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Finance Indaba 2017: Cassel&Co is fanatical about finance

By focusing only on professionals and clients in these finance and accounting disciplines, we have been able to develop extended networks of talent and have built a thorough understanding of the environments and challenges facing those recruiting finance and accounting teams in a wide range of businesses, from start-ups to corporates," says Georgina Barrick, MD of Cassel&Co, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2017 on 12 and 13 October 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

CFOs should expect more change coming, says Standard Bank CIB's Suzette Els

“Allow compliance to participate in front line engagement to create a mutual understanding on key client challenges and pro-actively pick-up on key client challenges,” advises Suzette Els, Chief Compliance Officer for Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking. In this article, part of a series from Standard Bank specialists, Suzette talks about trends in the compliance space, how clients are being assisted with these, and what CFOs should expect.

Strike costs Sibanye R160 million

Sibanye Gold’s Cooke Mine, located in Randfontein, Gauteng, estimates that it has lost 300 kilograms of gold production, the equivalent of R160 million, due to the recent, four-week unprotected strike.

Coca-Cola and government agree regarding ABInBev JV

Coca-Cola and the South African government have reached an agreement on a package of conditions as the purchase of a controlling 54.5 percent stake in its joint Africa venture with Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) nears completion.

Mary Vilakazi new MMI deputy CEO

MMI has promoted Mary Vilakazi (pictured), nominated for the 2017 CFO of the Year Awards, to the role of deputy CEO. In her new role, Mary will be responsible for driving the effective implementation of MMI’s plans.

Five apps to help CFOs boost their productivity

It never ceases to surprise us that many CFOs heading up the finance departments of massive organisations equipped with the bleeding edge of technology are content to limit themselves to the equivalent of an abacus when it comes to boosting their own productivity. Here are five apps to help you get a handle on your personal productivity.

Africa's first FinTech development platform launches

Koncart, a platform that empowers developers and techpreneurs to build their financially driven tech idea with ease, has recently been launched into the African FinTech sector. The platform enables startups to quickly create and manage virtual wallets and transactions with an in depth analysis to your data by leveraging on Koncart’s analytics dashboard.

Stay safe from cybercrime

In the three years to 2016, almost 16,000 organisations across the globe had their IT systems breached – the equivalent of 17 cases of business email compromise every day, according to the US-based Internet Crime Complaint Center. Recent cyberattacks on companies around the world have rung alarm bells over how firms protect their business from criminals. A new report , Keeping Business Clean, tells business leaders how to crack the hackers on scams such as executive impersonation, where fraudsters dupe unwitting staff into transferring money from company accounts.

Finance Indaba 2017: Intellection is the leader in procure to pay improvement

“First and foremost, we have one focus: delivering value with a long-term objective of providing the best service in our industry," says Christo Jacobs, director at Intellection, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2017 on 12 and 13 October 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Omnia profits drop amid economic pressures

South African diversified chemicals maker Omnia Holdings announced a drop in full-year profit of 7% in a results presentation on Tuesday, as difficult trading conditions took their toll on the company’s mining and chemicals divisions.

Tyrone Soondarjee new Cell C CFO

Despite recently saying he would be retiring, Tyrone Soondarjee, previously financial director at the Sasfin Group, has been appointed Cell C’s new chief financial officer, effective 1 July 2017. Soondarjee will take over from Robert Pasley, who will return to his original role as chief strategy officer.

Deloitte's Andrew Mackie shares his thoughts on the value of the CFO community

Andrew Mackie, Deloitte’s newly appointed Head of Audit for Africa, believes there is great value in cultivating a strong network of CFOs and building a community of finance leaders. Mackie says he is excited about Deloitte partnering with CFO South Africa: “It is vital, particularly in these tumultuous times, that finance leaders hunker down together and find common ground.”

CFOs should strategise for growth in the long-term, says UJ's Ben Marx

“Strategy, strategy, strategy. In difficult economic times, it is critical that the CFO to manage, innovate and focus the company finances not only to survive short-term challenges, but to expand and grow in the long-term as well,” says the head of the University of Johannesburg’s accounting department, Professor Ben Marx.

Consumer uptake of FinTech services surges - EY

Consumer uptake of innovative FinTech products is set to be embraced by the mainstream as adoption levels surge among digitally-savvy consumers, according to a study by EY. The research, based on 22 000 online interviews with digitally active consumers across 20 markets, shows that the emerging markets are driving much of this adoption with China, India, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico averaging a 46% participation rate.

Payments industry launches new type of debit order

Four years in the making, a new type of debit order, DebiCheck, is nearing completion. Created as a result of increased concern over the number of unauthorised debit orders being processed, this new debit order system will only authorise a debit order to be processed to a consumer’s account if the mandate for such has been electronically confirmed by the consumer.

