Strategies for growth

CFOs face growing pressure to either unlock the value in cash reserves or deliver greater returns to shareholders. At the same time, they are closer than ever to the deal making and need a wide array of skills to successfully navigate this arena. What can you do to make your business grow?

25 September 2017

Create a broader environment to drive innovation, says CIB's Anré Klopper-Stroh

“Our role within Human Capital is to be the custodians of culture and strategically partner the people agenda that enables our business strategy,” says Anré Klopper-Stroh, Human Capital Head for the Corporate & Investment Bank (CIB) within the Standard Bank Group. “The role of the Human Capital team within CIB is to partner our people in, for and across Africa to realise their ambitions, thus enabling our clients and the communities in which we operate to achieve their objectives. Furthermore, we need to position ourselves for what the future holds by understanding the mindsets, skillsets, and toolsets required for our people to stay relevant and contribute to the ambitions of the business into the future.”

21 July 2017

Standard Bank's Richard Stout talks IPOs at CFO Summit

“There has to be a pretty compelling case as to why a company should list. You have to know why you're doing it because it's a costly endeavour both from a time perspective as well as economically,” said Richard Stout, Head of Equity Capital Markets Standard Bank. Stout was speaking at the recent CFO summit about sentiment in capital markets and whether initial public offerings (IPOs) are a useful avenue for raising cash in the current economic environment. “You're moving to an environment where you have a responsibility to a bunch of institutions that are going to expect you to execute a strategy and create value. I've done IPOs for the better part of 20 years and I think they are a great way of raising capital, but not every company should take that route.”

20 February 2017

Organise HR events that are different and engaging: CHRO SA meets Nova Human Capital

Nova Human Capital Solutions is a company that offers turnkey HR solutions to companies of all shapes and sizes. From simply providing payroll services to doing a total overhaul of a business’s HR function, they do it all. Last week, CFO Enterprise CEO Melle Eijckelhoff and Didi Sehume of CHRO South Africa met with director Debbie Victor and MD Scott Barrett from NOVA in the build-up to the executive HR round table to be hosted by Vodacom HR director Matimba Mbungela on 9 March.

16 February 2017

Deloitte celebrates Reporting Accountants award at DealMakers Gala 2017

Professional services firm Deloitte went home with the Reporting Accountants awards by Deal Flow during the 16th annual DealMakers Gala Awards Banquet on 15 February 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre. A jovial CFO South Africa MD Graham Fehrsen handed the prize to Deloitte's senior manager Aubrey Sebothoma, together with DealMakers director Marylou Greig. KPMG won the Reporting Accounts award by Deal Value, just like last year.

10 January 2017

OPIC pledges $5 million towards emerging market investments

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US Government’s Development Finance Institution has announced the financing of up to $5 million to support Unreasonable Capital Fund I. Unreasonable Capital is a venture capital firm that invests in scalable and profitable companies working to address social and environmental issues that improve the lives of people living in underserved communities across Latin America, India, Asia and Africa.

31 October 2016

ABSA Capital, RMB and Nedbank big winners at JSE Spire awards

ABSA Capital, Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) and Nedbank took home big awards at the 15th annual Spire awards, hosted by the JSE. ABSA Capital, RMB and Nedbank were crowned winners of the Best Bonds House, Best Fixed Income and Currencies House, Best FX House and Best Research House and Best Interest Derivative House respectively. RMB alone took home a total of 11 awards on the evening. Bernard Claassens (pictured), Manager: Fixed Income at the JSE, said:

21 October 2016

Global investment firm buys KWV for R1.15 billion

UK-based investment group Vasari has finalised its acquisition of the operational assets of KWV for a sum of R1.15 billion. Vasari sees the South African wine and spirits producer as a “strategic asset” that will enable it to capitalise on growth opportunities in the wine and brandy sector. KWV was sold to Vasari by Niveus Holdings, the listed investment holding company majority controlled by HCI. John Copelyn, HCI CEO, writing in the company’s latest annual report, said that the exit from KWV was “very lucrative”, and that “the price achieved effectively doubled the value of Niveus’s investment over five years”. Boyce Lloyd (pictured), an SABMiller executive with more than 20 years of experience in the beverage industry, will become the new KWV CEO from November. Until recently Lloyd was the integration director for the AB InBev-SABMiller merger. Vasari has investments in various areas, such as alcoholic beverages, confectionary, soft drinks, and foods, across various markets, including Europe, Africa and Asia. Among its brands are independent Scotch whisky producer Whyte & Mackay, and Ethiopian brewer, Dashen Brewery.

