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Focus on value: an interview with IBM South Africa's new CFO Sandra Atkins-Sadler

“We have to shift the lens through which CFOs look at finance transformation and make it effective by focusing on value,” says Sandra Atkins-Sadler, who joined IBM South Africa as CFO earlier this year. “I think IBM can make a difference by continuing to invest in skills training and development of future CFOs. At the same time our business solutions will make a difference to the bottom line of current CFOs.”

Data governance in times of POPI and cyber crime - Yolanda Smit, PBT Group

An increase in cyber attacks targeting businesses and legislative requirements like the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) have brought attention to the need for effective data governance, says Yolanda Smit, Strategic Business Intelligence Manager at PBT Group. At its heart, data governance focuses on driving enterprise data management practices to the next level of maturity, where data is being managed intentionally and not just as an afterthought. Data security and privacy management, data architecture management, data quality management, records management, business intelligence, and data operations management are all vital elements in this new discipline of management.

Finance Indaba 2016: Boost your tech opportunities with AdvanceNet

"AdvanceNet fills the role of trusted adviser and introduces easily implementable enhancements to help organisations embrace the opportunities that technology has to offer," says Phil Hemsley, MD of AdvanceNet, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

CFO Case Study Competition 2016 Programme Announced

With October just around the corner, and along with it the finals of The CFO Case Study Competition 2016, CharterQuest has released the event programme, which covers both the semi-finals and finals to be held on 13 and 14 October respectively, and showcases the teams, the judges, the post-event activities, and the background to the competition.

New deal means possible black-controlled franchise stores for Kauai

In the hopes of introducing black-controlled franchise stores, Kleoss Capital Fund 1, a 100-percent-black-owned South African PE investment manager managed by Kleoss Capital, has acquired a minority stake in Real Foods, which owns the KAUAI, NÜ Health Café and Kohu brands. Hale Matsipa, Kleoss Capital CEO, has said that the company is excited about BEE transformation within Real Foods and believes there is potential to introduce black-controlled franchise stores within Kauai. Matsipa was quoted by Fin 24 as saying:

Kumba Iron Ore comes out tops in EY's Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards 2016

EY has announced Kumba Iron Ore Ltd as the overall winner in its fifth annual Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards for 2016. The scope of the awards included the top 100 JSE-listed companies based on market capitalisation at 31 December 2015, and top state-owned entities, which were adjudicated by the College of Accounting at the University of Cape Town. Larissa Clark (pictured), Director Professional Practice Group of Accounting at EY, said:

Acca launches new online tutor excellence programme

An exclusive online programme for tutors who teach and support students of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is now live. The programme, available free of charge and accessed through ACCA’s online Education Hub, was developed by ACCA in collaboration with BPP Professional Education, and uses BPP’s online classroom learning environment to help students progress through the ACCA qualification.

Finance Indaba 2016: Use the insight of Oracle

"We help simplify the IT environment so that our customers can free up money, time, and resources to invest in innovation," says Kholiwe Makhohliso, Technology and Country Leader of Oracle South Africa, a platinum partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

AFGRI extends financial services offering to Northern Cape

Leading agricultural services, food processing and grain commodities company Afgri is expanding its financial services offering to the Northern Cape through a working relationship with UNIGRO Financial Services and KLK Landbou.

Finance Indaba 2016: Get your business moving with AgilePam

"AgilePam uses the latest and best web technologies to keep you connected on the cloud, where your work, information, data, files, contact information, everything, is stored safely and securely, in one place," says Leon Smith, lead software engineer at AgilePam, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Samantha Louis newly appointed CIMA Director of Advocacy, London

After 17 years with CIMA in Africa, Samantha Louis (pictured) has taken up a post as the CIMA Director of Advocacy, based at the CIMA headquarters in London, effective 1 August. Louis will play an active role in CIMA as the primary spokesperson and internationally recognised authority for the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and advancing the Global Management Accounting Principles (GMAPs). She will also be responsible for driving the adoption of the soon-to-be-released GMAPs self-assessment tool for business, which will leverage the world's first standard for management accounting (PAS 1919). Louis said of her move:

