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Struggling ArcelorMittal raises R3.5 billion

ArcelorMittal South Africa is in discussions to borrow R3.5 billion as part of a capital raising plan, though it has not specified what the funds will be used for.

Peter Riskowitz new Long4Life CFO

Peter Riskowitz (pictured) has been appointed as CFO and executive director of Brian Joffe’s new investment firm, Long4Life, which listed yesterday on the JSE. Riskowitz’s role, which will take effect from 1 May, will include a strong focus on merger and acquisition activity for the firm.

Brian Joffe's Long4Life list on JSE

Brian Joffe (pictured), founder of Bidvest, has successfully listed his latest venture, Long4Life, a R2 billion investment firm, on the JSE’s main board.

Summit Series gathers momentum

CFO South Africa’s debut season of CFO Summits has been a phenomenal success thus far, with the series attracting interest from leading financial executives eager to gain insights from their peers and opinion leaders.

Juan Mostert joins Bidvest Prestige as CFO

Juan Mostert has left Hitachi Data Systems Sub-Saharan Africa, where he was Head of Finance, and joined Bidvest Prestige as its CFO/Finance Director, effective 1 April.

What are the implications of a `junk status` downgrade?

The downgrade of SA’s sovereign credit rating to junk status after the Zuma administration’s midnight Cabinet reshuffle on 31 March has plunged the country into anxiety and depression. The rand and government bonds fell sharply after the S&P and now Fitch agencies took the step in a reaction to what they see as risks to fiscal policy and political uncertainty. But what does the downgrade mean for financial executives and South Africans in general?

Rockstar of public speaking: WATCH Vusi Thembekwayo at #findaba16

Venture capitalist, entrepreneur and public speaker extraordinaire Vusi Thembekwayo has earned plaudits (including from the likes of Nelson Mandela) and enthralled audiences all over the world with his lessons from the public speaking pulpit, which began when he was a teenager.

Vodacom's Peter Moyo joins Old Mutual

Peter Moyo (pictured), Vodacom chairman, has been headhunted by Old Mutual to head its emerging markets arm. Moyo will return to his former employer on 1 June as CEO of Old Mutual Emerging Markets (Omem). He will replace Ralph Mupita, who resigned in October.

3 CFOs on succeeding in Africa

For many South African companies, expanding successfully through the rest of the continent is a sort of Holy Grail. Many have been burned in their efforts and some abandon their plans completely after failing to negotiate difficult terrain. Here are three financial executives’ advice on doing business in Africa from our interview archives.

Primedia's Chris Patricios nominated for CFO Awards 2017

Primedia CFO Chris Patricios has been nominated for the 2017 CFO Awards. The annual 'Oscars for South African CFOs', to be held on 11 May, recognise CFOs of listed companies, large corporations, state-owned entities and government institutions, and awards them for outstanding performance and leadership.

More former SAA execs join fastjet

Fastjet, one of Africa’s newer low-cost airlines, has recruited a further two former SAA group executives as chairman and CFO: Rashid Wally and Michael Muller.

Voice IT wins African FinTech hackathon

FinTech startup Voice IT took the honours at the Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF) 48-hour Recode Nigeria hackathon, sponsored by Access Bank, winning N1,5 million cash, as well as a year's access to the IBM Bluemix artificial intelligence platform and the Microsoft BizSpark developer toolkit.

Experience things outside your comfort zone, says Monash South Africa's Alvin Liew

Alvin Liew, Acting CFO of Monash South Africa, grew up and was educated in Malaysia, completing his articles in Australia. He came to South Africa on an assignment with Laureate Education, the largest private network of higher education providers in the world, which has a global network of more than 70 higher education institutions in 25 countries. Monash South Africa is the first partnership that Laureate Education has embarked on in Sub-Saharan Africa. “South Africa is a great country. It has its quirks and eccentricities, but I enjoy this,” he says. Alvin has worked for Monash South Africa for three years and says that when it comes to reaching economic transformation goals, nothing can have as big an impact as education: “I believe the greatest enabler of economic transformation is education – no other factors come close to the importance of education when it comes to radically transforming a country.”

Kutana Construction to acquire 51% stake in Grinaker-LTA

Aveng shareholders have approved the sale of a 51-percent stake in the Grinaker-LTA business to Kutana Construction, a black women-owned entity, the deal including a 45-percent economic interest for Kutana. The 51 percent interest represents the legal voting position of the shares held by Kutana, while the 45 percent economic interest represents the benefit attributable to the firm.

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 13, 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.

