Meet Leon Crouse (Remgro), recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award at the CFO Awards 2016

“I was not prepared to make a speech but thank you for the kind words and thank you for the award. I retired [from Remgro] at the end of March so it’s also for me a cherry on the cake at the end of my career,” said Leon Crouse, on receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the CFO Awards 2016, held on 12 May at the beautiful Summer Place. Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu, chancellor of the University of Pretoria, South Africa’s first black chartered accountant and role model for many finance professionals, presented Leon with his award.

Pictured right: Leon Crouse with Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu

Leon continued: "My advice to anybody building their career, for me what was always the key to success is to keep things simple, always do the right thing and surround yourself with people who share your values. Always be passionate about compliance, governance and risk management. Work hard and have fun and you will have a very rewarding career."

Watch the video of Leon giving his acceptance speech on receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award.

A structured management approach through extensive use of risk registers, leading by example and delegating to the finance team, as well as "keeping things simple", are some of the crucial assets of Leon Crouse's career. Borrowing money to support Mediclinic's reverse takeover of the Al Noor Hospitals Group was one of his toughest decisions, he says, while some of his proudest investments of late have been in technology. Just as in the past at Vodacom, risk meetings take centre stage in the way Leon likes to manage a business. "Risk registers give you all the tools to manage the company - and it includes all compliance issues," he says.

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  • Next year's CFO Awards will take place on 11 May 2017, once again at Summer Place in Johannesburg. If you would like to buy a table, join the panel of judges or become a partner, visit CFOawards.co.za. Attendance is free for members.