Mentoring is an enabling activity, says Deloitte Consulting CFO Aneshree Naidoo

"Make it count. Everything I do should be positively impactful. I feel there should be a theme of constant improvement, whether that's for yourself, the business or the people around you," says Aneshree Naidoo, CFO at Deloitte Consulting. Aneshree believes strongly in the power of mentoring and peer-to-peer learning and encourages aspiring and seasoned professionals to snatch up every chance they get to grow their knowledge base and skills. "I've rolled out mentoring programmes in organisations I’ve been a part of. These programmes were initially afforded to women as part of specific diversity initiatives and then to all interested. I believe in inclusive mentoring." How did you come to pursue a career in the finance industry? "It's a simple story. I enjoyed Science and Maths at school. My career choice initially was to pursue chemical engineering. One holiday I had the opportunity to do vacation work at a well-known plant. On site, I didn't take to the daily wear of heavy boots, jumpsuits and goggles. I then tried vacation work at Ernst Young. I enjoyed it thoroughly – the client interaction, how numbers told a story. I learnt that I could use numbers to make really big, bold decisions – and I took to the corporate, professional attire. My passion for Accounting and Maths came together and I decided to become a chartered accountant." Who were or are your mentors? "I've had mentors within the group of companies I've worked for but not directly in the company I was employed at. At Avanade, I was fortunate to have a professional coach and mentor based in the UK. It is enabling to have a mentor. As you grow into various roles, you need somebody to playback ideas or challenges. I extracted value from mentoring experiences where my mentor was in a different role, industry or even company from me as the experience supplemented my skills." How important is it for leaders in the finance industry to meet peers? "It's essential. Personal interactions are energising, especially when you hear peers experiencing similar challenges to you. It's encouraging to learn of solutions that are working for others and even discover opportunities to partner in business. We’re getting better at connecting more in SA." What are your career goals? "My career goal centres on creating leadership capacity within our country. I'm driven by purposeful roles and I’m now more about supporting education, training and/or mentoring initiatives in our country rather than progressing the ‘corporate ladder’ or being defined by a job title. I am passionate about education, positively influencing it at a very early stage in a deep and significant way, enabling more South Africans to be brand ambassadors for our country and lifting SA’s global contributions." What do you most enjoy about working in finance? "I love the picture or story that gets created through numbers and that I have the ability to influence and create that story. I love that diverse people, complex processes, relationships and overall many moving parts come together in the form of financial results. I enjoy connecting these various moving parts to tell the financial story and propose and steer financial and operational excellence." What do you most enjoy about the CFO role? What do you dislike about it? "I enjoy the challenge of growing companies, especially in our current economic climate which presents new learning and evolving opportunities for business. I enjoy understanding business levers and driving change to improve business performance. There’s a new problem to solve every day. What I dislike most is when custodians of business allow self-interest to override sound business decisions. I have a fiduciary responsibility and a bigger purpose, so I challenge those behaviours." You joined Deloitte Consulting in March. What has it been like so far? "It's been going well. There are immediate operational finance topics I am steering across Africa and with the broader firm and I’ve gone through our budget and year-end process already. I’m learning about the broad array of professional services offered by Deloitte Consulting, not to mention the exciting M&A activities. I’m also the Lead Committee sponsor for Deloitte Women in Leadership Consulting, which is progressive." Prior to this you were at T-Systems South Africa. What did you achieve while there? "T-Systems is a large technology company. My notable achievements were bringing about marked efficiencies and increased effectiveness of the finance team. I strengthened team skills through hiring qualified professionals and introduced strong commercial themes of finance enabling business growth. Through innovative deal shaping and pricing, pro-active support for our internal and external customers and introducing a theme of ‘Finance gets Loud’, I brought about a cultural team change for the better. I am proud of the strong 2015 results posted, which included milestone profitability achievements. I also drove the M&A strategy. It was an exciting journey to unlock new revenue streams with different partners in the market." You are young and yet you've enjoyed great success in your career thus far. How does this make you feel, and what has been key to your success? "I'm proud, I'm excited and I’m mostly humbled. Success is not finite to me; it's continuous and evolving. I’m always energised to explore the next level. I constantly try to displace myself so I create space for new leadership capacity."

dti: economic empowerment not just about wealth redistribution

The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Commission, an entity of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), will tomorrow be rolling out an awareness campaign on the B-BBEE Amendment Act of 2013, spreading this message: B-BBEE should aim to achieve growth, development and enterprise development and not only the redistribution of existing wealth. The B-BBEE Amendment Act was enacted to create the B-BBEE Commission to oversee and monitor the implementation of the act, as well as to deal with the contravention thereof, and investigate fronting practices. The information sessions, which will be held at the Daveyton Community Hall in Gauteng, are intended to raise awareness and educate communities on B-BBEE and its benefits. According to Busisiwe Ngwenya, the director responsible for compliance at the B-BBEE Commission, the rationale behind the campaign is to focus on creating an economy that can meet the needs of all economic citizens and their enterprises in a sustainable manner. Ngwenya said in a statement:

Old Mutual invests in Nigerian growth

Nigeria's sovereign wealth fund and South African financial services firm Old Mutual have concluded and signed agreements to set up two funds to invest in real estate and agriculture in Nigeria.

CFO SA's first women's dinner discusses influence and power

With an impressive selection of South Africa’s top finance executives in attendance, CFO South Africa’s first ever dinner event for women CFOs was a resounding success. The evening delivered fascinating insights into the power women have to bring men into conversation about the workplace, modernise views on parenting and multi-role professionals and – most importantly – be leaders by example.

Vodacom lists YeboYethu shares on JSE BEE segment

Vodacom, SA’s largest mobile network, has listed its YeboYethu ordinary shares on the JSE’s BEE segment. This follows a directive from the Financial Services Board (FSB) stipulating that companies shift their over-the-counter BEE share trading to licensed stock exchanges. Shameel Joosub (pictured), Vodacom Group CEO, said in a statement:

SA once again Africa's largest economy

South Africa has regained its position as Africa’s largest economy in dollar terms after being bumped to second and then third place (with Nigeria in first and Egypt in second).

How can women leaders reach their full potential? A chat to Inge Walters

“Corporate culture is the most important driver of women’s confidence in their own success. In general, corporate culture still has a preference for more masculine leadership styles, making it more challenging for women to lead,” says Inge Walters, facilitator and coach at Eve Learning, a company she founded in early 2015 and which focuses on leadership development for women.