Finance Indaba 2017: Treasury Technologies gives you the benefit of in-house banking

"With Treasury Cloud Technology, the benefits of an in-house bank are within reach of most medium-sized companies and not just available for the select few listed firms," says Rudolph Janse van Rensburg, CEO of Treasury Technologies, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2017 on 12 and 13 October 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Leaders are there to grow and empower staff, not to be their friend, says Rajesh Mahabeer

For his work as CFO of SANParks, Rajesh Mahabeer, now Head of Public Sector Finance and Deal Origination at Garuda Capital (Pty) Ltd, was nominated for the CFO Awards 2017. We chatted to Rajesh about his tenure at SANParks and how he turned the finance team around, setting a new strategic direction for the entity in doing so, as well as his new role in the M&A and corporate finance space.

KAL lists on JSE main board

Agricultural services company KaapAgri (KAL) this morning listed on the ‘speciality retailer’ sector of the main board of the JSE. The company, which has a history dating back more than 100 years, to 1912, is valued at around R4.1 billion.

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 25, 2017

Do you want to keep up to date with the latest developments in finance, but you are short of time? Don’t worry. CFO South Africa weekly collects 10 of the most important articles from international media for your convenience.

Naspers' earnings skyrocket

South African tech and media giant Naspers on Friday recorded positive results for the year to March 2017, increasing revenue by 19% year on year to $14.6 billion. Core headline earnings at Naspers rose 41% to $1,8 billion for the year. Positive results from Chinese behemoth Tencent took the edge of its stuttering pay-TV and other e-commerce ventures, with businesses outside SA contributed 80% of revenues, compared to 77% a year ago.

Political parties oppose Twin Peaks Bill

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have opposed the Twin Peaks Bill, officially known as the Financial Sector Regulation Bill, while the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has accepted it, albeit with reservations.

Eskom appoints Johnny Dladla as acting group exec

Johnny Dladla (pictured) has been appointed acting group chief executive of Eskom, with immediate effect. This after Public Enterprises minister Lynne Brown ordered Eskom to rescind Brian Molefe’s reappointment as the power utility’s chief executive late last month.

IRBA: Extra measures required to promote transformation of audit profession

The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) has said that additional measures to drive transformation will be required to address government’s concerns regarding de-concentration of the audit market and transformation. This in the face of criticism that Mandatory Audit Firm Rotation (MAFR) will not address transformation of the profession.

TechPreneur Africa and Abu Dhabi sign FinTech agreement

TechPreneur Africa, which aims to support FinTech firms and entrepreneurs that want to increase financial inclusion and opportunities for growth across Africa, has signed a memorandum of agreement with international financial hub Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

Engage with CFO of the Year 2017 Till Streichert at CFO Summit 4

Till Streichert (pictured), CFO of mobile communications company Vodacom Group, walked away with three awards at the 2017 CFO Awards in May. Besides claiming the coveted title of CFO of the Year, the quiet-spoken German national also scooped the Strategy Execution and Finance Transformation honours.

Lushen Pather appointed acting group FD of Sasfin

Lushen Pather (pictured), CFO of Sasfin Bank Limited and Sasfin Holdings Limited, who was nominated for this year's CFO Awards, has been appointed acting group financial director, effective 1 July 2017, until such time as a permanent replacement is appointed. This as Tyrone Soondarjee, existing group FD, will be retiring from the Sasfin board and subsidiary boards, effective 30 June 2017.

Perspectives on property: leading CFOs share insights

CFOs who are handed property portfolios or commercial challenges with a property aspect really have a great opportunity to get closer to the business. And with a closer handle on your business you become a better CFO. This was the view of guests at last night’s CFO South Africa dinner, which was filled with great insights, perspectives and relationship building.

Monty Python: required viewing for accountants

Accountants play a crucial role in the engine room of any business, but they have long been the victims of unkind stereotyping and have somewhat unfairly earned a reputation for being boring, methodical, number-crunchers with no sense of humour and a penchant for weird green peak caps.

Africa's biggest learning platform: WATCH CFO SA MD Graham Fehrsen at #findaba16

With more than 5 000 visitors tapping into a wealth of resources, know-how and inspiration and gaining unparalleled insights, Finance Indaba 2016 was an ambitious venture, but it was also one established on the idea that helping just a single individual would have a knock-on effect and prove fortuitous for the continent's financial services sector.

AG report: Clean audits for only 9 new municipalities

The auditor-general (AG) local government report has been released, showing the audit outcomes of 263 municipalities and 51 municipal entities. Unfortunately, there was little improvement in the local government audit outcomes for the year 2015/16, and very few municipalities achieved clean audit opinions.