Blackline partners with Finance Indaba 2017

Cloud solution provider Blackline 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.

Peregrine considering a split to bolster profits

Peregrine Holdings Ltd., which operates South Africa’s oldest hedge fund and also owns half of advisory business Java Capital, is contemplating splitting itself to create a new investment firm, by using profits from its stockbroking and wealth-management units.

MENA FinTech challenge open to North Africa

North African startups are eligible for the SANAD Fincluders Startup Challenge in Amman, Jordan, on 3-4 May 2017 and its $15 000 cash prize. The challenge, which also includes Middle Eastern startups, aims to find innovative SMEs focusing on financial inclusion and follows the Arab Day dedicated to increasing access to financial services.

KPMG and MacRobert Attorneys form tax dispute resolution alliance

The state of South Africa’s economy and more ambitious tax revenue targets, together with uncertainty on various tax principles and policy matters, has led to an increase in tax dispute matters. Against this background, KPMG and MacRobert Attorneys have joined forces to create a Tax Dispute Resolution Alliance. There is a shared vision between the two firms on how to help clients on dispute resolution matters without adopting aggressive and expensive tax litigation practices.

CFO SA public sector chapter in rude health

In response to overwhelming demand, CFO South Africa launched its public sector chapter in 2014 to give CFOs of departments, municipalities and other governmental bodies the opportunity to share knowledge, discuss challenges, network and listen to solutions that partner organisations have to offer. The chapter was quickly endorse by leading figures, including Minister for Finance in the Western Cape Dr Ivan Meyer.

5 more Excel tips for accountants

As a tried and trusted resource for financial executives that can be seen on computer screens in virtually every corporate office, becoming an Excel super-user is a great career move for any accountant. The spreadsheet is always expanding and reams of text have been devoted to excelling with Excel. The number of shortcuts and ways to increase your savvy are expanding all the time and there is a big difference between intermediate and advanced knowledge of the program. Here are five more Excel tips for accountants.

Enabling accountability: WATCH Auditor-General Thembekile Makwetu at #findaba16

South African Auditor General Thembekile Kimi Makwetu was one of the high-profile names at the Finance Indaba 2016. He opened the Finance for Africa programme and shared his vision on the importance of finance and how the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) is enabling oversight, accountability and governance in the public sector.

Capitec grows by 1.3 million new customers

Capitec Bank has reported record growth of some 1.3 million new clients for the financial year ending February 2017, bringing their total customer base to 8.6 million. This makes Capitec the third-largest bank in the country by way of active clients, ahead of FNB and behind Absa by only a fraction. Standard Bank holds first place.

Save money and create value? Property-savvy CFOs share insights and knowhow

On Tuesday evening, a small group of leading CFOs gathered for an exclusive dinner on one of the most exclusive pieces of real estate in Johannesburg: The Four Seasons Hotel, Westcliff. Given the complex relationship most large businesses have with property, it was an evening of far-ranging and sometimes unexpected conversation.

Gloomy Sun International scraps dividend

Gaming and hospitality behemoth Sun International’s headline earnings per share fell to 223 cents per share for the six months to December 2016, from 344 cents in the comparable year and a sluggish economy, foreign exchange hits and settlement charges saw a 35% drop in full-year-profit. The group grew revenue 31% to R7.7-billion, with the strong growth attributable to the inclusion of its Latin American Dreams SA and GPI Slots’ operations for the full period.

Department of Energy's Yvonne Chetty nominated for CFO Awards

Department of Energy CFO Yvonne Chetty has been nominated for the 2017 CFO Awards, following up her nomination in 2016. The annual 'Oscars for South African CFOs', to be held on 11 May, recognise CFOs of listed companies, large corporations, state-owned entities and government institutions, and awards them for outstanding performance and leadership.

Zunaid Bulbulia new Huge Group CFO

Zunaid Bulbulia (pictured), former MTN CEO and one of the company’s founders, has joined telecoms service company Huge Group as its new CFO, effective 27 March. David Deetlefs, who was serving as the company’s Group FD, will remain on the board as an executive director.

FinTech Academy set for April launch

The FinTech Academy Africa, a collaboration between FinTech Circle and the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi), is set to launch in SA on 24 and 25 April, in Johannesburg.

Good CFOs know their strengths, says Damain Matroos, SacOil CFO

“We need to be careful that we don’t make the mistake when going into the rest of Africa of thinking that we have better skills and expertise than others on the continent. This superiority complex will set us up for failure. The fundamental thing is, if you try to exploit the other African jurisdictions to the benefit of South Africa, you’ll come unstuck,” says Damain Matroos, CFO of SacOil, a South African-based independent African oil and gas company. We chatted to Damain about the challenges he faces as a CFO in the oil and gas sector, what opportunities exist, and what it’s like to do business in Africa.

