a broader sense.

  • Q1

What is your vision or ambition for the continuous improvement of financial management in the public sector?

  • Q2

What is your biggest success when it comes to the improvement of the quality of information and how did you accomplish this?

  • Q3

In what way have you been successful in eliminating and preventing waste in the use of public assets? Can you give examples?

  • Q4

How do you deal with the day to day complexity of managing the needs of internal and external stakeholders?

7. Young Talent Award

The winner of the Young Talent Award has shown remarkable professional development and has been of great value for the board. Aged under 40, this CFO has moved up through the ranks. He or she is praised for leadership, work ethics and for taking responsibility at the moments of truth.

  • Q1

What makes you a good CFO? And who is your example in life?

  • Q2

How do you manage your work - life balance?

  • Q3

What is the most important lesson you have learned the last year?

  • Q4

What is your ambition for the future?

Meet up with the nominees and other top CFOs at the CFO Awards
CFO South Africa's first CFO Awards are held on May 15, 2014 at the breathtaking Summer Place in Hyde Park Johannesburg.

CFOs of listed companies and large corporations are awarded for outstanding performance and leadership. Chaired by Semeyi Zake, over 200 CFOs share knowledge, extend their network and boost business.

RSVP for the CFO Awards Show today- Book a table or individual tickets
Meet top CFOs, demonstrate thought leadership, extend your network and develop business.

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