Badibanga Promesse new CIMA Regional Director Africa

Badibanga ‘Badi’ Promesse (pictured) was appointed Regional Director at CIMA Africa, effective 1 August. Badi has been a Strategic Account Director at CIMA since 2010, leading the region’s direct activities by managing its operations and driving both growth and strategy across Africa.

Finance Indaba 2016: WorldsView Academy prepares organisations for success

"We offer a comprehensive and holistic set of services to facilitate how finance organisations or departments provide value to their constituency and come together to deliver this value well," says Christo van Staden, head of interventions at WorldsView Academy, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Net gold and forex reserves rise

According to Reserve Bank data, South Africa’s net gold and foreign exchange reserves have risen 0.2% month-on-month, up from from $40.826 billion in June to $40.901 billion in July. The central bank further noted that gross reserves fell 0.5%, from $46.366 billion to $46.157 billion, while the forward position edged up from $1.616 billion to $1.723 billion. According to Reuters, Nedbank’s Economic Unit said:

Integrity is everything for a CFO, says Rendani Sadiki, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform CFO

“You have to be mindful of operating within the law at all times as a CFO in the public sector, because it’s your career on the line,” says Rendani Sadiki, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform CFO. “Colleagues may make requests that are outside the ambit of the law, but you have to explore the prescripts before you respond. You mustn’t just say no; you must bring a solution. That person might not be intentionally trying to break the law, they might just not be acquainted with those prescripts. So I rather try to advise them of their options.” The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform is mandated to create and maintain equitable land dispensation and acts as a catalyst in rural development to ensure sustainable rural livelihoods, which it does through various programmes and initiatives. Rendani oversees strategic financial management within the Department – a mandate she says is quite broad. “As the financial strategist, I have to develop and implement financial strategies to manage limited resources at our disposal so that the department is able to deliver the services efficiently and effectively, and within budget.” She also oversees the governance of the Department.

Kinfundi: Helping employees educate their families

Business is about people. Of course it’s about profit, processes, technology, and many other things too, but ultimately it’s about people. The end buyers in all value chains are people, and the energy that drives a business is people: employees, management, owners, stakeholders. These people have needs as well as worries. A big matter on the minds of many is their family, and within this, concerns about education. An innovation turn-key, tax-friendly employee benefit product, Kinfundi, hopes to change this.

Finance Flash: The TOP 10 articles of week 31

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

ZAR X's conditional licence suspended

New South African stock exchange ZAR X, set to launch on 1 September and begin trading on 1 October this year, has had its conditional approval for a licence suspended, following a successful appeal lodged by the JSE.

Jabu Mabuza to chair AB InBev and SABMiller's merged African division

Jabu Mabuza (pictured), Telkom chairperson and head of Business Unity South Africa, has been named the new chair of the African division of Anheuser-Busch InBev's (AB InBev) merged company with SABMiller. Mabuza will work with Carlos Brito, CEO, to finalise the governance and constitution of the board.

AB InBev and SABMiller to complete takeover by 10 October

Having finally concluded the pre-conditions to the merger just recently, on 29 July, SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) seem to also have settled on a date by when the takeover process will be complete – 10 October.

Interview - SAICA CEO Terence Nombembe endorses Finance Indaba Africa

“As SAICA we are very excited about the Finance Indaba Africa which will be held on 13 and 14 October 2016,” says Terence Nombembe, CEO of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). “The event is a great initiative from CFO South Africa, where we can showcase excellence and the value CAs(SA) can contribute to society.”

Mondi first-half profit up by 11%

Packaging manufacturer Mondi has announced a rise in first-half profit of 11%, due to an increase in consumer business volumes. David Hathorn (pictured), Mondi CEO, said in a statement:

Finance Indaba 2016: SekelaXabiso drives continuous improvement

"We have become synonymous with delivering sustainable good governance in the public sector and driving continuous improvement in both our public and private sector operations," says Thandeka Zondi, strategy and business development director at SekelaXabiso, a platinum partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Wipro Partners and IDC give rural school learners access to technology

Leading global IT, consulting and business process services company Wipro has launched a three-year CSI project in partnership with South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to set up 29 computer labs across South Africa, benefiting 28,000 students from rural areas. Gavin Holme, Business Head, Wipro Africa, said the company is committed to building a sustainable economy in South Africa, and that Wipro will be providing a broad range of hardware, software, connectivity, education and programme management resources.

Finance Indaba 2016: Operational excellence is Bytes Technology Group's game

“We focus on middle- and back-office operations and it’s all about wringing efficiencies out of these operations – automating as much as possible, saving on staff costs, reducing breaks due to reconciliation problems, etc," says Mark Neethling, the GM of Financial Services at Bytes Technology Group, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Finance Flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 30

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.

UP lecturer Elize Kirsten named 2016 CFO Brand Ambassador

Elize Kirsten (pictured), a Lecturer at the University of Pretoria, in the Department of Financial Management, has been chosen as the 2016 CFO Brand Ambassador in the CFO Case Study Competition, winning R10,000 in the process. One of Kirsten’s teams, Team UP 116, is in the Top 6 heading to the semi-finals at the JSE on 13 October 2016.