Country Road Group and David Jones merge

Woolworths announced on Friday that is intends to combine its Australian subsidiaries Country Road Group and David Jones into one group, WHL Australasia, which will be headquartered in a single campus based in Richmond, Melbourne.

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 12, 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.

Capisol joins Finance Indaba 2017

Cloud solution provider Capisol Software has joined Finance Indaba 2017 as a silver partner and will make its debut at the event at the Sandton Convention Centre in October.

Reduce people cost through crowdsourcing, says Google's Terrence Taylor

Perhaps the most underrated aspect of crowdsourcing is its potential to disrupt the current cost structure that supports talent management. Crowdsourcing makes sense when thinking about the perennial constraint that businesses face: costs. Cost containment remains a priority, and with people costs (including salary, training, perks, etc) accounting for close to or over 60 percent of the cost structure of most companies, crowdsourcing offers the potential to greatly reducing this expenditure.

New SAA CEO to be appointed soon

The appointment of a new CEO at SAA will soon be finalised, or so said Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in a recent letter to Baleka Mbete, the Speaker of the National Assembly, wherein he also sought permission to delay the tabling of SAA's corporate plan.

Sea Harvest lists 42% of company, raises R1.3 billion

The Sea Harvest Group raised a staggering R1.3 billion by listing 42% of the company on the JSE, where it floated its shares at R12.50 each, leading to a group market capitalisation of some R3.14 billion. The company has said this will allow it to realise its vision of becoming a diversified global seafood company.

Sanlam expands in East Africa with PineBridge Investments acquisition

Financial services group Sanlam has reached an agreement with asset manager PineBridge Investments, a leading global multi-asset class asset manager, which has operations in Kenya and Uganda, to acquire PineBridge’s majority stake in PineBridge Investments East Africa Limited in Kenya (PIEAL).

22seven's Christo Davel signs off

Founder of personal management website 22seven Christo Davel has resigned, citing an Old Mutual decision to change strategy. 22seven was acquired by Old Mutual in 2013.

NEF looking to purchase Mercantile Bank

According to Philisiwe Mthethwa (pictured), CEO of the National Empowerment Fund (NEF), the entity is contemplating an offer of R12.2 billion for Mercantile Bank, which recently announced it would be selling its South African bank.

Why artificial intelligence won't spell the end for accountants

Accountants across the globe, like their colleagues in many other professions, may feel a tad insecure at the moment, as disruptive technologies and automation continue to make disciplines obsolete and shape the way we work. These technologies are no longer confined to manufacturing, but are beginning to redefine the knowledge economy as well. Machine learning, mobile and automated workflow solutions are having a huge transformative effect on the accounting landscape.

The king of governance: WATCH Prof Mervyn King at #findaba16

Professor Mervyn King is recognised internationally as an expert on corporate governance and sustainability and is in great demand as an arbitrator and mediator. He is a founding member of the Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa and for some eight years was the South African judge at the ICC International Court of Arbitration in Paris. He has acted as an Inspector of Companies and a Commissioner of Inquiries into the affairs of companies. He has chaired many meetings for the compromise of creditors of companies and the rearrangement of shareholders’ interests and lectured on corporate issues in 38 countries.

South African businesses are not agile, say executives

“In an age where digitisation, robotics and AI are wreaking havoc with traditional business models, it is easy for executives to focus on superior technology as the solution to ensuring the competitiveness of their organisations and to overlook the human element,” said Ilya Bonic (pictured), President of Mercer’s Career business. Growth rests on engaging and empowering today’s workforce in ways that we are just beginning to uncover, Bonic added. “It takes employees armed with the right skills and opportunities to develop innovative solutions to advance the business and themselves.”

Nkonki to sponsor 2017 Young CFO of the Year

“We are delighted to be associated with CFO SA. This forum provides a critical support mechanism for South African CFOs, where they can access best practice, share information with their peers and be showcased for their contributions,” says Mitesh Patel, Managing Director of Nkonki, a 100-percent black-owned audit and advisory firm and the sponsors of this year’s ‘Young CFO of the Year’ Award. We caught up with Mitesh for a quick chat.

