Revolving Doors – December 2022

As we approach the end of the year and we turn towards 2023, a common discussion topic with finance staff, at all levels, is the hybrid working model and how that will look in 2023.  Generally, CFOs I talk to want their staff in the office more often (3-4 days). The more junior finance staff I talk to want to be in the office less often (1-2 days).  Clearly a dichotomy between the two preferred options.

Whilst I don’t think we will ever go back to a “must be in the office 5 days a week” situation, I do find it difficult to see how 1-2 days in the office is enough – especially for junior staff and especially for new staff.  I think we will see much more discussion around this in the New Year.

Perhaps finance jobs will be reconfigured for activities that can be done at home and for activities that are much more focused on relationships, collaboration and problem solving.  The first group may only be needed in the office once a month.  The second group would be needed in the office 3-4 days per week.

Some staff will still come into the office 5 days per week – but I feel no one wants to be told they must be in 5 days per week.  They don’t want to ask permission for flexibility, and they want to be able to work from home without feeling guilty or pressured. 

In recruitment land, usually the Australian recruitment market begins to slow in the run up to Christmas.  The trigger for the slowdown is usually Melbourne Cup Day.  The increasing rate of inflation, along with the continuing negative economic news coming out of Europe and USA, solidified this expectation.

However, we then had another drop in the unemployment rate in Australia, with the rate moving from 3.5% to 3.4%. 

My CFO analysis for this month was also positive and showed an increase in activity at the CFO level, following a few months when activity dropped.  For this month CFO activity is 24% higher compared to the same period last year.  NSW has really bounced back and accounted for just over 40% of the national activity.

CFOs Becoming CEO

•             Car and equipment leasing business Eclipx have promoted Damien Berrell into the CEO role.  Damien joined Eclipx as CFO back in April 2020.

•             David Bucci moves from CFO to CEO at Office Fitout and Design business Sheldon

•             Ex Hipages CFO Melissa Fahey has landed a new role as co-CEO to mattress and furniture ecommerce company Koala.

ASX CFO Moves In

•             Seasoned CFO Peter Fredricson has been announced as the new CFO at AMP. Peter was most recently acting CEO and CFO of Oil Search.  Peter replaces James Georgeson who has led the group through the divestment of AMP Capital.

•             As a result of Damien Berrell’s promotion at Eclipx, mentioned above, there has been another internal promotion at Eclipx, with James Owens moving from the Chief Strategy Officer role into the CFO role.  James joined Eclipx in July 2022.

•             Gaming machine developer and manufacturer Aristocrat have appointed Sally Denby as CFO.  Sally had been promoted to the Deputy CFO role in Feb 2022, having served 7 years in senior finance roles in the company.

•             Richard Balzer reunites with Patrick Tuttle and moves into the CFO role at COG Financial Services.  Patrick is the Chair at COG and Richard and Patrick worked together previously over 10 years ago.

•             Following August’s announcement that Online tradie marketplace Hipages CFO Melissa Fahey had resigned, this month her replacement was announced.  Ex Open Colleges executive Jaco Jonker was announced as the new CFOO (Chief Financial and Operations Officer).

•             Electrical equipment distributor, IPG, have promoted current CFO Mohamed Yoosuff into a Director of Strategic Development role and have appointed Jason Boschetti into the CFO role. Jason is currently the GM Finance.

•             Andrew Jones, the current deputy CFO at Suncorp crosses town for his new role at IAG as CFO Australia.

•             Stephen Hill is the new CFO at E&P Financial Group.  Stephen is an internal promotion having been with the group over 7 years.  E&P provide a diverse range of financial services.

ASX CFO Moves – Out

•             After seeing an increase in market capitalisation from $0.5b to $1.7b, CFO Scott Noble has announced he will leave the seniors living and holiday communities business IngeniaKaren Landy will be the interim CFO whilst an external search is undertaken.

•             After 5 years as CFO of MA Financial Group, Graham Lello has resigned.  A search is underway for his replacement.

•             Chris McFadden takes the interim role at family law business – AF Legal Group.  This follows the resignation of CFO Pratyush Jagdishwala.

Interesting Moves outside the ASX

•             LMG are on the lookout for a new CFO.  Current CFO Jonny Harrison is joining Formm Global as Managing Director. Formm is a start up focusing on the delivery of digital solutions. They target businesses with an offering that includes building new ventures, transforming digitally and accelerating e-commerce.

•             Following the sale of Afterpay into US Fintech Square, CFO Rebecca Lowde resigned and has recently joined Guzman Y Gomez as their new CFO.  Can’t wait to do a contra deal with Rebecca.

•             Having recently relocated to Sydney, Sara Ellis has landed her first role in Australia and joins the “Men From Marr’s” as CFO of Marr Contracting.

•             Following David Bucci’s move to CEO, mentioned above, Andrew Mooney, who recently returned from Singapore, has taken the CFO role at Sheldon.

•             Victoria Whitby leaves Lendlease where she was CFO Lendlease Digital to join fast growing property technology business – Archistar.ai as their new CFO.

•             Following Iain Lyle’s move to Coex Capital, San Midha takes over as CFO at home loan business Bluestone.  San is moving across from NSW Treasury.

•             Tech skills training business Academy XI have promoted Guneet Singh into the role of CFO.  Guneet joined the business as Head of Finance in April 2021 and is the first CFO for the company due to recent growth.

•             Aware Real Estate welcomes Tracey Whitby as their new CFO.  Tracey moves across from real estate fund manager – Lincoln Place.

•             Michael Ammendolia leaves Zip to join disruptive tech start up DataMesh Group in his first CFO role.  Michael was Group FC at ZIP.

•             After taking a sabbatical to travel the world Retief Lampen is back working to pay for his trip.  Retief is the new CFO at leading monetization and advertising for gaming business, iion.

•             Simon Atkinson, the CFO at Pacific National has announced he is leaving after 4 years in the business.

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.