Meet Transformation & Empowerment Award winner Hannes Boonzaaier

AfroCentric CFO says the award has also motivated him to share his experiences with younger finance professionals.

At the CFO Awards on 15 May 2019, AfroCentric CFO Hannes Boonzaaier walked away with the Transformation & Empowerment Award, which was sponsored by Deloitte.

Upon receiving the award, Hannes said that he has been through the highs and lows of performing due diligence, closing companies, winning and losing contracts, and dealing with customers and their unreasonable demands. “It wouldn’t be possible without my team that has supported me and AfroCentric that has allowed me to go to different countries,” he said. 

When we asked him what winning the award meant to him, he said that it is really gratifying. He explained that he had been developing his finance team over a period of eight years and that they were the first colleagues he shared the news of the award with the following morning. 

“The satisfaction to have seen many young professionals join the finance team and develop to seasoned commercial businessmen that have advanced further in the group is what gives me the ultimate kick,” he said. 

Hannes is deeply involved in the strategy to grow AfroCentric by investing outside of medical scheme administration. He has developed his finance team into valued business partners by rotating them through all aspects of the business. He has also successfully transformed and diversified his finance team and achieved a Level 1 B-BBEE score through various initiatives like internships and supplier development. 

Hannes said that the scrutiny and evaluation by the panel was very thorough and that it was good to hear that his passion for “getting to know the real business” strategy, before commenting on financial performance, stood him in good stead in the 2019 CFO Awards interviews. 

“I also feel honoured that the AfroCentric Group could be recognised in the CFO Awards when mostly blue-chip companies have received the awards in the past,” he said. “We have a great country and fantastic people and just need to give young people a little bit of motivation to stay positive.” 

He concluded, saying: 

“The award has also motivated me to share many of my experiences as a finance executive with other young finance professionals outside of the group and I will also be doing so at the Finance Indaba in October.” 

Hannes completed his articles with KPMG in 1999. During his tenure with KPMG, he gained experience in valuations, due diligence reviews and commercial structuring of business transactions. 

He joined Medscheme as a financial manager and, over the past 13 years, has been involved with Medscheme and the AfroCentric Group in various client operations. 

Following his success in leading group finance and with his knowledge of the buisness, he was appointed as the AfroCentric Group CFO in August 2015.