Finance can be funny - comic Nik Rabinowitz to emcee CFO Awards

Capetonian Nik Rabinowitz is one of the country’s most well-known stand-up comedians and is renowned for his cutting wit. International appearances include Australia, Canada, Holland, the United Kingdom, the USA, and Zimbabwe. He’s been a guest on BBC 2’s Mock the Week, performed at London’s Royal Albert Hall, and intentionally driven on the wrong side of the road in Nigeria. We spoke to him about finance, comedy and his appearance as emcee at the CFO Awards 2017.

Sasfin bullish despite earnings hit

Bank controller Sasfin Holdings suffered losses to its headlines earnings per share from 334,43 cents to 271,41 cents and reduced its dividend by 18,84% to 80 cents per share after a tough six months to 31 December 2016, marked by credit losses and a write-down in its Efficient Group investment.

Indian billionaire to buy R31.5 billion stake in Anglo

Indian mining billionaire Anil Agarwal (pictured) intends to purchase R31.5 billion of JSE-listed Anglo American shares in the market; a deal which would make him the company’s second-largest shareholder, second to the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).

Mena region set for FinTech boom

The Middle East and North Africa (Mena) is set to experience a boom in fintech innovation over the next three years, propelled by a large unbanked population, VC inflows and the rapid emergence of a host of new startups, according to a state of the nation report prepared by local payment services outfit Payfort and entrepreneurial platform Wamda. According to the report, the number of startups in Mena’s FinTech ecosystem doubled from 46 to 105 over the three years 2013 to 2015 and the region could see a total of 250 FinTech startups launch by the year 2020.

Find strength in diversity, says Refilwe Nkabinde, BCX CFO

Four powerful women – a mother, a grandmother, an accounting teacher and a career mentor – helped Refilwe Nkabinde to become BCX CFO at age 37. She spoke to CFO South Africa about her remarkable journey. “I feel equipped with all the tools I need to be a CFO.”

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 11, 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.

Excel4apps joins Finance Indaba 2017

Excel solution provider Excel4apps has partnered with Finance Indaba 2017 and will make its second showing at the event at the Sandton Convention Centre in October.

Google's Terrence Taylor on how to crowdsource new talent

Where talent management requires reviews to determine who belongs in what box and what to do with them after boxing them, crowdsourcing promises to bring out-of-the-box thinkers who work on a specific project as a team of free agents on demand.

EOH revenue up 21% to R7.2 billion

JSE-listed technology services company EOH has posted very good results, with headline earnings per share rising by 22 percent, and revenue that improved by 21 percent to R7.2 billion in the six months to 31 January 2016. Moreover, operating profit margins improved despite tough economic conditions, with profit before tax up by 26 percent to R845 million.

Old Mutual Zimbabwe adopts new strategy for growth

Old Mutual Zimbabwe is taking proactive steps to invest in real assets that preserve value, the company says. This in the midst of uncertainty around the economy returning to the pre-dollarisation era.

Oakbay Resources gets new CEO and FD

Jacques Roux has announced he will be leaving Oakbay Resources, where he was CEO, after just one year in the job, effective 31 March. He will be replaced by George van der Merwe, who will stand as acting CEO from 1 April.

Remgro suffers faltering Mediclinic investment

Investment holding group Remgro reported a 15% decline in intrinsic net asset value per share to R257.79 for the six months to December 2016 on the back of a 38,7% drop in the market value of its Mediclinic stake. The London-listed business represents its single biggest investment. The underperforming Middle East division was impacted by a number of operational and regulatory factors, including the new insurance co-payment requirements, doctor vacancies and delayed facility openings.

Woolworths' Reeza Isaacs at CFO Summit

The 2016 CFO of the Year, Woolworths’ Reeza Isaacs, will be in attendance at the second instalment of the CFO Summit series in Cape Town on 22 March. He will be contributing to the dialogue and taking questions from the forum.

Sara Bux to head CIMA Southern Africa

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) has appointed Sara Bux (pictured) as its new Associate Director: Southern Africa. Bux, who joined CIMA on 7 March this year, has been charged with driving the long-term Southern Africa strategy, and will report to Badibanga Promesse, the Africa Regional Vice President.

Productivity ninjas: 'work smarter' workshop a massive success

“As a knowledge worker, thinking is at the essence of what you do. The key to success in knowledge work (adding value to information) is good thinking, good decisions and good attention,” said Marcel van den Berg from Think Productive. Marcel was giving a two-day productivity workshop, ‘Work Smarter not Harder’, on 14 and 15 March in Johannesburg.