Standard Bank CIB CEO Kenny Fihla's ideal CFO

Kenny Fihla was recently made CEO (he was, until then, deputy CEO) of Standard Bank’s Corporate and Investment Banking division. For him, the ideal CFO needs to be three key things: a core partner, concerned with sustainability, and a sanity check for the organisation. “If a CFO can play these three roles exceptionally well, you’ve got a winner.”

CFOs should be drivers of strategy, says Transnet's Garry Pita

“CFOs need to be drivers of strategy. We need to look beyond financial reporting and management accounts and actually get involved in driving our businesses. At Transnet, we feel that the CFO is the the strategic enabler of the business. We feel that those in the profession from both public and private sectors should work together to drive economic growth in the country,” said Transnet CFO Garry Pita.

Saipa joins Finance Indaba 2017

The South African Institute of Professional Accountants (Saipa) has joined Finance Indaba 2017 as a gold partner and will make its second showing at the event at the Sandton Convention Centre in October.

Hollard and Cigna partner to broaden African footprint

Brooks Mparutsa (pictured), executive director of Hollard’s international business, has said that the insurer has “significant acquisitions” planned on the continent in the coming years, and would be partnereing with New York Stock Exchange-listed Cigna, a global hearlth insurer, to offer health insurance to companies working in Africa. Hollard already has offices in Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana and Ghana, as well as South Africa.

Amazon to acquire Whole Foods in $13.7 billion deal

In a deal that has sent shockwaves through both online and brick-and-mortar industries, Amazon.com has said it will acquire Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion. According to Bloomberg, Amazon has agreed to pay $42 a share (in cash) for the organic-food chain.

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 24, 2017

Do you want to keep up to date with the latest developments in finance, but you are short of time? Don’t worry. CFO South Africa weekly collects 10 of the most important articles from international media for your convenience. 1. Apple Bank here we come Guys, it's happening. Did you miss the news? You probably did, because the announcement was tucked in between demos of the latest iMessage stickers. Millennials... sigh. At the annual developer conference WWDC, Apple announced their next move into the world of Financial Services. If you thought Apple Pay was as far as they would go, you were mistaken. Sorely mistaken! 2. Amazon, Whole Foods, and the Future of the (Old) New Economy I heard the news today, oh boy — Amazon is buying Whole Foods Market in a deal worth nearly $14 billion. The combination of these iconic companies, both of which have come of age in the last two decades, raises obvious questions. Does the transaction reflect how hard it’s been for Whole Foods to keep Wall Street satisfied with its growth and profits? (It does.) Does the deal underscore just how expansive a vision Jeff Bezos has for Amazon, his dream of it becoming the “everything store”? (No doubt.) 3. Why accountants need to get a grip on blockchain By strict definition, blockchain is a global digital ledger of economic transactions that is transparent, continually updated by countless users, and considered by many as almost impossible to corrupt or hack. But in the broader sense, blockchain is also a lightning rod for highly charged opinion, confusion, and even fear. Some argue that blockchain will completely transform finance, accounting, and auditing. Others are decidedly more circumspect regarding its impact. And a certain segment is nervous, not knowing whether blockchain will make portions of the accounting profession obsolete – perhaps large ones, specifically as it relates to the current audit and tax practices focusing on compliance. 4. CFOs Still Spurning High-Return Projects Modern finance theory says that as long as an investment earns a rate higher than the cost of capital, it creates value for a firm. Thus, when the hurdle rate exceeds the cost of capital, a firm is passing up value-creating projects, explains John Graham, professor of finance at Duke University. 5. 5 Leadership Mistakes Even the Best Bosses Make If you think your boss is some freak of nature and you're the luckiest person alive, I'll break it to you gently: He or she is human and will make mistakes. The great ones rise up from their errors by A) acknowledging they made a mistake and correcting a behavior (think humility), or B) acknowledging a blind spot that needs to be addressed, then doing something about it. Lets dive into a few prevalent leadership mistakes that even the best and smartest leaders tend to make. 6. How artificial intelligence can deliver real value to companies After decades of extravagant promises and frustrating disappointments, artificial intelligence (AI) is finally starting to deliver real-life benefits to early-adopting companies. Retailers on the digital frontier rely on AI-powered robots to run their warehouses—and even to automatically order stock when inventory runs low. Utilities use AI to forecast electricity demand. Automakers harness the technology in self-driving cars. 7. How Can You Tell Someone Has True Leadership Skills? Look for This ... Ever been in an important meeting where a topic on the agenda causes tension that you can cut with a knife? Instead of colleagues speaking up to solve an issue, you get poker faces and eyes looking down to avert what nobody wants to deal with. The same is true when it comes to having those tough conversations to call someone to the carpet. We procrastinate or avoid the confrontation, because it's never pleasant, for example, to tell someone she's not cutting it. So when people ask me, "What's the secret to great communication?" my usual response baffles some, because it can seem so counterintuitive: "Be radically transparent." 8. The benefits of thinking like an activist investor The rapid growth and influence of activist investors has many executives nervously looking over their shoulders. Even large companies are increasingly vulnerable (Exhibit 1). But there is a benefit to be had by those managers with the courage to take as hard a look at their own company’s performance as a performance-minded outsider might. The objective isn’t necessarily for managers to do what activists would do—activists’ performance is mixed, after all (Exhibit 2). Instead, the goal is for managers to examine their own strategy, governance, and operations with an eye to unearthing opportunities to improve performance. 9. How To Write A Work Email When You’re Really Pissed Off Just don’t. But if you absolutely must, do it like this. 10. Top 10 tips for great teamwork Doing great teamwork or being an inspirational team leader are terms we often hear bandied in our workplace or perhaps in the plethora of management aid books now available. Leader, player, server of teams – we all have a part to play. Yet, how well are you playing your part? In the first of a new series of articles by global job board CareersinAudit.com, Simon Wright, operations director, provides a top 10 teamwork checklist.

