Revolving Doors June 2021

By Colin Kerr

May 2021 continued the upward trend for confidence levels, with the unemployment rate dropping again, decreasing to 5.5%. It is the sixth consecutive fall in the unemployment rate after it peaked in July 2020 at 7.4%.

We are seeing an increase in business in both the permanent and interim areas (interim in particular coming back strongly after a shocking 2020). There were some prominent roles filled this month, with several juicy CFO roles coming onto the market. Internal promotions continue to be a strong trend, along with interim appointments getting the permanent role.

We are finding the market below CFO also extremely hot. An example is a role we shortlisted recently with 4 senior manager/manager level candidates from the Big 4 for a financial controller position. The client took a few days to review the shortlist – by the time they came back to organise interviews; all 4 candidates had taken roles elsewhere. The Big 4 are struggling to retain staff in the run-up to the busy season, and the lack of reliable replacements from overseas secondments and migration is starting to cause real pain for them. I am sure this will ripple through the market with a candidate shortage and an increase in salaries.

Highlights for the month in CFO land are as follows:

Following Tarun Gupta’s move from CFO at Lendlease to CEO at Stockland, Lendlease has announced their new CFO will be Simon Dixon.  Simon is currently based in Hong Kong where he is CFO of Hongkong Land.  Simon will join Lendlease in October.  Frank Krile will remain acting Group CFO until that time.

Andrew Walker has become the new CFO at Sunnyfield – a great organisation that serves a very important role in our community.

Whilst still looking for their permanent CFO, Gilbarco Australia (global leader in technology solutions), has appointed Yas Mendis as their interim CFO.  Yas was previously CFO at CF Asia Pacific before the business was purchased by private equity firm Anchorage.

Anthony Dijanosic, who had been interim CFO at Smartgroup since December 2020, has been appointed as the permanent CFO.  Anthony has been with Smartgroup since 2016 and worked closely with current CEO Tim Looi when Tim was the CFO.

Heidi Duncan, who had been interim CFO at Unispace (commercial interior design) since March 2021, has been appointed into the permanent role as APAC Finance Director.

After managing Phocas Software’s recent capital raise, experienced CFO Dave Boorman has accepted the role as their new CFO.  Dave has a wealth of experience from multi-nationals and listed businesses, including Seven West Media and Vodafone.  Phocas offers a data analytics solution to businesses.

Listed Virtus Health (leaders in IVF and genetics) have managed to fast track their search for a new CFO and have appointed Matt Prior (from Cochlear) as Group CFO to start at the end of June.  Mervyn Cohen who had recently been appointed interim CFO will stay with the business until September to allow for a smooth transition.

The network was responsible for Julie Reynolds’ first move into CFO land.  Julie is joining Vinidex as CFO where she will team up with her previous colleague from CSR.  Vinidex is a leading supplier of pipe systems.

Exciting agricultural technology company – The Yield, have appointed Patrick Maquire as their new CFO.  The Yield are on a mission to transform food and farming practices using technology.

In the internal promotions space the following promotions caught my eye:

David Hill is now the CFO at TOMRA Cleanaway having joined the business in 2017 as Financial Controller.  TOMRA Cleanaway runs the NSW return and earn container deposit scheme.

David Grinham, who joined Cipherpoint as their Head of Finance, has been appointed CFO.  Cipherpoint is a listed business looking after cybersecurity.

Companies in the market for new CFOs include the following:

TPG TelecomStephen Banfield is stepping down as CFO after 20 years with TPG Group companies.

InfomediaRichard Leon, after 5 years in the CFO role has announced he will be leaving Infomedia in August 2021.

ClassGlenn Day’s final day was this month and the search for his replacement is underway. Class is a cloud-based admin solution for superannuation funds.


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.