5 reasons why IT projects go over budget

IT projects are notorious for going over budget and have some of the highest failure rates across the industry spectrum. As a finance executive, it can be challenging to rein in eager technologists and projects that cross time and scope constraints. Let’s take a look at a few common reasons why IT projects prove to be so problematic.

SA's first online credit facility: WATCH Mobicred CEO Geraldine Anderson at #afta16 #findaba16

Mobicred is a simple and convenient credit facility that allows you to safely shop online with participating retailers. It charges interest rates comparable to those of credit card providers and only levies monthly fees while the account is used. When a buyer – who first undergoes a simple online registration process with Mobicred – pays using the facility, the seller will immediately receive the full amount, without the risk of payment reversals.

Cell C announces R540 million profit

“The 2016 financial year was exceptionally challenging, with South Africa’s economic growth essentially flat. Despite this, the company delivered solid results,” said Jose Dos Santos, Cell C CEO, speaking at a recent results presentation where it was announced that the mobile operator had posted its first profit of R540 million, for the year ending December 2016.

Real empowerment remains elusive, says IRBA's top brass

“More focus should be given to long-term career prospects, including equity partnerships and senior management and executive responsibility. Transformation is not about the de-racialisation of the overall profession; it is about financial inclusion, ownership and access to markets and opportunity,” says Bernard Agulhas (pictured), CEO of the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA). In Agulhas’s opinion, transformation must move beyond numbers and begin to truly empower black accountants and black-owned auditing firms. This includes providing equal opportunities to access the audit market, he says.

Towards a cashless society: FinTech Africa event

Financial inclusion, APIs, India, sentient fridges and blockchain technologies were all on the agenda as some of the continent’s leading FinTech visionaries applied their minds to the hot topic of the future of payments in the first FinTech Africa event of the year, held at Rand Merchant Bank’s Merchant Place campus in Sandton, Johannesburg, on Tuesday.

NEF's Innocentia Pule nominated for CFO Awards 2017

National Empowerment Fund (NEF) CFO Innocentia Pule has been nominated for the 2017 CFO Awards. The annual 'Oscars for South African CFOs', to be held on 11 May, recognise CFOs of listed companies, large corporations, state-owned entities and government institutions, and awards them for outstanding performance and leadership.

Daniel Grobler new Murray & Roberts Group FD

Murray & Roberts has appointed Daniel Grobler (pictured) as its new group FD, effective 1 April. Grobler takes over from outgoing FD Cobus Bester, who was in the position for six years. Bester is retiring and will step down on 31 March.

Africa's first cash economy research platform

Global mobile research platform mSurvey, a global mobile-first research platform and Kenyan communications agency Safaricom have launched Consumer Wallet, a platform that quantifies offline consumer spending habits and trends.

The CFO must be a voice of reason in the boardroom, says Frencel Gillion, CFO of KTH

“What makes me able to do this job is a strong understanding of the business, its operations and risk, as well as fundamentally accepting the need to grow the business,” says Frencel Gillion, CFO of Kagiso Tiso Holdings (KTH). “I think a CFO should have a strong grasp of the numbers but also be able to intuit what is happening within the business and be able to communicate this to the stakeholders through the financials. It’s not just about regurgitating numbers.”

Former Sanral CEO new Prasa chairman

Nazir Alli (pictured), former CEO of the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral), though perhaps best known for his previous role as the champion of the e-tolling system, has been announced as the new Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) chairman, taking over from Popo Molefe. This follows Transport Minister Dipuo Peters’ announcement last week of the dissolving of the rail agency's board.

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 10, 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.

360T joins Finance Indaba 2017

FX trading platform 360T has partnered with Finance Indaba 2017 and will make its debut at the event at the Sandton Convention Centre in October.

Will crowdsourcing make talent management obsolete, asks Google's Terrence Taylor?

Crowdsourcing promises to make scarce and critical skills available cost effectively, perhaps close to 90 percent cheaper, and disruptively. Yet most companies currently rely on talent management – a human resource function that has been around for over half a century but whose tools and techniques has changed little during its existence – to identify, attract, develop and keep talented people who have these sought after scarce and critical skills. The question is: will crowdsourcing make talent management obsolete?

Shell makes $7.25 billion sale as it works to reduce debt

Shell, headquartered in The Hague, has said that all of its oil-sands interests, with the exception of a 10% stake in the Athabasca mining project in Alberta, will be sold to Canadian Natural Resources. The Anglo-Dutch producer is currently two-thirds of the way through a $30 billion divestment programme to reduce debt.

