Revolving Doors – April 2023

I mentioned last month that there were lots of mixed signals in the economy and that this can often lead to indecision and uncertainly in the recruitment market.  I think the signals are getting less mixed; inflation appears to be under control, interest rates may have reached their peak, the unemployment rate has stabilised, and we have a new NSW Government.

In candidate supply I am seeing more candidates available due to immigration (South African and Irish candidates seem to be in the majority – however I have interviewed a few Aussie returners also).  There have been some redundancies in finance however, these are small in comparison to the level of redundancies we are seeing in the IT sector.  Recruiters I know in the IT space have seen recruitment activity drop by 40%.

In CFO land, activity remained high last month with an increase in activity of over 27% compared to March 2022.  NSW was by far the busiest state and accounted for more than 50% of the activity for this month.  Quite a lot of interim moves (in and out), I have listed these separately.

ASX CFO Moves In

•             Following Michael Ferguson’s resignation earlier in the month from Downer EDI, after a string of profit warning and accounting errors, Downer have moved quickly and have appointed Malcolm Ashcroft as its new CFO.  Malcolm is a former partner at KPMG and will join Downer in July.

•             It was announced last year that Steve Lemlin, Estia Health’s CFO would be retiring.  This month Anthony Rice was announced as the new CFO and will start in July 2023.  Anthony is currently CFO at Levande, one of Australia’s largest retirement living operators.

•             Customer engagement software business Gratifii have appointed Ben Newling as their new CFO.  It was mentioned last month that Ben had resigned from Incentiapay.

•             Building energy management company, EP&T Global have announced Patrick Harsas as CFO and joint Company Secretary.

ASX CFO Moves – Out

•             Building Products business CSR are on the lookout for a new CFO following David Fallu’s resignation.  David is off to join Bluescope as their new CFO.  David will stay at CSR during his 6 month notice period.

•             Quickstep Holdings have announced CFO Stephen Gaffney has resigned.  Deepak Chand, the current Financial Controller, will be the interim CFO in the short term.  Quickstep have also announced that Dexter Clarke will join in May as their new CFO.

Moves in the interim market – ASX

•             Harmen Fredrikze who was interim CFO at Bravura Solutions has resigned to pursue other opportunities.  Harman will continue as interim CFO until June to ensure there is an adequate transition of his role.

•             Chris McFadden, who had been interim CFO at Australian Family Lawyers since late 2022, has now been appointed as permanent CFO / COO.

•             Spacetalk, who provide safe smartphone apps for families, have appointed Tonderai Maenzanise as their interim CFO.  Tonderai recently resigned from ecommerce business Grays Online.

•             ADBRI (formally Adelaide Brighton) have appointed Dianne Mong to the interim CFO role.  Dianne is the current GM Finance and has been with Adbri since April 2022.

•             Rock Oyster company, East 33’s CFO Guy Burnett has stepped down as part of a planned transition in leadership.  Dan Jeberean has been promoted internally into the acting CFO role.

•             Having been made interim CFO in August 2022, Jose de Sacadura has been formally appointed to the position of Group CFO on a permanent basis for Ardent Leisure.  Ardent Leisure own Dreamworld, and Whitewater World in the Gold Coast.

Moves in the interim market – non ASX

•             Jonathan Peters returns to ecommerce business Grays Online as interim CFO/COO following Tonderai Maenzanise’s resignation mentioned above.

•             Following the announcement above regarding Anthony Rice leaving Levande to join Estia Health, Emmanuel Zammit has been appointed interim CFO at Levande.

•             Corporate regulator APRA has appointed Eugeniu Jalba as their interim CFO following Sharon Burn’s resignation.

•             The NRL are looking for a new CFO following John Osbourne’s resignation.  Shaun McMartin has moved internally into the interim role.

Interesting Moves outside the ASX

•             After resigning as CFO of ASX listed Ingenia Communities Group late last year, Scott Noble is back in the CFO chair.  Scott has recently joined Lincoln Place Lifestyles Communities as CFO.

•             Sarah Porter is the new CFO at live entertainment company – Michael Cassel Group.  Michael Cassel Group are behind some of the best shows in Australia – Hamilton, Happy Potter, Phantom of the Opera.

•             Experienced CFO and CEO , James Mitchell has joined the MA Financial Group – James joins as CFO of MA Hotel Management (Redcape) and gets to work again with Giles Boddy who is the Group CFO at MA Financial.  James and Giles worked together at Aussie Home Loans.

 •            Toga Group, founded by the Vidor family in 1963 and a leading property development business have appointed Alex Collinson as their new CFO.  Alex is currently an audit partner with Deloitte.

•             Diabetes Australia have appointed Matt Easdown as their new CFO.  Matt is joining from Joeys where he was CFO.

•             After nearly 10 years as CFO of The Tax Institute, CFO Kerryn Divall has left following a restructure and is in the market for a new CFO role.

•             Hospitality business Merivale have recently appointed Alicia McQuilty as their new CFO.  Alicia has a strong finance background from Seven West Media and is a NED for Youth of the Streets.

•             Heidi Duncan, who had been interim APAC CEO at Unispace has a new role.  Heidi is starting a new position as Finance Director Australia at BAT.

•             After over 10 years working for Covermore, the travel insurance specialists, CFO Ryan Rubinstein has resigned.  Justin Sebire relocates from Melbourne, where he was CFO at Catholic Church Insurance, to become their new CFO.

•             Infrastructure consulting firm ConnellGriffin have appointed Chris Pfafflin as their new CFO.  Chris had a long career with Macquarie before moving into PE roles.

Author – Colin Kerr

With over 25 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.