Revolving Doors August 2021

By Colin Kerr

If I were writing this update at the beginning of July, it would have been a much more positive CFO market update.  The Australian unemployment rate had dropped to 4.9% – this is the lowest level in a decade.  The recruitment market was “booming”, especially for roles below $200,000, and the interim market had come back strongly from the lows of March/April 2020.

However, I am writing this at the beginning of August, and the update is, therefore, a little more sombre.  We are back in lockdown, and COVID numbers are not under control.  For small businesses, the COVID lockdown must be dreadful.  I hope they can survive, and the Government support can ensure they come out the other end.  Let’s hope we can get our vaccination program improved – that is the only way to get back to a “normal” business environment – living with COVID.

Back in CFO land, there was still quite a lot of movement across ANZ.  NSW was back to being the busiest state – WA and New Zealand were also relatively active; perhaps their lack of recent lockdowns is helping there.

  New CFO appointments

Hum (previously known as Flexigroup) has appointed Adrian Fisk as the new CFO.  Adrian comes from a technology business, Willow and prior to that, 17 years at KMPG. Adrian is taking over from Jason Murray who joined in June 2020.

Paul Johnston is the new CFO at The Smith Family – I mentioned this as being vacant last month, you can now take it off your lists.

Andrew Morgan has moved on from MLC, where he was CFO and acting Managing Director, due to the sale to IOOF.  Andrew has landed a new CFO role at the newly formed CFS – Colonial First State.

Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron has a new CFO, with Catherine Bampton moving across from Ticketek where she was Head of Finance.

Listed data security business Cipherpoint, has a new CFO.  Tom Carolan joins as CFO, replacing David Grinham who has taken a role elsewhere.

As a consequence of moving their head office from Melbourne to Sydney, Melbana Energy has appointed Theo Renard as CFO.  Theo is an experienced CFO from the resources industry and replaces Melanie Leydin.

Marc Armstrong is promoted internally into the Group CFO role at GHDPhil Bradley the previous CFO moves to another role internally.

  New Interim CFO appointments

Recently appointed to the CFO role at Oil SearchPeter Fredricson has stepped up into the interim CEO role.  Lots going on at Oil Search with a take over from Santos in the market. A search for a new CEO will commence shortly.

Luke Oxenham has moved into the interim CFO role at listed telecommunications infrastructure business, Superloop.  Luke is replacing Lidia Valenzuela.

Experienced CFO Michael Lamb has picked up a new interim role.  Michael has taken the interim CFO role at Couriers Please – a busy business given the increase in eCommerce.

Companies in the market for permanent CFOs

I am still waiting to hear of any permanent CFO appointments in the following businesses: 

•            Nuix

•            Worley Parsons

•            Allianz Australia

•            TPG Telecom

•            Infomedia

•            Transgrid

•            Class

Finally > HOT OFF THE PRESS: Tiernan O’Rourke has announced he is stepping down as CFO of Stockland after 8 years in the role.  This will be a highly sought-after role in the CFO market!


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.

With over 24 years’ experience, Colin is a specialist interim and contracting recruiter within Accounting and Finance. If the role requires a qualified accountant – that is Colin’s area of expertise. He focuses on the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) role and the 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.