If you want to see deal success, plan, says Ansarada's Arie Maree

A thorough, smart and stealthy due diligence process is among the top ingredients for successful mergers and acquisitions. We spoke to finance executives and dealmakers about the homework a growth-hungry company needs to do. “You cannot over-plan,” says Arie Maree, Ansarada Managing Director for Africa and the Middle East. “Once the rubber hits the road with a deal, there are tight timelines, plenty of stress and lots of money at stake. More planning means a smoother due diligence and ultimately, a smoother transaction,”

Abigail Mukhuba replaces Mike Arnold as FD of ARM

Abigail Mukhuba (pictured), the current CFO of African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), has been appointed FD, with effect from 11 December 2017. Mukhuba replaces outgoing FD, Mike Arnold, who reaches ARM’s retirement age of 60 in July.

Afrox appoints Matthias Vogt as new CFO

JSE-listed African Oxygen (Afrox) has appointed Matthias Vogt (pictured) as its new CFO and executive director. Vogt, who joined Afrox as finance GM in July 2015, will replace outgoing CFO Dorian Devers, from 1 August this year.

Multiply Group delves into FinTech

Durban-based investment firm Multiply Group has acquired 35% of newly formed Crossfin Technology Holdings, part of the Capital Eye Investments’ portfolio, which owns stakes in several companies in the FinTech space.

In tough times, is it better to cut costs or to optimise? CFOs discuss

During the first roundtable session of the June CFO Summit, South Africa's leading financial executives learnt operational strategies to cut costs and optimise their businesses, so as to retain their levels of productivity and maintain their organisations’ competitiveness.

Beneficial experience: WATCH leading executives at #findaba16

With more than 5 000 visitors tapping into a wealth of resources, knowhow and inspiration and gaining unparalleled insights, not only was Finance Indaba 2016 a golden opportunity to meet others in the industry, network with peers and speak to professional organisations and training institutions, but it also offered neatly segmented paths and programmes for visitors to get the best out of the event.

5 productivity hacks for finance professionals

It can be easy to lose sight of the end goal in the helter-skelter world of finance, as you are bogged down in interminable meetings, email overload and organisational bureaucracy. While meeting your obligation to drive business efficiencies, your personal productivity may take a hit. Here are five productivity hacks to help streamline your own processes.

Stick your neck out to succeed, says Standard Bank CIB CEO, Kenny Fihla

Kenny Fihla was recently made CEO (he was, until then, deputy CEO) of Standard Bank’s Corporate and Investment Banking division. He shares with young finance professionals some personal pearls of wisdom for success. “Organisations are desperate for leaders and leaders are really tested in that kind of way – who is always willing to step out of the ordinary and to venture into the unknown?”

CFOs must adapt to difficult economic times, says Wiseman Nkhulu

“The single most important thing that CFOs need to keep in mind in the years that lie ahead is how best to cut costs and drive efficiencies, ensuring that their businesses are sustainable in a difficult, low-growth environment,” said University of Pretoria Chancellor Wiseman Nkhulu.

Ben Ngubane resigns from Eskom board

Ben Ngubane (pictured) has resigned as non-executive director and chairperson of the board of Eskom with immediate effect. Lynne Brown, Public Enterprises minister, made the announcement late last night.

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 23, 2017

Do you want to keep up to date with the latest developments in finance, but you are short of time? Don’t worry. CFO South Africa weekly collects 10 of the most important articles from international media for your convenience.

DocFox joins Finance Indaba 2017

DocFox has joined Finance Indaba 2017 as a gold partner and will make its debut at the event at the Sandton Convention Centre in October.

