Revolving Doors | October 2021

“Freedom Day” is coming! Monday 11th October is the day NSW will reopen as vaccination rates hit 70%. Whilst there will still be restrictions in place, it looks like from 1 December everyone will start to enjoy more freedom across all of NSW.

In the recruitment world, the unemployment rate dropped again, to the lowest level in almost 13 years.  The official rate dropped to 4.5%.  The consensus is that the fall is due to people giving up looking for work rather than an increase in employment.  Hopefully, once the lockdowns are lifted, we will see this group coming back to the workforce.

In CFO land, we have seen some hesitation come into the market at the senior end – it seems that since we are coming out of lockdown soon, some employers have chosen to delay the recruitment process until they can do face to face interviews.  We have had several clients put mandates on hold until after Freedom Day.   

CFO Appointments – Listed

• Property Group Dexus has a new CFO, promoting internally, with Keir Barnes moving into the role replacing Alison Harrop.  

• Lisa Fraser, who has been with Macquarie Group in several finance leadership roles over 20 years, including recently leading the successful implementation of Oracle Fusion globally, has moved internally to become CFO of the Banking and Financial Services Group.

• Following US-based Genworth Financial selling down its stake in ASX-listed Genworth Australia earlier in the year, there has been a change in CFO.  Michael Bencsik who has been CFO for 3 years is stepping down, with ex CBA Finance executive Michael Cant appointed as the new CFO.

• After over 34 years with EY, Graham Frank has jumped ship and moved to nickel explorer and developer Pacific Nickel Mines as CFO.

• Wastewater specialist, SciDev has announced CFO John Fehon has resigned.  He is being replaced in the interim by Geoff Stephenson.

• Data and Technology solutions business Kyckr have landed a new CFO.  Glenn Day, who recently left Class, has joined as the new CFO.

Other CFO Appointments

• Distributor of industrial engineering products, Motion Asia Pacific has a new CFO with Heath Fitzpatrick taking the helm from outgoing CFO Trevor Woods.

• Employment services provider, Angus Knight has a new CFO with Martin Cleaver reuniting with CEO Cameron Judson.  They both worked previously together at Chandler MacLeod.  Peter Homan was the previous CFO of Angus Knight.

• Gilbarco Veeder Root (they manage pumps etc. at petrol stations) have a new Australian CFO.  Patricia Thomas gets her first CFO role after working with EG Group for the last 3 years – a leading petrol forecourt retailer and purchased the Woolworths petrol business back in 2019. Yas Mendis was the interim CFO at Gilbarco.

• Rob Hall returns to Sydney as CFO of leading coal miner Centennial Coal.  Rob was previously CFO of Gladstone Ports.

• After a 20 year career at Dimension Data / NTT, Craig Goldberg, who was CFO there for 16 years, has moved to a new role.  Craig is now CFO at Data Analytics consulting firm, Altis Consulting.

• Staying within the Technology sector, Julian Blackley, ex CEO and CFO Sandstone Technology is the new CFO and COO of Prospecta Software – provider of data and automation services.  

Craig Marshall is the new CFO of finance company, Arteva Funding.  Craig is an experienced CFO coming from Tokio Marine and previously Cover-More.  

• After 3 years at Royal Botanic Gardens, Tania Betts has accepted a new opportunity as CFO of aeromedical charity – Careflight.  If you are interested in the role at Royal Botanic Gardens check out iworkfor.nsw.gov.au  

• A specialist in the marketing and advertising world, Jeff Ewing has picked up a new CFO role in the sector, recently joining Dentsu Media as CFO.

• Following Paul Perrett’s resignation as CFO at the City of Parramatta, Richard Sheridan has moved across LGAs and has been appointed interim CFO.

• Allianz Australia has promoted internally for their CFO role.  Wolfgang Deichi will relocate from Allianz Germany and take over as Australian CFO.  Interim CFO Paul Harvey will return to his Financial Controller role.

Companies in the market for permanent CFOs

• Nearmap CFO Andy Watt has been promoted internally to become Chief Growth & Operations Officer.  I believe Korn Ferry is running the search for his replacement.  

• After overseeing a substantial increase in the market valuation of women’s retailer, City Chic, CFO for the last 3.5 years, Munraj Dhaliwal has resigned to pursue other opportunities.

• Defence manufacturer, Quickstep is in the market for a new CFO with Alan Tilley resigning and moving to medical device manufacturer – Rapid Response Revival.  They focus on the manufacture of defibrillators.

As far as I am aware the companies listed in last month’s update have not finalised their permanent CFOs.  If you are aware of any of these roles being filled, please let me know. These include:

•             Nuix

•             TPG Telecom

•             Class

•             UNSW

•             Transgrid – not likely to be filled until 2022 as the CEO role is also vacant.

Author – 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]

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.