Balancing personalities is key to a strong team, says Graham McGregor, New GX Capital Holdings CFO

“The most unsettling thing for anyone is uncertainty,” says Graham McGregor, CFO of New GX Capital Holdings, a BEE investment holding company with interests in the environmental solutions, logistics, power and telecoms, and corporate finance advisory sectors. Sharing his experience, while in his previous position, of a merger that happened between two very different businesses under one umbrella company McGregor says keeping staff abreast of what was happening at all times was crucial: “Because if there’s a communication gap, people fill in the gap themselves.” He also learnt an important lesson:

Charles Tilley steps down as CIMA CEO

Charles Tilley (pictured) has ended his 15-year tenure as CEO of CIMA, 31 July having been his last day. He has taken up a post as the part-time Executive Chairman of the newly established CGMA Research Foundation, which has a particular focus on raising the awareness and driving the adoption of the Global Management Accounting Principles.

New mining model needed, says 'most inspiring' accountant Coenie Middel

“In every industry, ground-breaking leaps into the future are being reported on an almost daily basis. All except for one – mining. Could it be that our current world view limits the way we think about mining companies? Could we invent a more powerful, more soulful, more meaningful way to mining? I think we can,” says expert accountant Coenie Middel.

Beancounter CEO Marnus Broodryk a "Shark` on M-Net's new show

Marnus Broodryk (pictured), CEO of The Beancounter, an accounting firm currently disrupting SA’s finance industry with its innovative approach, has agreed to dig deep into his own pockets in order to give away big money on M-Net’s brand new reality show, Shark Tank South Africa, for which he has been chosen as a “Shark”. Based on the Emmy-award-winning US series, Shark Tank invites entrepreneurs with potentially lucrative products or business ideas to pitch their plans to the "Sharks” for consideration. If they like the idea, they may offer the entrepreneur a deal. Broodryk said:

11,000 votes received for African FinTech Awards

To date, some 11,000 votes have been received (and just keep on coming), and as many as 200 companies entered into the African FinTech Awards. At present, the five top-scoring companies are Wala (1,200 votes), Vuga Pay (1,155 votes), Branch (980 votes), Yoco (420 votes), and MyBucks (358 votes).

Seyi Bickersteth, National Senior Partner KPMG Nigeria, on Africa's potential to be great

“We [Africa] need to market ourselves more. We have a continent with lots of opportunities for people, we have a young and vibrant population and a growing middle class. We need to let people know that we are open for business and that we are very investor friendly,” says Seyi Bickersteth, National Senior Partner KPMG Nigeria & Chairman KPMG Africa Practice. Seyi has enjoyed a long and illustrious career – one that spans 40 years, in fact – and is no stranger to change. Currently, he oversees KPMG’s business in Africa, and calls his most important responsibilities developing people, outlining the vision for KPMG, and setting the strategy for how the firm will move forward. “Our clients are increasingly telling us they want to succeed in Africa but in order to do that they need a firm that can provide a single point of contact to meet all of their expectations in the region. This guides our strategy.”

4 reasons for July's unchanged interest rate - KPMG's Maura Feddersen

In line with market expectations, the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) announced earlier this month that it would leave the leading policy rate unchanged at 7%, keeping the prime lending rate at 10.5%. Maura Feddersen (pictured), Senior Economic Advisor with KPMG Economics, Financial Risk Management, has identified four reasons why the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) kept interest rates unchanged.

Tell better stories & be a better leader: Peter Christie at public sector CFO event

"One of the challenges for corporate leaders is that often, they are not good communicators, or are not very effective communicators. They largely communicate via email, company newsletters or noticeboards, and PowerPoint presentations. To get the key message through you’ve got to be more creative than that and become a better storyteller,” says consultant and academic, Peter Christie, better known as Big Chief Talking Bull.

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 29

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.

Noel Doyle appointed Tiger Brands CFO

Tiger Brands has announced that Noel Doyle (pictured), who has been the company’s COO since July 2015, will be taking over the CFO role from Funke Ighodaro as of 1 August.

Finance Indaba 2016: Zetta Business Solutions make a CFO's life easier

"We can help finance professionals to improve their ability to better utilise their time, by automating and simplifying remedial processes like data collection, allowing them to spend more time on analysis," says Anna Puzone, the head of enterprise performance management at information management company Zetta Business Solutions, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Kumba Iron Ore CEO Norman Mbazima resigns

Norman Mbazima (pictured), CEO of Kumba Iron Ore, which is 70% owned by Anglo American, has announced his resignation. Mbazima will be stepping down at the end of August in order to focus on the restructuring of the company, as well as Anglo American’s coal business. Anglo American said of the news:

Essential learning as CFO Colin Brown shares how critical treasury is to Super Group

Through some incredible tech-enabled financial discipline, CFO Colin Brown helped saving Super Group from the abyss, setting the South African flagship firm on course again for massive expansion. Since then successes have been commonplace, with Colin (pictured with Discovery's Terrence Taylor) winning no less than three CFO Awards and the group regularly reporting spectacular growth. On 21 July 2016, at the CFO event on M&A, Colin provided some candid insight and valuable tips during a round table discussion with a select group of CFOs.