24 September 2016

Sasfin profits rise

Sasfin has successfully circumvented the effects of the currently tough economic environment to grow shareholder value by 29%. Operating profit improved 31% (from R232 million in 2015 to R304 million), while profit was up 23.7%, to R238.7m. In addition, total income growth was up 25.1%. Tyrone Soondarjee (pictured), Sasfin group financial director, speaking at the recent financial results presentation, said the group reported growth across all its divisions, bar Treasury and Transactional banking, which collectively declined in profitability from R10.39 million to R6.559 million. Soondarjee noted, however, that the Treasury division did show strong performance, with a stable deposit base of R3.32 billion. According to the FD, group costs increased 19.8% to R828.3 million, largely as a result of increased investment in risk, compliance and IT, along with the inclusion of FinTech in its cost base. The cost-to-income ratio improved from 71.07% in the previous year to 68.89%, thanks to its cost containment strategy, which Soondarjee said has been “key to manage and showed notable improvement”.

20 August 2016

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:

02 August 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:

26 July 2016

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.

15 July 2016

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.

30 June 2016

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.

16 May 2016

Minister Rob Davies: latest Ipap key to inclusive growth

Rob Davies (pictured), Trade and Industry Minister, speaking at a recent Cape Town launch of the latest Industrial policy action plan (Ipap), said there is a pressing need for South Africa to break away from a commodity-dependent economy, and that economic growth should not be based on unsustainable models. Davies further noted that there should be a move to a more diversified base in which employment creation and export-intensity, among other things, define South Africa’s growth trajectory. Davies said:

25 April 2016

It's time to disrupt the funding landscape in SA, says Outsourced CFO's Louw Barnardt

Massive outflows of foreign capital from our borders. Slow economic growth and tough global trading conditions. Difficult regulations and red tape. Upscaling private companies in SA is a massive task. But if we’re serious about growing our base of job-creating private companies, something needs to be done. As a nation desperate for job creation, we need to delve deep in order to understand the critical constraints for unlocking growth. These are the thoughts of Louw Barnardt, co-founder and MD of Outsourced CFO, a financial management boutique of CAs which assists private company clients in gaining access to innovative funding solutions. The SAICA SME report states that, “According to SMEs, the main reasons for business failure are overwhelmingly cash-flow related”. A business of any size and in whichever industry needs financial stability to operate sustainably. Aiming to expand is an even more complex objective that requires SMEs to raise growth finance. Taking this into consideration, how can SMEs be expected to operate sustainably as well as grow, if accessing finance proves to be one of their greatest obstacles? The SAICA SME report concluded that SMEs start with too little capital, collect debtors late, are subject to bad debts, and have overheads that are too high. Government expects that 90 percent of new jobs will come from SMEs. Therefore, big businesses and the public sector need to realise that SMEs will be crucial for growth of the fiscus as well as the private sectors turnover. This then concludes that SME growth is not only to the benefit of the SME, but in the best interest of big business and the public sector.

13 April 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: Transparent aims to help firms recover funds

“We will be talking about how businesses can recover working capital, not only from eliminating double- and over-payments, but also from improving efficiencies and using our payment analysis reports,” says Carolina van der Ark from Transparent, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. In the coming weeks and months, we will be chatting to all the Indaba partners, asking them why they are joining the event and what their most important message for finance professionals is.

01 April 2016

Top CFOs reveal their M&A dreams & nightmares - join us on 6 April 2016

Oceana CFO Imraan Soomra played a huge role in the acquisition of Daybrook Fisheries in New Orleans, growing the market cap of the Cape Town-based fishing firm with about 50%. DigiCore CFO Cobus Grove was instrumental in saving the vehicle-tracking company from demise and selling it to the US firm Novatel Wireless. Deon Fredericks rose through the ranks at Telkom, to eventually take over the CFO job in the most difficult of times and guiding the acquisition of Business Connexion through tricky turns. All the while, these three finance bosses also still had a normal business to run...

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.

12 February 2016

International investors are eyeing African healthcare, says KPMG's Anuschka Coovadia

While money is increasingly flowing into Africa for private healthcare initiatives and South Africa is embarking on the rollout of the National Health Insurance (NHI) system, there is a high demand for multi-skilled finance leaders to deal with that inflow. “We need a whole generation of multi-skilled, passionate people with an interest in healthcare,” says Dr Anuschka Coovadia, head of Healthcare Africa for KPMG.

23 November 2015

Funding and regulation hindering startup success South Africa

Industry experts agree that South African startups have what it takes to succeed on the global stage, but structural issues are hindering development. While executives from South Africa’s leading enterprise development incubators are bullish about the progress being made and about the standard of South African startups, they are also concerned about government regulation, lack of funding direction and market access and inequitable distribution.*

20 November 2015

What can CFOs and entrepreneurs learn from each other?

CFOs and entrepreneurs are known to sometimes bump heads. Why wouldn't they, there's so much to disagree on. But, if last night's CFO South Africa event was anything to go by, these two actually have more to agree on than disagree. The master class aimed to answer the question, 'What can CFOs and entrepreneurs learn from each other?' The conclusion was that they certainly can learn from each other if they just open their minds; the "crankier" CFO learning to be more open to risk, the "cowboy" entrepreneur paying more attention to the figures. And ultimately, both need to be aware of the "higher purpose" they are working towards.

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