Lead the way you want to be lead, says Fabian Naidoo, CFO of Right to Care

“As a leader, you should create an environment that allows for growth in the team and for people to feel passionate about the work that they do,” says Fabian Naidoo, divisional CFO of non-profit organisation (NPO), Right to Care (Rtc). Fabian is currently also acting as finance director of the RtC Group. Fabian says his philosophy about work can be summed up by this quote from Steve Jobs, ‘The only way to do great work is to love what you do’.

KPMG bags two awards at PEA Awards

KPMG won two prestigious accolades at the recent Private Equity Africa Awards 2017 (PEA Awards): Global Financial Advisor and Single Deal Advisor.

PPC rocked by S&P downgrade

South African cement-maker PPC has reported an astonishing 93% plunge in full-year earnings after enduring a liquidity crisis following a cut in its credit rating to junk status by S&P Global Ratings.

Trend update 2017: Futurist Craig Wing chats populism, bitcoin & long knives

At the turn of the year, futurist Craig Wing wrote a piece where he postulated an increase in three seemingly unconnected developments all aligned with the central tenant of trust and transparency in a connected world. As we approach the middle of the year, Craig has updated it, adding local context particularly within the changing landscape of credit downgrades.

Dondo Mogajane new Treasury DG

Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo announced during a cabinet meeting late last week that Dondo Mogajane (pictured) has been appointed the new director general of National Treasury. Cabinet has approved the appoinement.

Kenny Fihla new CIB CEO

Kenny Fihla (pictured) has been appointed Chief Executive of Standard Bank’s Corporate & Investment Banking (CIB) division, effective immediately. Kenny takes over from David Munro, who will be fulfilling the role of CEO at Liberty, also part of the Standard Bank Group.

Walter Leonhardt, Coca-Cola Beverages SA FD, talks continuous improvement

Successfully merging companies is no small feat. Walter Leonhardt, award-winning FD of Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa, talked a group of CFOs through Coca-Cola’s journey of ‘continuous improvement’. “Authenticity is key because it plays on trust. If you want to win the trust of employees, you have to be authentic. You’ve got to do what you say you’re going to do, and follow up on what you say you’re going to follow up on,” the seasoned finance executive said.

London remains global FinTech powerhouse

London remains the powerhouse of global FinTech, despite concerns over Brexit and the upcoming UK elections. Some 31 London-based FinTech firms are featured in the annual Fintech50 report, which lists the best startups in the space as decided by industry leaders including Microsoft and Samsung. The number has increased from 29 in 2016 and the list includes seven more London-based startups than it did in 2015.

Leading executives sign up for CFO Summit 3

CFO Summit #3 on 14 June 2017 at the Summer Place in Johannesburg’s Hyde Park continues our efforts to bring the very best CFOs and experts together for exceptional learning and networking.

Steinhoff profits up

South Africa-based retail group Steinhoff International has reported a 13 percent rise in half-year operating profit, along with a 48 percent increase in revenue. This as recent acquisitions bolstered sales.

4 soft skills CFOs must master

Gaining access to the C-suite isn’t the end game for executive development. In many ways, it is just the beginning, as you seek to make your mark in a field of a higher calibre and plug the knowledge gaps you may have overlooked on your way to the corner office. Here are four soft skills that will make you stand apart from your peers.

Dorian Devers, Afrox CFO, resigns

Dorian Devers has resigned as CFO of JSE-listed African Oxygen (Afrox), effective 31 July. He is relocating to New Zealand to pursue opportunities outside Linde Group AG, the holding company of Afrox.

Mobile magic spurs Telkom progress

Telecommunications giant and South Africa’s biggest fixed-line telephone group Telkom delivered pleasing results for the past financial year, including a rise in headline earnings by 12,4% that saw its shares jump by more than five percent immediately after the presentation in Midrand on Monday.

CFOs need to look beyond the bottom line, says Clover's Elton Bosch

“CFOs are the custodians of capital and capital drives a lot of decision-making. Many people don’t look beyond the bottom line, but beyond the economic realities, there are socio-economic issues. CFOs need to start focusing on how they can use capital and explore synergistic opportunities to address not just company issues, but those of the broader community,” said Clover finance boss Elton Bosch, who is widely regarded as one of the leading CFOs in the country.

Golden opportunity: WATCH Standard Bank's Tiro Motlogeloa at #findaba16

As one of the foremost financial institutions on the continent, Standard Bank has been making great things happen in Africa for over 154 years. The bank currently operates in 20 countries on the African continent, including South Africa, as well as in other selected emerging markets, and employs more than 54 000 people across its 1 221 branches. CFO South Africa is pleased to have retained such a prestigious diamond partner for Finance Indaba 2017.

DA lays corruption charges against Eskom CFO Anoj Singh

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has laid several charges on various individuals, including Eskom CFO Anoj Singh (pictured right with Transnet CFO Garry Pita at the 2017 CFO Awards), in the wake of the leaked Gupta emails.

