MMI's top CFOs reflect on the future role of finance

A focus on colleagues, customers and solutions is the key to success for CFOs, say finance leaders of MMI.

What does the future CFO look like? This is the question CFOs of MMI Holdings from nine African countries were reflecting on during an inspiring team session on 17 September 2018. The financial services group had invited CFO South Africa managing director Graham Fehrsen to share his insights, based on his daily contacts with the country’s finance bosses in the private and public sector.

Graham said:

“We’ve been exceptionally privileged to learn alongside some of the very best finance leaders in South Africa and in my journey of nearly four years the finance function has seen massive, almost seismic, change.”

The CFO SA MD then listed three challenges that are common among CFOs in 2018:

  1. Feeling overwhelmed at the rate of change
  2. Isolation and being the guardian of governance and commercial perspectives
  3. Being unprepared for change 

The MMI finance leaders from Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia then took some time to share their biggest individual challenges with a colleague with a view to improving their engagement, collaboration and ability to empathise.

Everyone agreed that during these challenging and turbulent times, its essential for leaders to be more empathetic and make a concerted effort to put ourselves in the shoes of our colleagues and customers, to become solutions focussed and more relevant if we want to move closer to becoming future-ready CFOs.