Banks spend 3x more on IT security than non-financial entities

Security investment is a high priority for banks and financial institutions. Suffering from attacks on both their own infrastructure and on their customers, retail banks spend three times as much on IT security as comparably sized non-financial institutions.

Bill Thomas new KPMG Global Chairman

KPMG International has appointed 49-year-old William (Bill) Thomas as chairman. Thomas will head up the KPMG global network of professional services firms for a four-year term, effective 1 October 2017. He takes over from outgoing chairman, John Veihmeyer.

HR execs have a new home: launch event CHRO SA resounding success

Some of South Africa's foremost HR executives shared experiences, ideas and knowledge during the launch event of CHRO South Africa, the organisation that helps CHROs boost their network, knowledge and careers. Supported by the HR management software specialists from Workday, CHRO SA will launch its website and magazine in May. There are also four more high-level events scheduled for HR executives this year.

FirstRand reports solid results

Aided by a formidable display from its vehicle finance division, financial services behemoth and South Africa’s biggest lender in terms of value, FirstRand reported a 14% rise in half-year profit on Thursday.

BREAKING NEWS! Deloitte supports South African CFO community

Great news for CFOs that want to boost their knowledge, network and career in 2017: professional services firm Deloitte will be the principal partner at the 2017 CFO Awards and will also be throwing its weight behind a number of learning sessions during CFO Summits for both the private as the public sector. Their experts and specialists will also be on hand to provide insight and challenge assumptions through publications in CFO Magazine and on this website.

AFGRI to acquire stake in Bank of Athens

Leading agricultural services and food processing company AFGRI has announced the potential acquisition of the National Bank of Greece Group’s stake in the South African Bank of Athens.

Women get the best out of staff: CHRO SA meets Servest's Noma Nyembo

Nomakuze Mguqulwa-Nyembo, group HR director at Servest South Africa, is passionate about issues concerning women in leadership, especially with regard to creating a culture that allows women rise to senior positions within their organisations, and stay there, without having to emulate the leadership styles or characteristics of their male counterparts. In fact, the natural traits of women, such as their propensity to empathise and nurture, gives them an upper hand in being able to grow people, motivate them and, therefore get the best out of employees.

From labour law to HR: CHRO SA meets Verna Robson, Sun International

Sun International’s group director of Human Resources Verna Robson is a lawyer by training, who spent much of career practicing labour law. She believes it has been an advantage to have a career where she has worked closely with HR but not necessarily within it, because that has allowed her to think about her role from a very different perspective.

Shaping the culture: CHRO SA meets Openserve HR managing exec Kgomotso Molobye

Before coming to Openserve to become the managing executive of HR, Kgomotso Molobye (pictured on the right) worked predominantly in the mining and oil & gas industries, having been at AngloGold Ashanti and within the mining division at Sasol. Her current role appealed to her because of the opportunity to create a HR legacy in what was a new and free-standing entity within Telkom. Among other things, Openserve builds the infrastructure required to deliver quality broadband and fibre services, and has been key to the Telkom journey of growth and connecting South Africans by delivering access to broadband and connectivity services to service providers.

5 Excel tips for accountants

Despite its age and the host of other options now available, the venerable Microsoft Excel spreadsheet remains the first port of call for many accounting professionals. Sadly, qualifying as a chartered accountant doesn’t mean that you are automatically an Excel super-user. Use these tips to enhance your productivity and streamline your spreadsheets.

Simplifying online payments: WATCH Cubebucks CEO Jan MacKay at #afta16 #findaba16

Cubebucks is a virtual currency developed on blockchain technology that fixes the value of the qb digital currency to value in your local market against the price fix of gold on the London Metal Exchange against the dollar. The FinTech firm seeks to balance accounts in a combination of bank currencies, Bitcoin and gold reserves, that will secure the exchange ability of Cubebucks for Bitcoin or Vanilla currency value.

Four new non-executive directors appointed for 4AX

Mfundiso Johnson Ntabankulu (also known as JJ) Njeke, Thabo Vincent Mokgatlha, Prof Deon Rossouw and Theo Vorster have been appointed as independent, non-executive directors to the 4AX board, effective immediately. The appointees will play an active role in offering perspective and guidance on market and business related aspects, and review and assist in formalising the growing scope of the exchange’s market strategy.

Fiscal prudence needed in SA, says Deloitte in its latest report

South Africa’s economy continues to be stifled by weak growth on one side and the need for fiscal consolidation on the other. So says Deloitte in its recently published Global Economic Outlook Q1, 2017, which features a section on the South African economy titled ‘South Africa: In a tight spot’.

