Departures & Arrivals

By Colin Kerr

As we approach the end of an incredibly challenging 12 months, this will be the final CFO market update for the year. I am sure we will all be glad to see the end of 2020.

Before officially closing off all memories of 2020, I thought this might be a good time to reflect on the year that was.

Having been in the CFO recruitment market for over 20 years and I can safely say March 2020 was the worst time I have experienced in recruitment. We had everything; clients withdrew offers, candidates pulled out of roles (even after they had accepted a new role and had resigned – they withdrew their resignation), contractors were finished early, and the majority of active roles were put on hold.

I felt like I spent most of March acting as a counsellor to candidates whose roles had been made redundant or had been stood down. It was a difficult and stressful time talking with candidates who were looking for work when there were very few companies hiring.

Since then, every month the market has improved. My job sheet got gradually busier and candidates started to explore new opportunities again. From an analysis of my CFO market updates I can see the volume of permanent activity is back to the same level as this time last year, however the channels for where the jobs are coming from has become much wider and thinner, with more companies trying to recruit the roles themselves in a bid to save money.

Now back to November 2020 and the CFO moves that I found of interest this month include the following:

Tarun Gupta, the current CFO of Lendlease has resigned and will be moving to Stockland to become their new CEO. Frank Krile, the deputy CFO, has been appointed interim CFO at Lendlease.

• CFO, Nigel Underwood has resigned from Smartgroup – this role has been filled in the interim by Deputy CFO – Anthony Dijanosic who has been promoted internally.

• Following the acquisition of Broadspectrum by Ventia, Nick Sutherland who was the Broadspectrum CFO has moved to Calibre Group as the Group CFO.

• Ex ResMed finance executive, Carl Runde has become CFO at medical technology company Osteopore.

• ASX listed Accounting Group Kelly + Partners have promoted Kenneth Ko internally to the interim CFO role following Justin Sweeting’s resignation. Justin is moving to Octet Finance as CFO.

Alex Panich, who was previously CFO at Salmat, has a new role. Alex has moved to work force management business, Humanforce, as their new CFO. Alex has replaced Ben Watiwat who has moved to InDebted.

• After a year plus of travelling, cut short due to COVID, Tim Dodd is back in the CFO world, picking up the global CFO role at BBRC World, a venture capital and private equity company.

Amanda Harsas has been appointed as the new CFO of AIM listed mining business IronRidge Resources.

• Troubled fast food chain, Oliver’s Real Food, has another new CFO. Rob Ross-Edwards has joined, replacing David McMahon. Rob worked previously with Oliver’s recently appointed CEO.

Keith Toms has moved from online furniture retailer, Koala, to the rebranded mycar business as CFO. mycar is the new brand of Kmart Tyre and Auto Services

• Oilsearch’s designated CFO Ayren Sarides has decided to leave the business. Stephen Gardiner, the current CFO, has agreed to stay until May 2021 to find a replacement.

Daniel Longden has returned to Zurich Life Australia as CFO, 3 years after leaving previously for a stint at KPMG.

Render, a construction technology business has appointed Joshua Dawson as the new CFO.

Andrew McIntyre moves from Mirvac to take up the role as CFO of GWH – a property builder and developer based in Newcastle.

I have noticed there have been lots of virtual AGMs during November. Sometimes the CFO announcements get lost in the AGM update information. If there are any CFO moves that I have missed, please let me know. I would be happy to include them next year.

As always if there is anything I can help you with from a recruitment point of view, please do not hesitate to give me a call. Until then I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a better New Year!


Colin Kerr, Senior Associate, Executive Accounting & Finance | U&U Recruitment Partners

Colin recruits interim and contracting roles in the Accounting and Finance space. This includes the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) role and their direct reports (Financial Controller, Finance Manager, Management Accountant, Financial Planning & Analysis), as well as any other finance roles that sit in a corporate head office – tax, internal audit and treasury.

Colin has two decades of experience in accounting and finance recruitment in Sydney. A qualified Chartered Accountant, he began his career with PwC in their audit team in London. After a secondment to PwC Jakarta for three years, Colin moved to Sydney in 1997 and his career in recruitment began.

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