Naspers pours $80m into Indian platform

Naspers, a global internet and entertainment group and one of the largest technology investors in the world, today announced that it led an $80 million Series E investment in India-based Swiggy, an online food ordering and delivery platform in India. Ashutosh Sharma, head of investments in India for Naspers, will join the Swiggy board. The investment will help to bolster Swiggy’s growth plans and demonstrates Naspers commitment to help Swiggy become the undisputed leader in food ordering and delivery across India.

I want to be part of professionalising government, says National Treasury CFO, Silindile Kubheka

“You only have one chance for a first impression. I am always respectful but I never confuse respect with blindly following others,” says National Treasury CFO, Silindile Kubheka. We have tried to unpack the remarkable metamorphosis of the National Treasury CFO from a shy, quiet serial student to a leadership powerhouse with strong views on boardroom dynamics, youth development and ways to professionalise government.

Firm rotation announcement shocks CFOs

The CFO Forum has said it is “deeply concerned” by the decision to introduce mandatory audit firm rotation (MAFR) for South African business.

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 22, 2017

Do you want to keep up to date with the latest developments in finance, but you are short of time? Don’t worry. CFO South Africa weekly collects 10 of the most important articles from international media for your convenience.

i-Pay joins Finance Indaba 2017

i-Pay has joined Finance Indaba 2017 as a silver partner and will make its second showing at the event at the Sandton Convention Centre in October.

There's no one-size-fits-all solution in forex, says Standard Bank's Richard de Roos

“Everyone has a different way of thinking about FX and settling and hedging their FX and we must solve and understand for each of these,” says Richard de Roos, Head of Foreign Exchange for the Standard Bank Group. In this, the second article in a series from Standard Bank specialists, Richard talks about forex trends in Africa, what Standard Bank is doing to stay ahead of the pack, and what CFOs should expect in this arena.

PIC backs Vodacom-Safaricom deal

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC), Vodacom Group’s second-largest shareholder, has said it will vote in favour of the R34.6 billion takeover of Kenya’s Safaricom. The PIC holds a 15.63% interest in Vodacom Group.

Head of Finance Gupta leaves Uber

Gautam Gupta, Uber head of finance, has announced that, come July, he will no longer be with the international ride-hailing company. Instead, he will be joining another San Francisco-based startup as COO. Gupta’s moves comes as several other top Uber officers have left the company this year.

Records tumbling: more visitors than ever on CFO.co.za

Website CFO.co.za welcomed 18,444 visitors in the month of May 2017, a new record for the online hub for finance executives. Posts about the 2017 Finance Indaba Africa and the 2017 CFO Awards were among the best read, along with this news article about the recently announced collaboration between accounting bodies SAICA and CIMA.

Open up to drive productivity - report

Researchers from the London Business School have found that encouraging employees to keep from showing positive or negative emotions will drag down their performance and that of their organisation. On the other hand, workers who feel that they are able to express themselves freely in the work environment tend be more productive, innovative and creative. Corporate leaders have a vital role to play in creating this sort of workplace environment. “What emotions and experiences are allowed, encouraged and supported and how does this impact an organisation’s strategic priorities such as innovation?” asks Michael Parke, Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School. “When people are invested in their jobs, they can get upset or frustrated with things but they should be able to share those emotions so it doesn’t stymie their work or creativity.”

Beware the FinTech hype - Accenture report

Did someone cancel the FinTech revolution or has it just been delayed? That's the question posed by a new report on the UK scene, which argues that new entrants have failed to lure customers from incumbents and that VC money has started to dry up. Over the last few years, the FinTech hype machine has been in overdrive, with a digital revolution promising to change market structure, radically improve products and services, and save the high street veterans from sliding into invisible utilities.

Lingerie & groceries: retail CFOs dominate Dutch CFO Awards

CFOs of two of The Netherlands most famous retailers have received CFO Awards during a celebratory ceremony at the end of CFO Day, a full day of learning and networking attended by 500 Dutch finance executives in the coastal town of Noordwijk. The awards went to Jeff Carr (pictured left) of Ahold Delhaize and Ron Hemmer (pictured below) of Hunkemöller.

Tiger Brands narrows focus to home market

After posting a 6.3 percent rise in half-year profit, food company Tiger Brands said that it will pull focus back onto middle-income consumers in its home market of South Africa.

Outstanding event: WATCH KPMG's John Saker at #findaba16

KPMG is a leading global professional service company and one of the "Big Four". Established in 1987 with headquarters in Amsterdam, KPMG employs 189 000 people, offering financial audit, tax, and advisory services. The firm, which is frequently cited as one of the best places to work and build a career, was also a diamond sponsor of CFO South Africa's Finance Indaba extravaganza in 2016.

