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14 May 2015

Alexander Forbes CFO Deon Viljoen named CFO of the Year 2015

Deon Viljoen, Chief Financial Officer at South Africa’s largest retirement fund administrator Alexander Forbes, has been named South Africa’s CFO of the Year 2015. The award was presented on Thursday 14 May 2015 at the end of an inspirational conference and gala event at Summer Place in Hyde Park, Johannesburg. Brett Tromp (Discovery Health) was named Young CFO of the Year, while Anoj Singh (Transnet) retained his title as Public CFO of the Year.

15 April 2015

Interviews with nominated CFOs concluded, Awards judges to decide

All 32 CFOs that are nominated for the CFO Awards 2015 have now been interviewed by a representation of the panel of judges. For me, it has been a massive honour and learning opportunity to be part of the process, that started mid-February. Packs with all the interviews and profiles highlighting the performance of the nominated CFOs will soon be sent to the esteemed panel of judges, which will decide on the winners for the 10 categories using a nifty online voting system.

25 March 2015

Editorial: South African CFOs should drop the arrogance in 'Africa'

As an aside during our successful Moving into Africa event in the Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton, Sean Bennett, Head of UBS South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa, remarked that South Africans are not always welcomed with open arms in the rest of the continent. We are often guilty of talking about 'Africa' as if South Africa is not part of the continent, we are often guilty of arrogantly viewing the swath of land north of the Limpopo as largely undeveloped and we are often wrongly assuming that we have to import expats because of the purported lack of local talent.

20 March 2015

Great insight into African tax by KPMG's top experts

Never speak to the tax authority in an African country without an advisor present, make better use of tax incentives and familiarise yourself with the local tax law and the people who enforce it. Those were some of the lessons during the extremely insightful Master Class at Thursday’s Moving into Africa event in the Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton. The CFOs present received a comprehensive overview of African tax affairs by some of the brightest tax minds on the continent, provided by KPMG.

13 March 2015

Tax strategies in the spotlight at Moving into Africa event - register now!

While South African CFOs are keen to help their businesses explore options in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other African countries, the prospect of governance and tax issues still fills many with trepidation. During our Moving into Africa event on Thursday 19 March in Johannesburg a impressive team of African tax specialists will ease your mind and talk about the latest developments. It is not too late yet to REGISTER for the event. This is the CFO event you can’t afford to miss!

06 March 2015

Panel of judges for CFO Awards 2015 meet at JSE Limited

One of the key success factors behind the annual CFO Awards is the strong composition of the panel of judges. On 17 February 2015 the panel for the 2015 awards met in a boardroom of the JSE Limited to discuss this year’s process and procedures. “We are truly honoured to have a group of such respected leaders on the panel to decide who are the best CFOs in South Africa at the moment,” said CFO South Africa CEO Melle Eijckelhoff, who convened the meeting.

04 March 2015

Editorial: CFOs should not hide behind the communications department

I always find it slightly disappointing when CFOs need to run an interview by their communications department. So it was really refreshing to do an interview yesterday that I managed to write up on the same day and that was approved within an hour. The interviewee? Sizwe Nxasana, CEO of FirstRand and responsible for a R295 billion market cap. Yet again, I must conclude: the more senior or influential a person is, the easier they are to talk to and the less bureaucratic they are about approving their interviews.

18 February 2015

CFOs shaken out of comfort zone during Get Smart event

CFOs were rattled out of their comfort zone yesterday during our Get Smart in 2015 event, hosted at the JSE Limited in Sandton, Johannesburg. In an extremely well-received key note speech, Martijn Aslander - from The Netherlands - told finance leaders they need to adapt or risk becoming obsolete. He talked the audience through a number of exciting innovations and disruptive developments that will change the world within the next 10 years. “In the future it is no longer about what you own or what you do, but it is about your attitude and your ability to adapt.”

17 February 2015

Awards judges interview CFOs of Denel, MiX Telematics, Interwaste and DMR

Who is going to be the CFO of the Year 2015? It is up to the impressive panel of judges to decide who will climb the podium of the Summer Place on 14 May 2015 and receive the prestigious award. The 15 captains of industry (and a professor) will largely base their judgement on the interviews with the 28 nominated CFOs. Yesterday, we kicked off the interview process and just like last year, it is an enormous privilege for me as editor of CFO South Africa to witness these in depth conversations between some of the most influential and interesting leaders in the country.

04 February 2015

Editorial: the bright side of headless chickens & impressive speakers

As we’re getting closer to our February events in Johannesburg (17 February) and Cape Town (19 February), I have the privilege of chatting to some of the people that will be sharing their insights during those afternoons and evenings. This week I spoke to KPMG’s Frank Rizzo about technology and to Cipla Medpro’s Nishant Saxena about the transition from bookkeeper to business partner that many of our CFOs are going through. These are two experienced business people that know exactly what they are talking about!

21 January 2015

Editorial: outgoing ArcelorMittal CFO's SA optimism, boost for Woolworths and Foschini

“More than in the past you have to pick your battles and prioritize.” I had to think of these wise words of Matthias Wellhausen, when I heard the ArcelorMittal CFO is leaving the country to join Swiss firm Schmolz + Bickenback, a global market leader in special steel, as CFO. Last year we spoke to Wellhausen and CFOs and finance professionals would be well-advised to reread the interview with the German.

