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04 November 2016

Women and success: Roy Clark chats to top CFOs Mary Vilakazi and Jo Pohl - #findaba16

Two vibrant women, Jo Pohl and Mary Vilakazi, whose dynamism and energy radiates throughout the room, sat down with Roy Clark from Clarkhouse Human Capital and discussed their views on women and success. To say it was inspiring is an understatement – these two women shared such powerful messages that even the most astute and experienced business person would walk away with a burning passion to succeed.

30 October 2016

2016 Global Innovation 1000 Study reveals shift in R&D spend to software and services

By 2020, companies will have shifted the majority of their research and development (R&D) spend away from product-based offerings to software and service offerings, according to the 2016 Global Innovation 1000 Study from Strategy&, PwC’s strategy consulting business. The need to stay competitive is the top reason why companies cited this shift in their R&D budgets. Liesbeth Botha (pictured), Strategic Digital Transformation Leader, PwC Africa, said:

05 October 2016

Longer tenure mulled for joint-audits: IRBA CEO Bernard Agulhas

The mandatory audit firm rotation (MAFR) that will be introduced in South Africa next year might include incentives for Big 4 firms to partner with smaller, black-owned competitors. The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) is considering to allow auditors to stay with the same client for a longer period, provided they enter into joint audits when their mandatory tenure comes to an end, says IRBACEO Bernard Agulhas. In this exclusive interview with CFO South Africa he also notes his disappointment about the negative response from CFOs to mandatory firm rotation.

19 September 2016

European firms benefit from audit rotation, says former Heineken CFO

The introduction of mandatory audit firm rotation has worked out advantageously for European companies, says René Hooft Graafland, who recently stepped down as global CFO at the Dutch brewing giant Heineken. He says that benefits include lower audit fees, a more efficient audit plan and new insights, as the new audit team approaches the company with fresh eyes. “But I do believe the rotation period should be at least twelve years.”

12 September 2016

Mandatory Audit Firm Rotation is a good thing, says Nkonki's Mitesh Patel

“It is simply staggering that of the 353 audit partners who sign off on the financial statements of all JSE-listed companies, only nine are Black African – that’s just 2.5%,” says Mitesh Patel, Managing Director of Nkonki, a 100% black-owned audit and advisory firm. “Given the transformation imperative within the broader South African corporate context and our profession as a whole, there can be no doubt that Mandatory Audit Firm Rotation (MAFR) will assist in driving the transformation agenda.”

06 September 2016

Changing mindsets and looking to the future, a chat with Brigid Mosola, Walter Sisulu University CFO

“When I came on board the staff were demotivated and unproductive. There was no teamwork and they did not trust in each other. It was a disaster,” says Brigid Mosola, CFO of Walter Sisulu University (WSU). In this exclusive interview with CFO South Africa, Brigid, who has been CFO for around 18 months, and who was recently placed on a precautionary suspension by the University’s new Vice Chancellor pending charges, speaks candidly about the state of the university’s finance department, the challenges of restructuring and building staff morale, and making unpopular decisions.

22 April 2016

Exclusive chat to SNG's Victor Sekese about Oakbay audit: `No political interference`

Audit firm SizweNtsalubaGobo (SNG) has not been approached by anyone from the Gupta family or from the cabinet of president Jacob Zuma, says Victor Sekese, CEO of the firm that was announced this week as the new auditor of Oakbay Resources and Energy Limited, owned by the controversial Gupta-family. Sekese says SNG has consulted with Oakbay’s former auditor KPMG “and established that there are no professional and ethical reasons not to accept the client”.

09 February 2016

Balancing the stakeholders - the success of Alexander Forbes CFO Deon Viljoen

Being a business partner is extremely important, but a CFO should never forget to bring his or her financial acumen to the table, says CFO of the Year 2015 Deon Viljoen. As money boss at Alexander Forbes he has guided the company through a rebirth that included a delisting and a relisting on the JSE. These days ‘higher purpose’ and ‘balancing stakeholders’ are key success factors at South Africa’s largest retirement fund administrator, he reveals.

