Karen Elstob (IQ Business): Embracing our contracting services

(In the picture: Melle Eijckelhoff (CFO South Africa), Karen Elstob (IQ Business), Alex van Groningen (CFO South Africa)

“We have always offered contracting services to our clients, but we never used to highlight it as a service offering, instead we focused on the consulting aspect of the business,” says Karen Elstob. “We’ve realised that our clients see significant value in the ability to access the right people with the right experience to fill a specific skills, says the company’s manager responsible for Business Development. “Because of IQ’s access to talent, contracting makes up a sizeable portion of our business.” And there is more news from their offices in Rivonia, Johannesburg: “We’re also extending our research services. It is really quite exciting!”


Elstob recently met with the founders of CFO South Africa, Alex van Groningen and Melle Eijckelhoff. CFO SA is the leading networking platform for finance professionals in South Africa, which takes an approach that resonates with Elstob. “There is a lot of value in making cross-industry connections,” she says. “Professionals can learn a lot from colleagues in other industries.” Last year Elstob organised a ‘best practises’ conference for IQ’ clients, which effectively worked as an excellent networking tool. “Clients were talking about their journeys and their experiences with us, which was great because it is always better for our clients and potential clients to hear about successes directly from their peers.
It is much more credible and carries more weight than when it comes from a supplier with vested interest.”

Established in 1998, IQ is the leading, independent management consulting firm in South Africa. The company currently employs about 400 people in South Africa and prides itself on delivering hands-on solutions that make clients’ businesses more effective and efficient. Consulting, research and contracting are core to IQ’s services across its expertise areas. These expertise areas cover people, process and technology change, risk and accounting services and strategic advisory services (through a partnership with NASDAQ-listed The Hackett Group).

IQ’s clients include financial services institutions, retail businesses, telecommunications operators that require dramatic improvements in productivity, cycle times and quality. “Convergance across financial services, retail and telecommunications is driving demand for our services in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa,” says Elstob.


According to Elstob what IQ has to offer centres around “real, workable solutions” and the value that they add to clients is the flexibility in tailoring solutions. Our consultants and contractors try to steer clear from remote, ivory-tower theories or obscure, unintelligible promises. “It is all about hands-on solutions that make clients’ businesses more effective and efficient. With expertise in strategy, human performance, process, technology, risk and accounting, we take a holistic approach but if a client only wants a discreet element, we will ensure a flexible way of providing the desired outcome.

As a company with its roots firmly in South Africa, IQ says it “is committed to building a South Africa that truly belongs to all who live in it, united in diversity”.

If you also would like to share your ideas with the CFO community, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to arrange an interview. Please contact Jurriën Morsch on [email protected]