4 pieces of advice from leading CFOs

CFO South Africa is all about networking and gaining knowledge from peers. The CFO community is a worldwide one and we pride ourselves on our ability to bring you relevant insights that can assist you in furthering your personal aims and those of your organisation, no matter the sector in which you operate. Here are four pieces of advices from the CFOs of leading global companies.

David Munro new Liberty CEO

Standard Bank corporate and investment banking (CIB) CEO David Munro (pictured) has taken over as CEO of Liberty in the wake of Thabo Dloti’s unexpected departure. Standard Bank holds a 54 percent share in Liberty.

Tongaat Hulett hits earnings sweet spot

Tongaat Hulett reported a 45 percent rise in full-year earnings on Monday, as higher export prices and improved local prices gave the South African sugar producer a jab in the arm.

TFG acquires Australian menswear group

TFG, the holding company of fashion chain, Foschini, has announced that it will be acquiring menswear group, Retail Apparel Group (RAG). TFG is the latest retailer to enter the Australian market.

Entersekt clinches second banking award

South African FinTech company, Entersekt has won the Judges' Choice: Best Technology Provider at the fourth Banker Africa East Africa Awards held recently at a gala dinner in Nairobi. In April, the firm won the award for Best Mobile Security Technology in the 2017 Banker Africa Southern Africa Banking Awards for the second year in a row.

I want to excel in my role as CFO, says Mampe Gololo, CFO of Great North Transport

“I joined the company at a time when it was struggling, so I’ve had to be innovative and creative,” says Mampe Gololo, CFO of Great North Transport, a public entity focused on commuter transport in Limpopo. “The company has been loss-making for the last five consecutive years, so issues of turnaround are key. We’ve got to get the company back on its feet.”

Net1 CEO retires, CFO takes over

Net1 founder and CEO Serge Belamant (pictured) will retire at the end of this month, marking the end of what is almost a 17-year tenure at the company. CFO Herman Kotzé, who has been with Net1 for more than 18 years, will take over from Belamant as of 1 June. Kotzé will stand as both CEO and CFO until a new CFO has been appointed.

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 21, 2017

Do you want to keep up to date with the latest developments in finance, but you are short of time? Don’t worry. CFO South Africa weekly collects 10 of the most important articles from international media for your convenience.

PowerMani joins Finance Indaba 2017

PowerMani has joined Finance Indaba 2017 as a silver partner and will make its debut at the event at the Sandton Convention Centre in October.

In deal making, understand what you buy, says Deloitte's Karin Hodson

A thorough, smart and stealthy due diligence process is among the top ingredients for successful mergers and acquisitions. We spoke to finance executives and deal makers about the homework a growth-hungry company needs to do. “The due diligence report is often just used to tick the box and the findings are not adequately translated into the pricing and sale and purchase agreement,” says Karin Hodson, Partner and Transaction Services Leader at Deloitte. Failure to undertake adequate due diligence can result in significant erosion in value and potential losses of customers, staff and everything in between, she adds.

Discovery launches in Australia

South African insurer Discovery has announced a joint venture with two Australian companies to create a health insurance brand and to expand the footprint of its behaviour tracking programme. The players are Australia’s largest life insurer, AIA Australia, and non-profit health and care company, GMHBA.

Grant Pattison, ex Massmart chief, new Edcon CEO

Former Massmart executive Grant Pattison (pictured) has been appointed Edcon CEO, his primary aim to assemble a new board with retail experience and hopefully pull the struggling retail group out of the doldrums.

SAICA and CIMA work together to advance accountancy in SA

SAICA and The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association) have joined forces to advance the accounting profession in South Africa by broadening access to their professional qualifications and resources.

Learn to drive productivity at CFO Summit 3

In these tough economic times, many CFOs are looking for ways to increase productivity and cut costs to maintain their organisations’ competitiveness. If you are one of these finance chiefs, you simply can’t afford to miss out on the third CFO Summit of the year on 14 June 2017 at the opulent Summer Place in Johannesburg’s Hyde Park.

Naspers invests $5m in Filipino FinTech Coins

South African media and e-commerce giant Naspers has continued its expansion into the FinTech and cryptocurrency space by putting $5 million behind Philippines-based startup Coins.ph. The investment was facilitated by Naspers’ Ventures division.

Cassel&Co joins Finance Indaba 2017

Cassel & Co has joined Finance Indaba 2017 as a gold partner and will make its second showing at the event at the Sandton Convention Centre in October.

Hotels keep Tsogo Sun in the black

South African hotel and casino operator Tsogo Sun reported an increase in full-year earnings in a results presentation on Wednesday, as new hotel acquisitions offset disappointing gaming earnings.

