Revolving doors – July 2023

Once again the business stories reported during the month continued to give mixed messages.

Interest rates and inflation continue to dominate the economic stories this month. Hopefully the RBA have raised interest rates enough and we will now start to see inflation slowing down. Fingers crossed.

The PwC scandal is the other story dominating the headlines. As a PwC alumnus I have been closely monitoring the recent scandal that has engulfed the firm.  It has been disappointing to witness the slow response from the organisation.  However, it seems that the firm is now making some hard decisions that will hold those responsible accountable, whilst safeguarding staff who were not involved.  The sale of the Government business to Allegro and the launch of Scyne Advisory will be very interesting to watch.  I am sure the story has a few more twists – especially with a referral to the federal anti-corruption watchdog.

In CFO land, whilst June 2023 activity was slightly lower compared to June 2022, the year-to-date figures indicate 6% growth.  Notably, internal promotions were a key feature this month.  Companies such as Qantas, CSR, CIMIC, UGL, and Infomedia have all internally promoted new CFOs.

In June 2023 the following CFO appointments caught my attention:

ASX CFO Moves In

•             Following Vanessa Hudson’s promotion to CEO at QANTAS, Rob Marcolina, the current Group Executive Strategy, People and Technology, will move into the role of CFO at QANTAS.

•             Building products company CSR have promoted Sara Lom into the CFO role vacated by David Fallu’s resignation.  Sara has been with CSR for over 8 years and is currently the Group Financial Controller.

•             More internal moves with Infomedia, a leading global provider of DaaS and SaaS solutions, moving their current CFO, Garth Turner to a newly created role of Chief Commercial Officer.  Chantell Revie who is currently Deputy CFO at Infomedia is promoted into the CFO role.

•             After eight years with business financing company Earlypay, CFO Steve Shin has resigned and is replaced internally by Paul Murray.  Paul has been appointed to the roles of CFO and joint Company Secretary in addition to his existing role as COO.

•             Medical diagnostics business Genetic Signatures have appointed Karl Pechmann as their new CFO and COO.  This follows the resignation of Peter Manley in March.  Karl will take over from current interim CFO Anthony Rule.

ASX CFO Moves – Out

•             Data analytics company Appen are back in the market for a CFO.  Helen Johnson who was appointed CFO in May 2023 has decided to resign for personal reasons.  A search is underway for her replacement.  Appen’s former CFO, Kevin Levine will be available as an advisor to the business until Sept 2023.  Appen’s current VP Finance, Justin Miles, has been promoted to Deputy CFO.

•             Energy procurement and management services business Energy Action are looking for a new CFO following the resignation of Simon Smith.  Simon joined Energy Action on May 2022.

•             In a departure from the recent trend of small listed businesses outsourcing finance, online learning company OpenLearning has decided to bring the finance function in-house. Julyn Nguyen, the Finance Director, will now be responsible for managing the internal finance function.

Interesting Moves outside the ASX

•             Derek Kerr continues his rise through the ranks at CIMIC Group.  Derek joined CIMIC in 2015 and assumed the role of CFO for their subsidiary UGL in 2021.  He has now achieved another promotion, stepping into the top finance job by becoming CFO of CIMIC Group.

•             Following Derek’s transition from UGL to CIMIC, the internal promotions persist, as evidenced by the appointment of Jose Lastra to the role of Chief Financial Officer at UGL. Jose moves across from CIMIC where he was EGM Strategic Projects.

•             There is more movement in the Aged Care sector with CFO David Bergman announcing his resignation from Catholic Healthcare. David is staying within the Not For Profit sector – joining St Vincent de Paul Society NSW as Manager Vinnies Services. CT Johnson moves internally into the CFO role at Catholic Healthcare.

•             For the young at heart – introduce yourself to Holly Minucos.  Holly is the new CFO at Luna Park Sydney.  A fun venue for all ages.  Holly replaces Brendan McDowell who had been with Luna Park for over 8 years.  Brendan moves to AICD as Head of Finance.

•             Following a restructure of leading cancer care provider GenesisCare, Larry Morrisey has been appointed as Chief Financial Officer – Australia.  Larry has been with the group for over 5 years.

•             Some movement in the property sector with Kevin Reinert moving from Central Element to a new position as CFO for Australian property development business Abadeen.

•             Moving to Central Element is Ben Priestly.  Ben joins as COO.  Ben was previously CFO at property developer, Crown Group Holdings.

•             Staying with property, Rishi Joshi returns to Sydney from Canberra where he was Deputy CFO at Geocon.  Rishi joins Metro Property and Creation Homes as their new CFO.

About the author – Colin Kerr, AXR 

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.