Revolving Doors – October 2022

Who would be an economist?!  Just three weeks ago, UK interest rates were predicted to reach 3%, now with a new Chancellor, along with his latest tax cuts, they are expected to reach 6%. A massive increase which has seen some mortgage lenders in the UK suspend offers to new customers. The US is also looking at big increases in interest rates to slow down inflation. US interest rates are now the highest in 15 years, following another 0.75% increase this month.  Inflation is now at a 40-year high.

Australia’s economic outlook has been downgraded with its forecast cut to 2% growth for 2023. We are still expected to avoid a recession – however, there is still an expectation for interest rates to rise further. Recruitment activity amongst all this turmoil is still strong – particularly at the sub $200,000 level.  At this level, there appears to be more job vacancies listed than there are people looking for work.

In CFO land activity was mixed. Activity nationally was similar to the same level as September 2021, however in NSW activity dropped by 7% (last month, the drop-in activity was 20%), whilst in WA activity actually increased by 45%.

CFO appointments – ASX Listed

ASX CFO Moves In

•             Iconic brand Bega have appointed Gunther Burghardt as their new CFO.  Gunther was more recently CFO at Blackmores and replaces Pete Findlay, who has been appointed COO of the Bega group.

•             Simon Lee will be able to have a bit of a rest. Simon had been CEO and CFO of property software business Urbanise. He will be able to pass over the CFO role following the appointment of Dave Goldbach as the new CFO.

•             Integrated logistics provider Wiseway have appointed Simon Yuen as their new CFO. Simon replaces Chris Scholtz, who only joined in May 2022.  Simon moves across from financial services business Automic.

•             Gaming technology business Ainsworth Technology have gone down the internal promotion route and appointed Lynn Mah to the CFO role. Lynn replaces Mark Ludski who stays with Ainsworth and moves to another role internally.

•             Online marketplace Airtasker have appointed Mahendra Tharmarajah as their new CFO replacing Nathan Chadwick.

•             Mahendra is joining Airtasker from listed recruitment business Ignite. Ignite will promote their current financial controller, Diego Agosti, into a newly created role of Finance Director.

•             Rare earth explorer Vital Metals have appointed Damon Colbert as their new CFO. This follows the appointment of an interim CEO in August.

•             Technology Services business Atturra have appointed Herb To as their new CFO. Herb is coming from TZ – a listed business that develops smart locking technology.

•             Oil and Gas exploration company AXP Energy have promoted Bradley Mervis as CFO. Brad replaces Lonny Haugen, who runs an outsourced finance business.

•             Complii FinTech Solutions have appointed Karla Mallon as their new CFO.  Previously finance was outsourced but due to the growth of the business, a full-time in-house CFO position was required.

ASX CFO Moves – Out

•             Metals exploration company Kingston Resources are in the market for a new CFO following the resignation of Chris Drew.

ASX CFO Moves – becoming CEO

•             Gold mining business Evolution Mining have appointed their CFO, Lawrie Conway, to the role of CEO. One of the SHREK firms is running the search for his replacement as CFO.

•             AGL have appointed their CFO Damien Nicks as interim CEO following Graeme Hunt’s departure. Gary Brown will move into the interim CFO role.

Interesting Moves outside the ASX

•             Colonial First State have announced their new CFO as Tania Foster. Tania was previously CFO at Elders.

•             John Clark moves from interior fit-out business Cubic to a new CFO role at Legacy Property – a residential property development company.

•             Iain Lyle has a new role. Iain has moved from home loans business Bluestone to equipment finance start-up Coex Capital as CFO. I am not sure who has picked up Iain’s role at Bluestone.

•             Following Simon Yuen’s move mentioned above, financial services business Automic have appointed Peter Sherar as CFO to replace Simon.

•             Anchorage Capital Partner owned Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics have appointed James Nicholias as their new CFO.  James is coming from Bingo and replaces Shane O’Neill.

•             MLC Life Insurance has promoted Lesley Mamelok as their new CFO.  Lesley was deputy CFO and replaces Kent Griffin, who moves up to the CEO role.

•             Polly Doak is the new CFO at advertising services business Dentsu Media. Poly was previously CFO at Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.

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.