ArcelorMittal SA anticipates 75% interim headline loss per share

In its recent trading update, released on Friday 22 July, steel company ArcelorMittal SA said that when it releases its results on 29 July for the six months to end-June, it anticipates reporting that its interim headline loss per share widened by as much as 75%, its headline loss per share having deteriorated to between 43c and 47c.

Lightning-fast reflexes: the agile team

While many other teams in a business have some flexibility as far as deliverables, reporting and project timelines go, this is a luxury not often enjoyed by the finance team. But as the pace of doing business is so much faster today, is it not time the finance function became more agile too? We spoke to experienced CFOs and other industry experts to get their insight. By Toni Muir "Being agile requires openness, the reservation of judgement and the ability to turn on a dime," says Terrence Taylor, general manager: Talent, Analytics, Leadership and Learning at Discovery. You need people with a cosmopolitan outlook, an open mindset and an eclectic set of experiences, he adds, and a leader who is comfortable sharing leadership and power. But what exactly is an agile team, and what makes it so? Moreover, why is this important to the finance function?

Discovery launches wellness programme in Japan

Discovery Ltd has announced that it will soon launch its behaviour tracking programme, an initiative that rewards health and life insurance clients for healthy lifestyle choices as well as aids in fitness tracking, in Japan.

Repo rate remains unchanged but downgrade still a possibility

The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) made a decision yesterday to keep the repo rate at 7% and to revise the country’s growth forecast down to 0%. The Sarb has not, however, ruled out the potential for further interest rate tightening later in the year. Sizwe Nxedlana, FNB chief economist, said in a statement:

What CFOs can do to ensure a successful M&A transaction

“The first week after we were acquired, I went to sit with management and tried to get an understanding of why they had bought us and what they had promised their shareholders. I then took that, came back home and developed a strategy to give them what they wanted to see,” said Cobus Grove, CEO Digicore Holdings, speaking as a member of the panel at last night’s CFO South Africa event, Where the rubber meets the road, the second in a two-part series on M&A. The evening’s discussion covered the CFO’s role post-deal, including how CFOs meet the multitude of market, investor and board expectations, as well as how to best integrate systems processes and cultures. Cobus was joined by Deon Fredericks, CFO Telkom; Charl Keyter, CFO Sibanye Gold; Ryan McDougall, Group FD Trustco; and Walter Palk, Partner at KPMG.

Barclays Africa to spend R1.4 billion on skills development

Barclays Africa CE Maria Ramos (pictured) recently announced that the bank will be partnering with clients, governments, NGOs and economic development agencies on a multimillion-rand shared growth initiative aimed at boosting education and skills development.

Finance Indaba 2016: Monash South Africa produces industry-ready graduates

"We understand that the current financial landscape requires innovation, creativity and the need to understand and address a great variety of complex issues, and have therefore aligned our programmes to prepare students as effectively as possible for the business and economics sphere," says Professor Humphrey Gowar from Monash South Africa (MSA), a platinum partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Finance Indaba 2016: CIMA provides an in-depth understanding of business

"Leading in a new world requires the ability to join the dots, connecting the most relevant information and people from across the organisation when making decisions," says Zahra Cassim, the head of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants' (CIMA) South African chapter, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

ACCA launches new financial guide for entrepreneurs

In a bid to address the financial literacy skills gap in South Africa, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has released a new guide, ‘Financial management and business success - a guide for entrepreneurs’, designed to help small businesses understand the importance of financial literacy. Nomsa Nkomo (pictured), Policy Manager, ACCA South Africa, said:

Successful CFOs must be able to self-reflect, says Lewis Kangausaru, CFO of Groeneveld South Africa

"To lead you need to know yourself and why you’re doing things,” opines Groeneveld South Africa CFO, Lewis Kangausaru. Lewis has been a part of the Groeneveld team since October 2013, and is responsible for the full financial governance of the company. He says reflectiveness is a core of the leadership principle: “To be forward-thinking you need to be reflective, to take time to think about what has occurred in a given space of time, the decisions you’ve made, why you’ve made them and the current outcomes.”

Insider threats: 10 questions CFOs need to ask - by J2's John Mc Loughlin

CFOs need to actively manage IT risk, says John Mc Loughlin, Managing Director of software company J2: “It is vital that the CFO take an active role in managing this risk – as it appears IT may not have the executive drive to get it done themselves.” In this article, John shares some of the top questions CFOs must ask themselves when dealing with risk management and threats, and before declaring their IT policy as sound.

No banking crisis in Nigeria, says Central Bank

Nigeria’s Central Bank has dismissed fears of a banking crisis despite several alarming happenings, including the recent resignation of the CEO, chairman and 10 board members of Nigeria’s eighth-biggest lender, Skye Bank, following the biggest drop in the bank’s share price in over six months. The Central Bank was quoted by AFP as having said in an email statement:

Brexit affects availability of finance jobs in SA

According to the latest Robert Walters South Africa Job Index, the last quarter saw a 6% overall decrease in job advertising volumes compared to Q2 2015 in SA across all finance functions; with a 15% annual decline in job advertisements in accounting and finance overall. Robert Walters, a leading specialist professional recruitment consultancy, attributes this decline to the compounding effects of consistent political uncertainty, a British and European economy which has been paralysed by Brexit, and challenging currency exchange rates for South African importers.

