PPS

PPS offers tailor-made insurance, investment and healthcare solutions to graduate professionals.

Articles

07 February 2017

How to turn finance turnaround - Coca Cola Beverages FD Walter Leonhardt

In July 2016, ABI merged with Coca-Cola and local bottler SABCO into the new entity Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa – and Walter Leonhardt, ABI financial director, had his transformative work cut out for him once again. In this interview, we speak to Walter about what it takes to establish a culture of continuous improvement, the innovative ways his ABI finance team overcame its challenges and the secret ingredients of a prize-winning leader.

31 January 2017

Ecobank launches African FinTech challenge

Pan-African banking conglomerate Ecobank, which boasts operations in 36 countries on the continent, has launched a FinTech challenge for African startups. The Ecobank FinTech Challenge provides selected startups with tailored mentorship from leading industry experts, funding of up to $500 000, a partnership with the multinational, and access to Africa’s biggest banking ecosystem, maximising exposure across the continent. The winner will also showcase their idea at Ecobank’s Innovation Fair.

04 January 2017

How CIMA supports success

The world’s leading and largest professional body of management accountants, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is a partner at the Finance Indaba 2017. CIMA's qualifications comprise a unique blend of management accounting, financial accounting and business-focused subjects to produce graduates capable of leading from the front. The local chapter is headed by Zahra Cassim (pictured). We asked the organisation about its alternative qualifications and undergraduate support initiatives.

29 October 2016

Kaspersky Lab: Only 50% of mobile devices are protected from cybercrime

The latest research from Kaspersky Lab, a global cybersecurity company, shows that half of the mobile devices around the globe are at risk from cybercrime and malicious threats, due to inadequate protection. The research suggests that users are unaware of the need to protect their mobile devices with a security solution – while 69% think that their desktops and laptops definitely need IT security software, only 56% think the same about smartphones and tablets. Victor Yablokov (pictured) Head of Mobile Product Line at Kaspersky Lab, said:

14 October 2016

Let's get personal: Graeme Codrington on the renaissance of business in a digital age - #findaba16

“Students of the future are often students of history,” Futurist Graeme Codrington told attendants of the inaugural Finance Indaba Africa 2016, during his presentation on 14 October 2016. They study moments of change and disruption in history to understand what underlies huge disruption in our present age. Graeme – an international speaker, consultant, and best-selling author who has built a career out of preparing companies for change – believes that the echoes of the past, the ones that were present at the last major social renaissance, are present in the world today, and companies fail to heed them at their peril.

12 October 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: Cellulant is all about transforming Africa

"FinTech is completely revolutionising the speed, the scale and the cost of getting services to the people. This is transformational for Africa – and it is this transformation that drives Cellulant to continue realising this for millions of consumers and thousands of businesses," says Ken Njoroge, Group CEO of Cellulant, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

11 October 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: Meniga brings banks and clients closer together

"A single platform can become the main source of information for all digital channels, not only enabling banks and other financial institutions to offer their clients an engaging experience, but also solving simple problems related to the integration of data and reducing infrastructure costs," says Jakub Piotrowski, CRO and Head of Customer Engagement at Meniga, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

14 September 2016

Public sector CFOs and CIOs are trying to embrace the future

From medical emergency drones, to self-driving vehicles to a Google Hangouts gathering of Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa and the Dalai Lama in Tibet: technology makes amazing things possible, as long as we embrace it. During a breakfast event on 13 September 2016, the energetic futurist Craig Wing challenged, educated, inspired – and entertained – a group of CFOs and CIO from the public sector and asked them some hard questions about technology: “Do you see a threat or an opportunity?”

16 August 2016

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."

08 July 2016

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.

03 June 2016

Compleo Business Solutions and Compleo Print choose SAP Business One

Having originally implemented SAP Business One in 2006 within Compleo Print, it became clear that the remaining businesses in the group were not enjoying as rich a functionality, which led to concerns over data integrity and reporting capability, as well as a distinct lack of integration. An almost fatal server crash in 2011 prompted the business as a whole to review its ERP technology infrastructure in order to ensure business continuity long into the future. Founded in 1999 as a strategic Xerox partner, Prodoc Business Solutions, recently renamed Compleo Business Solutions, has played a key role in positioning Xerox as a leading brand and supplier of quality printing equipment and related consumables in South Africa. A growing market, together with the opportunity to expand to a more holistic offering, saw the launch of Prodoc Business Systems, embracing a more service focused approach. In 2006, Compleo Print, a digital print company, was also launched. Operating in a B2B environment, the group works with a wide range of companies across multiple business sectors including agriculture, healthcare and government, to name but a few.

30 March 2016

To SPAC or not to SPAC? An interview with #FinTech financier Greg Voigt

"The traditional PE model is stale and battling with an ever increasing amount of regulations and complexity," says Greg Voigt, chief investment officer at special purpose acquisition company M-FiTEC that listed on the JSE’s AltX board at the end of last year. We spoke to him about the advantages of a SPAC over other financing forms, the opportunities for FinTech in South Africa and his ambitions with M-FiTEC.

19 February 2016

Blockchain will revolutionise business, says Bankymoon CEO Lorien Gamaroff

"Blockchain is going to be a massive disruptive force. This is the next revolution, the next Internet, if you like. It is not an understatement to declare that a new technological revolution is upon us," says Lorien Gamaroff, founder and CEO of Bankymoon, a software company focusing on Blockchain technologies. Gamaroff will be one of the speakers at the much-anticipated FinTech Africa Blockchain Event, taking place on 25 February in Cape Town.

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.

19 July 2013

Chris Povall, CFO Accéntuate: Doing more with less

“The role of CFOs in organisations has not changed as much as some people like to think it has,” says Chris Povall, Chief Financial Officer at Accéntuate Limited, a listed South African company that specializes in vinyl, laminate and wooden floors, chemicals for the flooring industry and a broad range of cleaning chemicals. Povall is a highly experienced finance leader, having held influential positions at Impala Platinum, Times Media, Chemical Services and Protea Chemicals. “What has changed is the technical and compliance side of the job: rules, regulations, IFRS… there are more and more regulations and standards to comply with. Each day we have to do more with less.”

18 June 2013

Asher Bohbot, CEO EOH: Appropriate expectations in Africa

“It is important to understand that the markets in the rest of Africa are very different from South Africa,” says Asher Bohbot, founder and CEO of the South African IT company EOH. There is a bit of hype around investing in Africa lately and Bohbot warns that expectations of returns need to be realistic. At the same time the experienced entrepreneur acknowledges the opportunities are enormous. “Africa’s growth is greater than ours in South Africa, so there is no question that the continent is a destination for growth for South African enterprises.”

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Company profile

PPS is the only mutual financial services company in South Africa that focuses exclusively on graduate professionals, providing tailor-made insurance, investment and healthcare solutions.

Address: 6 Anerley Road Parktown 2193

Phone: 0861 777 146

Website: https://www.pps.co.za