South African Brett Tromp shares what it’s like being a CFO abroad


In 2022, Brett Tromp left South Africa for the United States, where he was appointed CFO and CHRO of Medici. More than a year later, the 2015 Young CFO of the Year shares what it’s like abroad, and how he sees South Africa, now from the outside.

South African Brett Tromp said goodbye to the country in 2022, after he was offered a position by a close friend to join his health tech business, Medici, in the United States.

Read more: Discovery Health CFO Brett Tromp bids goodbye to South Africa

“The global market offers a plethora of opportunities and diverse experiences that I believed would enrich my skillset and broaden my horizons,” Brett says about his decision to leave home.

He adds that personal factors and religious reasons, including seeking a different environment for his family, also played a large role in his decision to immigrate.

A global CFO

As both the CFO and CHRO of Medici, Brett is tasked with delivering financial and people-oriented outcomes. “I genuinely appreciate the synergy between these roles,” he says.

He explains that while his past experience was with a larger organisation, the foundational principles of the healthcare business are consistent, and working abroad is not as dissimilar from his time in South Africa.

“One of the primary challenges CFOs working overseas face is navigating the diverse regulatory environments across countries, ensuring compliance and optimising operations,” Brett says. “However, this also presents an opportunity to innovate and adapt best practices from different regions.”

To mitigate these challenges, he believes continuous learning and collaboration with local teams are vital.

As a virtual healthcare CFO, the challenges for Brett are around regulatory compliance, data security, infrastructure scaling, revenue recognition and cost management. “The opportunities lie in global expansion, technology integration, strategic partnerships and diversified revenue by changing how healthcare is delivered,” he says.

He adds that the virtual health sector offers significant prospects for innovative growth and global impact – that’s what resonates with him.

South Africa in comparison

Asked whether he still visits the country, Brett says “Absolutely, South Africa is one of my now-two homes!”. In fact, he makes it a point to visit at least once a year to reconnect with family, friends and his roots.

He explains that South Africa has made significant strides in areas like ESG, especially with its rich biodiversity and focus on sustainable practices. “People-wise, South Africa boasts a diverse and talented workforce, but practices need modernisation in some sectors to align with global standards.”

In terms of technology, he adds that while there’s growth, there’s still a gap compared to some leading tech nations.

Despite these and other rising challenges the country is facing, Brett believes in the spirit and tenacity of its people.

“My advice is to stay informed, engaged and hopeful. Collaborate across communities to find solutions and always remember the strength that lies in unity.”

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