Clarkhouse Human Capital's Roy Clark talks diversity and transformation

Roy Clark, MD of Clarkhouse Human Capital, recently moderated a thought leadership session where 20 CFOs were invited to discuss the role of transformation and diversity in the workplace, and what the role of a CFO is in fostering this. In this self-penned piece, Clark delves into why transformation and diversity are such misunderstood notions, and looks at how corporate South Africa can make these ideas work within their organisations.

Cilliers Steyn new Dark Fibre Africa CFO

Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) has appointed Cilliers Steyn as its new CFO. Steyn previously held the position of CEO of Community Investment Ventures Holdings (CIVH), of which DFA is a subsidiary. Steyn takes over from Thinus Mulder, who has accepted the position of permanent CEO, following Gustav Smit stepping down. Mulder said of Steyn's appointment:

Finance Indaba 2016: INCE goes from printer to ground-breaker

"We offer clients an integrated, full-service offering for all their marketing needs – a real one-stop solution which delivers benefits in terms of value, consistency, confidentiality and sheer ease of doing business,” says Alban Atkinson, MD of integrated corporate communications agency INCE, a PLATINUM partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Post Office to launch own bank

The Reserve Bank has granted authorisation to the South African Post Office (Sapo) for the latter to establish its own bank. The Postbank will now be re-registered as a new company in order for it to operate as a fully-fledged bank and to allow it to lend money.

Finance Indaba 2016: Tax Ombud offers taxpayers a resolution avenue

"When people receive a below-par standard of service from Sars, our office offers a free channel to air complaints," says Advocate Eric Mkhawane, CEO in the Office of the Tax Ombud, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Are you future ready? Great insights at CFO breakfast in Cape Town

To be ready for the future, CFOs need to embrace imagination, make bold choices and be intimately connected to customers and employees. Those were some of the main takeaways at a lively CFO breakfast debate in Cape Town's Westin Hotel on Tuesday 12 July 2016. Preceded by a thought-provoking and often humorous presentation by futurist Morne Mostert, the high-level intimate gathering of about 35 people was treated to insights by Woolworths CFO Reeza Isaacs (3rd photo) and retired Remgro CFO Leon Crouse (bottom photo), who played a pivotal role in the success story of Vodacom.

Eqstra announces mammoth deal with enX, sees shares jump 11.33%

Capital equipment, fleet management and contract mining group Eqstra has concluded an all-share deal with JSE-listed industrial energy group enX which will see enX acquire its fleet management and industrial equipment divisions in exchange for 52.7 million shares, valued at R21 per share, and raise R1.5 billion of which R1.4 billion will be used to recapitalise the contract mining business.

Thousands vote in African FinTech Awards

Some 3,300 votes have already been received for the African FinTech Awards since the launch of the voting competition two weeks ago. At present, top-scoring companies include Wala (508 votes), Sureswipe (255), Wealthmigrate (217), Simplepay (204), Mobicred (178).

Peter Christie on the power of storytelling for effective leaders

As a youngster, Peter Christie was enormously fond of Western movies, particularly those which featured North American Indians giving cowboys what he calls “a good klapping”. One movie in particular made a big impression on the youngster: The Great Sioux Massacre, where, at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, shaman Big Chief Sitting Bull led the defeat of General Custer and other troops of the US Army. Peter can still recall a gift he received from his parents at this time: a colourful North American Indian costume that included feathered headdress, leather-tasselled vest, moccasins and tomahawk. Needless to say it immediately became a firm favourite of the energetic six-year-old who, when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, answered without hesitation, “Big Chief Sitting Bull”. Peter being quite the chatterbox, his dad adapted this to “Big Chief Talking Bull”, and the name stuck. Peter has always had a liking for stories – reading them, telling them, watching them, and writing them. As an adult, he turned this talent into a career, establishing a successful consultancy that teaches business people how to unlock their storytelling potential in order to become better, more influential leaders.

Eskom secures R20 billion loan from AfDB

Eskom has received an almost R20 billion loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to fund its infrastructure expansion programme, which includes the Medupi and Kusile new build initiatives. Eskom said in a statement:

Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited acquires Zurich Insurance

Swiss-based insurer Zurich has announced that its South Africa and Botswana operations will be acquired by Canada-based Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited. The announcement ended speculation that Zurich’s parent has been planning to exit South Africa. Zurich said in a statement:

Tom Creamer new Telesure CEO

Telesure Investment Holdings (TIH) has announced that it has appointed Tom Creamer (pictured) as its new CEO. Creamer’s appointment follows the very recent resignation of Manny Rios, who left TIH due to differences in perspective on the strategic direction of the business.

How to become the world's most inspiring accountant: a chat to Coenie Middel

"We have always believed passionately in the role accountants play in creating a better world by helping to make businesses more successful, creating jobs and generating wealth," says Coenraad 'Coenie' Middel, whose firm Middel & Partners has been named as one of the most inspiring accountancy practices in the world and has been included in the recently published ‘The World’s Most Inspiring Accountants’ by author Steve Pipe.