22 December 2015

Jovan Grujic, PISU & Co: restructuring to draw investors and private equity

“For a Kenyan company like ours, the competition is nowhere and the room for growth is enormous,” says Jovan Grujic, CFO of the diverse, family-owned group PISU & Company. The Serbian money boss has had some great successes during his career in Europe and now wants to cut his teeth in a real growth market. “I was seeing growth in Asia and Africa and decided to be part of it. I want to be here while it happens, not afterwards. It is a big challenge but very rewarding.”

09 November 2015

Virtual data rooms essential for M&A - Arie Maree, Ansarada

Virtual data rooms are crucial in ensuring that the acquisition process is as smooth as possible. That is according to Arie Maree, director at Ansarada, a world leader in merger and acquisition technology and headline sponsor of the Knife Capital Exit Conference, held at the Sandton Convention Centre on 21 August. A virtual data room is a limited-access website or software platform that bidders and advisers can use to peruse confidential corporate information before making a decision to purchase. These rooms offer significant cost savings on physical centres, especially when large teams of experts are required to perform extensive due diligence processes. They can be used for data storage, document exchange, file sharing, financial transactions and legal transactions, among other functions.

26 October 2015

Economic cloud has silver lining, says PwC's Maija de Rijk-Uys

“Local is not so lekker at the moment." Maija de Rijk-Uys, who is responsible for the setup and roll-out of the PwC Accelerator Programme in SA, began her presentation at the Knife Capital Exit Conference at the Sandton Convention Centre on 21 August on a sour note. "There is negative investor sentiment, labour unrest, a dearth of skills, low economic growth, regulation and government interference and no cultural flair for entrepreneurism. Our established business rate, at just 2,9%, is 4th lowest in the world,” she lamented.

05 August 2015

Hollard CFO Brooks Mparutsa goes international, replaced by Absa ace

It has never been a secret that Brooks Mparutsa has international ambitions. He told me as much during the candid CFO of the Week interview that we published earlier this year. Brooks, who was nominated for the 2015 CFO Awards, has a real passion for Africa and a recent executive reshuffle at the Hollard Insurance is making is possible to follow his dreams, with Brooks being appointed Executive Director: International from 1 January 2016.

19 May 2015

Meet Deon Viljoen (Alexander Forbes), CFO of the Year 2015

One of the first things Deon Viljoen told the panel of judges during his interview for this year's CFO Awards is that he had "aged in dog years" in the past 7 years as Chief Financial Officer at Alexander Forbes, the country's largest retirement fund administrator. In that period he guided the company during a delisting and a relisting at the JSE Limited, he overhauled the entire structure of the business and sold one of its biggest businesses to an international buyer. "I enjoy those multidimensional challenges," assured the judges during the interview. He feels the brand and its reputation came out of the turbulent period unscathed. “Our clients trust us and I feel that I contribute to that.”

06 January 2015

Brooks Mparutsa, Hollard Insurance: success requires vision

“At the age of 16 I made the decision to become a CA and a business leader,” says Brooks Mparutsa, the eloquent Group Chief Financial Officer of Hollard Insurance. His impressive career in the public and private sector has taken him all over the world. “I am following the path I set out for myself. What many people lack is a vision for their lives and careers. I benefited a lot from staying at my audit firm for a number of years and spending years in the public sector – it is a path I definitely recommend.”

18 November 2014

CFO of the Week: Clint Capitano, Cunningham Lindsey: take decisions and move on

Decisiveness is one of the most important characteristics of a good CFO, says Clint Capitano, Chief Financial Officer at loss adjusting firm Cunningham Lindsey. “People procrastinate and take a long time to take decisions; being decisive is one of my strongest points. I do research, get the information I need, take a decision and move on. I get things done and live with the consequences of my decisions.”

17 June 2014

Karl Kumbier, CEO Mercantile Bank: Weight behind entrepreneurs

“The difference between a good and a great CFO is that the latter assists his CEO pro-actively and spends a lot of time in the business,” says Karl Kumbier, Chief Executive Officer of Mercantile Bank. In a candid interview with CFO South Africa he talks about his impressive career in the banking industry and the way his bank can help spur on economic development and employment by providing financial solutions for entrepreneurs.

14 March 2014

'Get Smart' Event: InnoVent offers fascinating insights in rental of depreciating assets

Smart CFOs save money by renting fast-depreciating assets like IT-equipment, instead of buying them. That was the message of Shane Merriman, Managing Director at InnoVent Rental & Asset Management Solutions. During the CFO South Africa ‘Get Smart’ event of 13 March 2014 in the Saxon Boutique Hotel in Johannesburg, Merriman gave the attending CFOs some fascinating and challenging insights in ways to make money go further.