Catch up with the cloud - CFO Summit

Like the advent of the personal computer and the world wide web before it, cloud computing – Internet-based computing that provides shared computer processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand – holds the power to have far-reaching effects on companies and employee productivity. In a world in which disruption seems to be a constant and change occurs at breakneck pace, can organisations ignore the business benefits of the cloud, which include increased productivity, IT flexibility, and performance improvement?

Transnet's Garry Pita nominated for CFO Awards

Transnet CFO Garry Pita has been nominated for the 2017 CFO Awards. The annual 'Oscars for South African CFOs', to be held on 11 May, recognise CFOs of listed companies, large corporations, state-owned entities and government institutions, and awards them for outstanding performance and leadership.

Stefan de Bruin new Paratus Telecom CFO

Paratus Telecom, the largest privately owned pan-African telecoms operator, and which has a solid track record in the ICT sector, has appointed Stefan de Bruin as CFO for the Group.

CHRO SA meets Anneke Andrews: `Talent trumps strategy, structure and systems.`

Anneke Andrews, the Director of Human Capital at Deloitte, is a chartered accountant and was already some way into her auditing career when she made her the transition to talent acquisition. Her move from auditing was initiated from her involvement in a management solutions division, which, essentially, sought to assist clients with whatever business problem they might be facing.

Education equals success: Mervyn Coopen, FD of Strato IT Group

“Education is more important than anything else and will take us to the next level. I believe that helping to educate the masses in our country is a good and very necessary thing,” says Strato IT Group’s financial director, Mervyn Coopen. “Because education is often a key differentiator between you and success. I place emphasis on that and carry that message everywhere.”

UK-based solar energy fund to list on JSE

A solar energy fund, the Foresight Solar Fund, managed by UK-based renewable energy investment firm, Foresight Group, is due to list on the JSE in early April. Some 250 million shares will be a private placement to institutions, with a minimum investment of R1 million.

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 9, 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.

Focus on governance `bigger picture` - ACCA

Government needs to show stronger support for voluntary measures which improve corporate governance rather than impose a legislative mandate, according to the ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), a partner of the Finance Indaba 2017.

Diary of a CFO: Christiaan Engelbrecht on time management

In November 2016, Christiaan Engelbrecht joined Ster-Kinekor as CFO, a highlight in a finance career that started at Deloitte and Vodacom. He keeps a monthly diary for to share his trials, tribulations and triumphs. This is part 2: time management.

752 percent increase in ransomware during 2016

Trend Micro Incorporated has released its annual security roundup report, which, like the Kaspersky report, shows that last year was quite the year for online extortion.

4AX nears go-live

4 Africa Exchange (4AX) hosted the Financial Services Board (FSB) for the Regulator’s pre-launch onsite visit on 28 February, bringing the exchange yet another step closer to going live and concluding its first listing.

Mohammed Akoojee new Group CFO of Imperial

Mohammed Akoojee (pictured) has taken over from award-winning outgoing CFO Osman Arbee, as Group CFO of Imperial, effective 1 March. We spoke to Mohammed about his plans ahead.

Vodacom's Matimba Mbungela invites all HR directors to exclusive CHRO SA launch

Unlike most human resource practitioners who unexpectedly stumble into their careers, Vodacom's Chief Human Resources Officer Matimba Mbungela has had his heart set on HR since the beginning of his working life. As soon as he graduated with a Bachelor of Administration degree in 1990, he began his HR career at the department of Department of Agriculture & Forestry. From then on he moved to Mondi, Unilever, BMW SA and, in 2004 he joined Vodacom as the Group Executive for Talent, Learning and Development.

Innovation is in RMB's DNA - The Foundery's Liesl McKay-Bebb

Liesl McKay-Bebb heads up RMB's The Foundery, which was launched to create a space for innovation & disruption in the Fintech space and is the host of CFO SA's Future of Payments event on 14 March. We spoke to her about her work and how she sees the local FinTech space.

Accountants in the Oscars spotlight

Accountants don’t generally get to bask in the limelight and it is also rare for them to make headlines of any kind. You certainly wouldn’t accept an accountant to steal thunder at an event of the magnitude of the Oscars, but PwC partner Brian Cullinan’s monumental gaffe at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre on Sunday night did just that and thrust the venerable London-based accounting firm into public scrutiny.

R1.4 billion headline loss for MTN

MTN Group, Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator, has announced a R1.4 billion ($108 million) annual loss, the first for the company in 20 years. MTN said its headline loss came in at 77 cents per share, in the year to end December, compared with headline earnings of R13.6 billion (746 cents per share) the previous year.