Akash Bhatia new Showmax CFO

Naspers, Africa’s largest company by market value, has named Akash Bhatia as the new CFO of its Showmax video streaming business. Bhatia is currently vice president of finance at Naspers’s classifieds business. He previously held positions at Time Warner’s HBO and Comcast’s NBCUniversal. Bhatia has been quoted in the media as saying:

Meet Simon Ridley (Standard Bank), recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award at the CFO Awards 2016

CFO South Africa chose to honour Simon Ridley (pictured), recently retired FD of Standard Bank and CFO of the Year 2014, as well as esteemed member of this year’s judging panel, by presenting him with a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s CFO Awards. Unfortunately, Simon was unable to accept the award in person and spend the evening celebrating with his peers, as he was touring Namibia on a motorbike at the time of the event. Simon’s colleague, Luvuyo Masinda, CFO Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB), accepted the award on his behalf. Masinda said:

MTN appoints Stephen van Coller as VP of strategy and M&A

MTN has appointed Stephen van Coller (pictured) as vice president of strategy and mergers & acquisitions, effective 1 October 2016. Van Coller’s appointment comes amid various executive changes at MTN, including the recent appointment of Rob Shuter as CEO and the resignation of Brett Goschen as CFO.

Finance Indaba 2016: SAIPA looks to transform accounting

"We will ensure that attendees leave with a more nuanced understanding of SAIPA so that they can become our partner in our goal of growing and transforming the accounting profession," says Zobuzwe Ngobese, marketing and communications executive at the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA), a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

MTN CFO Brett Goschen to step down

Brett Goschen (pictured), MTN Group CFO, will be leaving the company effective 30 September 2016 to “pursue other interests”. Goschen will simultaneously be stepping down from the MTN board of directors.

DigiCore CFO Cobus Grove: The Good, the Bid & the Ugly

Most CFOs dream of saving a company with sheer accounting brilliance, fantasise about lining shareholders’ pockets through a spectacular M&A deal, and secretly yearn for fame. Cobus Grove achieved all that before he turned 34 years old. In a series of interviews with CFO South Africa, Cobus shares how he saved JSE-listed company DigiCore and sold it to US firm Novatel Wireless. He talks about his compulsion to keep succeeding and gives candid insight into the personal toll of managing such high-stake corporate manoeuvres.

KPMG CEO Outlook: It's now or never

A recently released KPMG survey has revealed that 56% of CEOs believe that the next three years will be more critical for their industries than the previous 50; with South African CEOs among those surveyed. Trevor Hoole (pictured), KPMG CEO in Southern Africa, said:

CFO Case Study top six teams chosen

The top six teams have been selected to advance to the next stage of The CFO Case Study Competition. To recap just how far these six teams have come, 320 teams representing 1,278 aspirants from 53 universities in 25 countries across five continents entered to take part in this maiden edition of the competition, so achieving a place in the top six is no mean feat.

Govinder Sateesh Kamath new Safaricom CFO

Govinder Sateesh Kamath has been appointed the new Safaricom CFO, effective 1 August, following the recalling of CFO John Tombleson earlier this week.

Finance Indaba interview: the rise & rise of Vusi Thembekwayo

Successful venture capitalist, celebrated businessman and popular international speaker, Vusi Thembekwayo’s impressive CV would make any professional proud. It’s hard to believe that Vusi, who grew up in Wattville township near Benoni, is only 31 years old.

Adekunle Awobodu new CFO of MTN Nigeria

MTN has appointed Adekunle Awobodu (pictured) as its new MTN Nigeria (MTNN) CFO. Awobodu, the first Nigerian to occupy this position, takes over from Ferdi Moolman, who became CEO of the company in December last year. Moolman was quoted in the media as saying:

Are YOU the new CFO of Wits University?

Do you have what it takes to be the new chief financial officer at The University of Witwatersrand (Wits)? CFO South Africa helps companies and organisations find the right finance executive! See the full advert below.

Incredible lineup at CFO M&A event 21 July: post-deal integration

The ink is dry. The deal is done. You have just successfully completed an M&A transaction. The question is: what now? At our CFO event on 21 July 2016 at the African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel we will unpack how to go about integration or separation after a deal under the theme ‘Where the rubber meets the road’. An incredible lineup of top five CFOs will help us unpack what needs to happen after a merger, acquisition or sale.

Meet Leon Crouse (Remgro), recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award at the CFO Awards 2016

“I was not prepared to make a speech but thank you for the kind words and thank you for the award. I retired [from Remgro] at the end of March so it’s also for me a cherry on the cake at the end of my career,” said Leon Crouse, on receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the CFO Awards 2016, held on 12 May at the beautiful Summer Place. Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu, chancellor of the University of Pretoria, South Africa’s first black chartered accountant and role model for many finance professionals, presented Leon with his award.

SABC CFO James Aguma to act as CEO

Following the unexpected resignation of Jimi Matthews on 28 June, the SABC has appointed its CFO, Ugandan accountant and auditor James Aguma (pictured), as acting CEO.

Finance Indaba 2016: QuickBooks has businesses running more efficiently

"We want to show the accounting world and finance professionals is that QuickBooks as a brand and a product has the range available to satisfy the financial needs of start-ups, SMEs and growing businesses," says Nick Braxton, national sales manager of QuickBooks SA, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Fear and uncertainty after #Brexit - Peregrine Group CFO Robert Katz

The British withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit) would very possibly have an effect on South African businesses, although some industries will be harder hit than others – and some might see opportunities. “Personally I don’t think Brexit is a good thing,” says Robert Katz, CFO of wealth and asset management firm Peregrine Group. “South Africa is a risk-on economy. That means that when there are global jitters, South African stocks get sold off and the rand comes under pressure.”