04 December 2013

Dikeledi Nakene, CFO Palabora Mining Company: Resist temptation of short-term gains

Surround yourself with people that encourage you, believe in yourself and resist the temptation of lucrative offers before finishing your degree or articles. That is some of the great advice that Dikeledi Nakene, CFO at Palabora Mining Company Limited, has for young, aspiring talents in the finance world. “I was born and bred in Limpopo province in Ga- Modjadji not far from Phalaborwa and look at me now. I want to tell local people, especially village girls, that everything is possible!”

20 November 2013

Steve Killick, Partner at PwC: No to a 'cookie cutter' approach

“African countries are very different from each other, which means a ‘cookie cutter’ approach won’t cut it for firms that are expanding into the continent,” says Steve Killick, partner at the Johannesburg-office of PwC. “For example the regulations vary greatly from country to country, especially in the financial services sector in which I work. Culture is a softer element, but it’s equally important and the differences are significant.”

12 October 2012

André Dippenaar - CFO BioTherm Energy: "It's adapt or die"

Founded in 2003, BioTherm Energy Proprietary Limited (BTE) is one of South Africa’s first independent power producers (IPP). In October 2007, BTE commissioned its 4.2 MW Biogas Project at the PetroSA refinery in Mosselbay in the Eastern Cape Province. This project was the first non-recourse project financed IPP deal to be concluded in South Africa. This project was also the first project to successfully register and monetise carbon credits in South Africa.

08 April 2012

Tjaart Kruger - CFO African Dawn Capital: `The sky is the limit`

“When you are working in limited resource environment as transpires in a turnaround situation it becomes counterproductive. The CFO will in future have to force himself to strategically focus on business,” says Tjaart Kruger, CFO of African Dawn Capital. “It has become a very complex and highly regulated environment in the listed environment.” Skills herein are vital, yet not always present. “A major weakness that I have encountered in education is that no amount of theory prepares the finance professional for the realities of business itself. Business acumen is that ingredient that makes a good finance professional great.”

26 March 2012

Sean Capazorio - CFO Aspen: `Plan your work and work your plan`

“Plan your work and work your plan.” That is one of the things Sean Capazorio needs to do every day to feel fulfilled in his work. In 2009 Sean was appointed Group CFO of Aspen, the leading pharmaceuticals manufacturer in the Southern hemisphere as well as Africa’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturer. The company was listed on the JSE Ltd in 1998 and is included in its Top 40 Index. The Aspen Group has almost 6500 employees, of which nearly 3000 are based in South Africa. The Aspen Group has a presence in South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Ireland, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mauritius, Dubai, Germany and Hong Kong.

06 December 2011

Paul Prinsloo - CFO PwC South Africa: `Keeping financial operations at the highest standard is vital`

The role of the CFO has changed from scorekeeper, care talker and treasurer to strategic business partner, communicator, financier, finance operator, compliance steward, run rate monitor, talent manager, financial envoy. These are the words of wisdome spoken by Paul Prinsloo, CFO of PwC South Africa, South Africa’s office of the world's largest professional services firm. PwC South Africa staffs over 4,200 people nationwide, of which 100 employees in the financial department. The firm locally has a turnover of more than R3 billion per annum.

26 October 2011

Paul O'Flaherty - CFO Eskom: `Companies have great strategies but fail in executing them appropriately`

CFO South Africa is interviewing a large number of CFOs and CEOs of leading South African companies. From now on, we will publish them on our site regularly. Next in our series is Mr. Paul O’Flaherty, CFO of Eskom, a company staffing 42,000 people, which he joined in January 2010. He was appointed to the Board as executive director responsible for the finance function overseeing nearly 3.000 employers in the finance and shared services departments.

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Company profile

PwC Southern Africa provides industry-focused assurance, advisory and tax services to public, private and government clients in all markets. 

Our in-depth knowledge and understanding of African operating environments enables us to put ourselves in our clients’ shoes. 

Address: 4 Lisbon Lane Waterfall City, Jukskei view

Postalcode: 2090

Phone: +27 (0) 11 797 4000