CFO Revolving Doors – February 2022

The start of the year is traditionally slow for CFO movements, and last month did not break the tradition.

What was most interesting about last month was the drop in the Australian unemployment rate – now 4.2%, the lowest since August 2008.  This excellent news about the unemployment rate was met with some not so happy news about Australia’s increasing inflation rate and the potential for interest rate increases during 2022.

How will this affect “The Great Resignation”?   

There have been many articles written about this, and whilst the statistics from the US support “The Great Resignation”, we haven’t seen the same statistics in Australia as yet.  My view on this is that a large number of senior CFOs are looking to retire (or wind back), but they have either been: convinced by their board to stay on or their declining super balance has encouraged them to stay with the business longer than they planned.  Once this changes, we could see more resignations at the senior end, allowing more upward movement into the CFO space.

The other area where I see potential resignations coming is with the opening of international borders.  There is a couple of year’s backlog of young Aussie finance professionals wanting to head to the US, Asia and Europe. I also think there will be a bunch of US, Asian and European finance professionals currently working in Australia who will want to return to their country of origin.  Not seeing family will have changed some of their views on a long term stay in Australia.  Unless Australia can increase the immigration levels for finance professionals, this market area will be very candidate tight.  The salary rises we saw towards the end of 2021 will continue as candidate shortages become more pronounced.

It will be fascinating to see how this story develops during the year.

CFO appointments – ASX Listed

•             Chris Last, the CFO of leading communications software company Symbio has resigned. Chris will take a career break to spend time with family in the UK.  The existing Group Financial Controller, Kate Denton has been appointed acting CFO.  An external search is underway for Chris’ replacement.

•             Penny Diamantakiou is the new CFO at Nearmap following the previously announced promotion of Andy Watt to Chief Growth and Operations Officer.  Penny’s last role was as CFO of 5B – a clean technology business.

•             3P Learning have announced that their CFO, Dimitri Aroney has resigned for family reasons.  Dimitri joined 3PL back in 2014.

•             Martin Deda, who has been CFO at Bravura Solutions, for over 7 years, has announced his decision to retire.  Martin will be replaced by Brent Henley, the current Chief Commercial Officer at Macquarie Telecom.

•             Energy One has appointed Guy Steel as their permanent CFO.  Guy was the interim CFO at Energy One, appointed to this role on June 2021.

 •            Environmental technology company, Envirosuite have appointed Justin Owen into the CFO role.

Other CFO appointments

•             Elizabeth Stratford is the new CFO of University of NSW.  Elizabeth is currently CFO with the NSW Department of Communities.

 •            Shailendra Singh is the interim CFO at iCare.  A search is currently underway for the permanent role.

•             Anthony Rule moves from the listed space to private.  Anthony is the new CFO of legal tech company, Immediation.  Previously Anthony was CFO of listed business, Contango Asset Management.

•             After leaving Greengate Group last year as CFO, Michelle Champ has landed a new role. Michelle will join Hireup as their CFO, replacing John Loy who has moved to Adelaide.  Hireup is a disability service and support organisation.

•             Commercial Cleaning Company Dimeo has promoted Michael Sullivan into the CFO role. Michael has been with the business since 2019 and has moved internally a couple of times.

•             Stephen Fox has moved from ASX listed Thorn, where he was Head of Finance, to join Moneytech as Divisional CFO. 

Companies in the market for permanent CFOs

Other business looking for CFO’s include:

•             Barnardos Australia – Fred Haliday is the interim CFO.

•             One School Global

•             Standards Australia

•             Knight Frank – Deb Kemp is the interim CFO

•             Property Council of Australia

•             QUBE

About the Author –

Colin Kerr is a Principal Consultant – Contracting | [axr] Recruitment & Search – a specialist in executive search, selection and contract recruitment. He has joined to build up their interim / contracting business and focus on interim CFO roles and their direct reports. If you know of any recent CFO ‘movers and shakers’ or need any assistance in this area, please get in touch [email protected]

After graduating with a first-class honours degree in Accountancy from the University of Stirling, Colin began his career with PwC in their audit team in London and became a qualified Chartered Accountant. After a secondment to PwC Jakarta for three years, Colin moved to Sydney in 1997 and began his recruitment career with a leading international recruitment firm.