Management shake-up at Lewis; CFO among those leaving

The chairperson, a board member and the CFO are leaving JSE-listed Lewis Group. Lewis said in a statement that David Nurek, Lewis chairperson, had advised the board that he plans to retire after serving as a director and chairman since the group’s listing on the JSE in 2004. Les Davies, who has served as the group’s CFO and financial director since 1989, advised the board that he would be stepping down as CFO and as an executive director of the group. Davies will continue to serve as CEO of the group’s short-term insurer, Monarch Insurance.

Sustainability - why CFOs should care

"Companies are now required by governments and stock exchanges to be transparent about their sustainability performance for all stakeholders, including investors, to see and evaluate," writes Stephane Bello, Executive VP and CFO at Thomson Reuters.

Three skills to prise open the C-suite

You may feel that years of hard work may be enough to break the glass ceiling and join the ranks of the financial elite in the corner offices and upper echelons of management, but you’d be better off thinking more strategically about your skills development plan. Being technically proficient in your job is a prerequisite for advancement, not the manna you need to propel upward. The simple truth is that companies prize certain skills above others and this Here are three that if consciously developed, are likely to see you go all the way from open-plan anonymity to the boardroom.

Platinum sponsor: WATCH Deloitte's Delise Muller at #findaba16

CFO South Africa has the privilege of boasting Deloitte as a trusted partner. The headline sponsor of the CFO Awards 2017 earlier this month, Deloitte is the largest of the Big Four global professional services networks. Deloitte has more than 244 000 professionals at member firms delivering services in audit, tax, consulting, financial advisory, risk management, and related services in more than 150 countries and territories. Revenues for fiscal year 2015 were $35.2 billion.In 2016, Fortune magazine ranked Deloitte as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For[and Bloomberg Business has consistently named Deloitte as the best place to launch a career.

Felix Lombard new Pioneer Foods CFO

Following a robust recruitment process in evaluating external and internal candidates, Pioneer Food Group, the South Africa-based food and drinks group, has appointed Felix Lombard as its new CFO. Cindy Hess held the CFO role until late 2016, a tenure which saw her nominated for the 2016 CFO of the Year Awards.

Meet Wayne Koonin (Omnia), winner of the Finance & Technology Award

Wayne Koonin, CFO of Omnia, led a strategy to implement a new, company-wide ERP system and IT platform as a basis for taking the business to a new level. For this, Wayne won the Finance & Technology Award at the recent CFO Awards, held on 11 May at Summer Place in Johannesburg.

FinTech unicorn Transferwise hits the black

FinTech unicorn Transferwise says the company has reached operational profitability six years after launch. The London-based currency exchange startup says it is currently amassing £8 million a month in revenue and is on target to reach £100 million for the year.

I came to finance less by design and more by default

“I am operationally focused and have good attention to detail and follow up. If there is a problem I determine immediately what the issue is and address and follow up with management and hold them accountable,” says Melanie Chong, FD of Oakbay Resources and Energy Limited, a company in the business of mining and exploration of energy-related resources. Oakbay mines coal for the local market and owns one of the largest uranium resources in the world. It also mines gold as a by-product at its uranium mine. We caught up with Melanie to talk about her role at Oakbay.

Agriculture and mining growth forecast lifted by IMF

The Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised its forecast for economic growth in South Africa. It forecast growth of one percent for South Africa this year, up from the 0.8 percent prediction made in April.

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 20, 2017

Do you want to keep up to date with the latest developments in finance, but you are short of time? Don’t worry. CFO South Africa weekly collects 10 of the most important articles from international media for your convenience.

Meet Debbie Ransby (Takeda), winner of the Moving into Africa Award

At the recent CFO Awards, held on 11 May at the stunning Summer Place in Johannesburg, Debbie Ransby of pharmaceutical firm Takeda Africa walked away with the Moving into Africa Award, received largely because of her change management work in Egypt, where she faced numerous tough challenges, including diverse cultures and complex business practices.

Look for the opportunity within the crisis, says Standard Bank's Zaid Moola

“In South Africa, the full impact of a downgrade to sub-investment status will probably only manifest over the next 12 to 18 months. Companies in strong balance-sheet positons should be cautiously opportunistic and look for value-enhancing acquisitions both in South Africa and abroad. As much as economic conditions may be tough, my view is that we should never let a good crisis go to waste,” says Zaid Moola, Head of Client Coverage South Africa for Corporate & Investment Banking (CIB) at Standard Bank. In this, the first article in a series from Standard Bank specialists, Zaid talks about the trends he is seeing in his area of expertise and offers expert advice for CFOs.

BCX partners with WeThinkCode in R60 million deal

Telkom subsidiary BCX has launched a R60-million partnership with local incubator, WeThinkCode, a tuition-free programme designed to educate new software engineers. The deal will see the South African incubator expand its Johannesburg-based operations and also launch in Cape Town.

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