SABC Acting CEO Jimi Matthews resigns

Acting CEO Jimi Matthews (pictured) has resigned from the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), calling recent changes at the broadcaster “wrong” and saying that he has compromised his values under the current leadership. Matthews posted a picture of his resignation letter on Twitter yesterday morning (below). It read in part:

A humble CFO is a successful CFO, says Lauren Van Zyl, Divisional CFO of Eqstra Fleet Management and Logistics

“For me, being a successful CFO is not even technical; it’s about being humble. The role can go to your head and that creates drama,” says Lauren Van Zyl, Divisional CFO of Eqstra Fleet Management and Logistics. “Being humble makes you approachable, and the more approachable you are the more likely staff will be to come to you if there’s a problem, and that’s important.” Lauren, who pursued a career in finance after convincing herself she would never be interested in the industry, heads up a team of 45 staff members, and says the people aspect of the job is as rewarding as it is challenging. “That’s what nobody prepares you for. As a finance person, you’re very comfortable with the numbers, with the technical, but you aren’t comfortable with having so many people report to you, trust you and rely on you.” How did you first get into finance and how did you come to be a CFO? “At school, one of my main subjects was speech and drama. I was convinced I was never going to go into finance. When choosing my studies, I first registered for industrial psychology, but I didn’t even make it through one lecture and realised that wasn’t going to work. I changed my degree and went into Informatics. I was doing really well but realised I didn’t have a passion for it – it didn’t gel with me. I found my way to finance and thought I’d pursue general finance, believing there was no chance I’d do a CA. But at that moment I realised I would be stopping just before the finish line, so I decided to go the whole hog and completed my B.Com (Accounting) Honours, and then my articles through Deloitte. After my articles I stayed on for a short period, but I decided I wasn’t audit manager material. I was battling with the concept of siting across the table from a CFO and telling him how to run his business when I didn’t know what it was like to be in his position. I wanted to be able to give a CFO advice based on my own experiences. I felt like I needed that foundation.”

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 25

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 sees significant profit increase

Naspers has reported in its recently release full-year results that its core headline earnings were up 21% to $1.2 billion. The company said that it regards core headline earnings as its best indicator of sustainable earnings. Interestingly, some 77% of its revenues were generated outside South Africa.

Creativity needed for big data to drive revenue, says risk actuary Stefan Swanepoel

“Taking advantage of opportunities requires more creative thinking than simple analysis of data,” says risk actuary Stefan Swanepoel, the principal consultant for Directrix Risk Services, an actuarial and corporate risk management consultancy specialising in the pricing, financing and control of risks. Swanepoel has more than 13 years of experience in this field and currently consults to many of the largest South African companies, as well as many large international corporates. A fellow of the Institute of Risk Management and the Actuarial Society of South Africa, Swanepoel followed his father, a state actuary, into the profession after serving time in the military. He spoke to us about the impact of Big Data, risk management, the changing climate in South Africa and how it compares to foreign nations.

King IV recognises the importance of tax governance

It is becoming increasingly common for shareholders, employees, customers and members of the public to want to know that an entity’s tax affairs are compliant and that they meet a standard which is beyond reproach. As such, boards of companies are having to think harder about how they can discharge their responsibilities to govern their entities’ tax affairs.

CIMA and AICPA to form new association

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), will be joining forces to create a new association which will represent the breadth of the accounting profession and 600,000 current and next-generation professionals. Andrew Miskin (pictured), CIMA’s President said:

Financial inclusion and money-making: FinTech Africa event massive success

How can FinTech companies help millions of Africans get access to financial services? And what should FinTech entrepreneurs do to build viable, money-making businesses out of this? Those were some of the key questions during a spectacular FinTech Africa event at 23 June 2016, hosted at the beautiful Woodmead offices of Deloitte South Africa and co-sponsored by WeChat, the company that invented the increasingly popular social communications app.

Vote NOW for the African FinTech Awards 2016

What is your favourite FinTech company? Head to and cast your vote for the African FinTech Awards 2016! Help Africa prosper and support the development of new and innovative financial services and boost financial inclusion. This is your chance to be part of the process and determine which company is the hottest prospect in the FinTech scene in 2016.

Zaf Mahomed, McDonald's: Demand more - real leaders are listening

CFO South Africa MD Graham Fehrsen was recently invited to sit in on a monthly meeting of the senior finance leaders from one of South Africa’s largest financial services providers. In this monthly meeting, arranged by the CFO, the senior team gets insight from an expert or leader from outside the business - on this occasion Zaf Mahomed (pictured), CFO of McDonald’s South Africa, who shared some of his experience and insights from his time as the CFO of Ellerines.

CFOs discuss effective workforce health strategies to drive the bottom line

“It is important to understand that the wellness component and the health component are not the same thing and it’s not just a tick the box exercise,” said Jo Pohl, chief financial officer at Telesure Group. Jo was speaking at the event on 22 June 2016, where CFOs discussed effective workforce health and wellness strategies to drive the bottom line.