19 November 2014

Editorial: judges revealed for CFO Awards, governance improving in Africa

I am a little bit biased, but for me the biggest CFO news this week was the fact that several members of the panel of judges for this year’s CFO Awards have committed themselves to adjudicate the 2015 CFO Awards as well. As of today, we have been able to confirm the involvement of top CEOs Asher Bohbot (EOH), Victor Sekese (SizweNtsalubaGobodo), Jonathan Lang (Bowman Gilfillan Africa), Delphine Maïdou (Allianz GCS Africa), Claudelle von Eck (The Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa) and Rob Otty (Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa). Prof. Ben Marx (University of Johannesburg) is also on the team again.

14 November 2014

Minister Ivan Meyer gives CFOs insights in the public & private sector

“I was so happy to be here today because it has given me the confidence that we have capable financial skills here in South Africa,” said Dr Ivan Meyer, minister for finance in the Western Cape after attending the CFO South Africa event Risk, Compliance & Control Forum at the Cape Town Club on Thursday night. “This CFO forum confirmed to me that the CFOs in the public and private sectors are very capable.”

12 November 2014

Editorial: KPMG's Anthony Thunström to Foschini - CFOs with benefits?

Only a few days after professional services firm KPMG announced a ground-breaking partnership with CFO South Africa, one of the architects of that collaboration got a new job – as a CFO! From 1 February 2015 KPMG Africa COO Anthony Thunström will replace the retiring Ronnie Stein as CFO of JSE-listed clothing retailer, Foschini. We wish Anthony all the best and hope to meet him again at our events, this time with his CFO hat on.

16 September 2014

CFO of the Week: Jurgens Myburgh, new CFO at Datatec: "I strive to be multidimensional"

“I strive to be a multidimensional CFO,” says Jurgens Myburgh, who recently swapped an impressive career in Corporate Finance at Standard Bank for a role as CFO at information technology group Datatec. In anticipation of learning from more experienced peers, Myburgh has joined CFO South Africa as a platinum member. “It will be great to network with like-minded people, bounce ideas off experienced individuals, gather intelligence on best practice and stay up to date. You can’t afford to operate in a silo.”

10 April 2014

CFO South Africa meets KPMG CEO Moses Kgosana

KPMG boss Moses Kgosana briefly interrupted his annual leave on Wednesday to meet with CFO South Africa founder Alex van Groningen and discuss the challenges that face south African CFOs. “CFOs are our biggest supporters and customers, so I want to be part of their community,” Kgosana said. “We can share information and experiences about the challenges we face from different angles. And I can learn a lot from the CFO community.”

26 September 2013

Barry Doran, CFO G4S Africa: Believing in human capital

“For a CFO, working in Africa is almost like a Rubik’s cube, it is a challenge but it’s very rewarding,” says Barry Doran, Finance Director for Africa at security firm G4S, the largest private employer on the continent. “The development opportunities are very rewarding professionally and it’s great to see cities changing. The last time I was in Lagos I suddenly saw traffic lights where there were never any.”

27 August 2013

Abigail Brooks, Trustco: the importance of soft skills and confidence

“I needed a bigger challenge,” says Abigail Brooks, Financial Controller at Trustco Financial Services since May 2013. The Namibian firm has recently moved into South Africa and has ambitions to roll out its innovative microfinance and insurance products into the rest of the continent as well. Brooks is based in Johannesburg and will be overseeing the financial department. “What is crucial for this position is soft skills and confidence,” she says.

14 April 2013

Callen Hodgskiss, HPCA: opportunities for finance talents at NGOs

“FOLLOW what you value,” is the advice of Callen Hodgskiss. As CFO of the Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa (HPCA) he knows what he is talking about. “I hope young financial professionals realize there are a lot of opportunities in the NGO sector. It is a dynamic environment and there is a lot that you can contribute. There is growing need for qualified people at NGOs and the salaries are becoming more and more market related.”

02 December 2011

Break up the big-four auditors?

The SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) has decided not to comment on European moves to curb the dominance of the big-four auditing firms but standards boss Ewald Muller says EU commissioner Michel Barnier is “smoking his socks”. Spokesperson Bontle Sikwe said Saica has nothing to say. The accounting institute is in the invidious position of having the Big Four and thousands of smaller members. The Big Four pay by far the biggest subscriptions and contribute the lion’s share of Saica’s vital Thuthuka educational project. But while Saica won’t comment Ewald Müller, senior executive, standards, told me Barnier was on “a one-man crusade” and “over the top”.

30 November 2011

Iain Bennie - CFO Stanlib: `Cash is King!`

Stanlib is the largest unit trust manager in the country and one of the leading asset and wealth managers in South Africa and emerging markets. The company is based in Johannesburg and has a footprint in seven African countries. The company was formed in 2002 when Liberty and Standard Bank’s asset management and wealth businesses merged. It is the biggest unit trust company in South Africa, managing assets for over 350,000 clients and employing almost 550 employees directly. We had the honor of enjoying a one-on-one with Iain Bennie, CFO of Stanlib.

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Company profile

KPMG South Africa is a professional services firm currently comprising of 148 partners and 2 169 colleagues, supported by an international network that comprises more than 207 000 people. The origins of KPMG South Africa go back to 1895 and through organic growth and strategic mergers, we have grown into one of the largest Audit, Tax and Advisory firms in the region, offering a wide-range of services to clients in the private and public sectors. There are over 10 000 KPMG South Africa alumni who are business leaders in all sectors of the South African economy.