CFO Summit series moves to Cape Town

The first outing of the CFO Summit series at Summer Place in Sandton, Johannesburg, in February was a phenomenal success, with attendees enjoying the insights of cybersecurity expert Sean Howell and McDonald’s South Africa CFO Zafar Mahomed’s thoughts on deal-making.

Bringing science to FinTech: WATCH I Know First's Dmitry Neginsky at #afta16 #findaba16

I Know First brings science and math to the financial world by providing daily investment forecasts based on an advanced self-learning algorithm. Developed by CTO and PhD-holder Lipa Roitman, the algorithm utilises artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques through which I Know First is able to analyse, model and predict the stock market.

Sasfin group FD Tyrone Soondarjee to retire

Tyrone Soondarjee, Sasfin Group FD, has decided to retire this year. He will resign as group FD and retire from the board and other relevant Sasfin subsidiary boards effective 30 June this year. This after some ten years of service to the company.

Nkonki trainees achieve 92% pass rate on APC exam

Leading black-owned assurance and advisory services firm Nkonki has confirmed that it achieved a national pass rate of 92% for its candidates writing the second part of the Assessment Professional Competence (APC) exam, with its Sunninghill office achieving a pass rate of 100%. Both are considerably higher than the average national pass rate of 89% supplied by SAICA, according to whom 2,529 aspiring CAs sat for the APC in November 2016, of which 89% (2,247) passed. The firm attributes this success to the robust support it offers its trainees.

Nedbank writes down Ecobank stake

Nedbank announced that it had booked a $293 million write-down on the value of its stake in sub-Saharan lender Ecobank in a 2016 results presentation in Sandton on Tuesday. The bank also registered its slowest growth in annual profit in seven years.

Sasfin's Lushen Pather nominated for CFO Awards

Sasfin CFO Lushen Pather has been nominated for the 2017 CFO Awards. The annual 'Oscars for South African CFOs', to be held on 11 May, recognise CFOs of listed companies, large corporations, state-owned entities and government institutions, and awards them for outstanding performance and leadership.

Former Tesla CFO Deepak Ahuja rejoins as CFO

Tesla CFO Jason Wheeler has announced that he is leaving the electric vehicle manufacturer, a company started by South African-born entrepreneur Elon Musk. Wheeler will be replaced by Tesla’s former CFO, Deepak Ahuja (pictured).

Mauritius is an ideal FinTech location - Inter Pay Tech's Mark O' Sullivan

Mauritius-based payment solutions provider Inter Payments Tech will be one of the FinTechs pitching at the FinTech Africa Future of Payments event in Sandton, Johannesburg, on 14 March. Topics of discussion relevant to the exciting and expanding space on the evening will include the the death of credit cards and systems enabling digital currencies. We spoke to founder and CEO Mark O’ Sullivan to find out more about the company’s activities and involvement in the event.

A balancing act: Shafeeq Abrahams, CFO of the NHBRC

As CFO for the National Homebuilders Registration Council (NHBRC), Shafeeq Abrahams has to juggle a lot of balls, and appease various stakeholders. Complicating matters, he says, is the fact that the entity has a public sector mandate: “The public sector mandate is about spending a budget against stated objectives. I think the psychology around budget allocation and spending is quite different where you’re a self-generating revenue entity and have to manage your sustainability and profits. And therefore, what you need to deliver has to happen in the confines of financial sustainability and efficiency. Being able to speak to these two sets of terminologies is a challenge because some of your stakeholders say, ‘You’ve got a budget, spend it’. But on the other end you have to look at operating profits, costs, operating effectiveness, and sustainability in the long run. In my role, I’ve had to shift thinking around these concepts.”

Kevin Johnson new VP for Colfax Corporation

Kevin Johnson (pictured), who was nominated for a CFO Award in 2014, is the new Vice President of Colfax Corporation. Kevin took on the role earlier this year, leaving Marinella Vigouroux in charge of finance at Howden Africa.

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 8, 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.

ACCA picks up online learning award

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants' (ACCA) innovative online learning platform was last night awarded Study Resource of the Year by PQ Magazine at a ceremony held in London. The ACCA is a partner of Finance Indaba Africa 2017.

Insider's guide to integrating acquired teams

A well-drilled team, acting in disciplined harmony and each performing their individual tasks within the greater strategy, will outperform any grouping of individuals. Here are three crucial factors to integrate acquired teams successfully.