Revolving Doors | September 2021

By Colin Kerr

With NSW, VIC and the ACT still in lockdown, there is some light at the end of the tunnel – Vaccination rates have been excellent and November is looking like a good month to plan your return to the office.  

The unemployment rate dropped again – this time to 4.6%.  This is the lowest unemployment rate since December 2008.  However, the main reason assumed for the drop was not a strong national job market, but rather a drop in the participation rate as many people gave up looking for work during the current lockdowns. It will be interesting to see if the numbers jump up in September.

In saying that, the finance and accounting job market has been very strong over the last few months and August continued that trend.  The need for good finance professionals to help companies navigate the COVID crisis combined with the current border restrictions has pushed up salaries in this market.  The market below $200,000 continues to be vibrant in both the permanent and interim markets – candidates are being hired remotely, laptops are being delivered, and people are meeting their new team and boss via virtual meetings – not ideal but a better solution than doing nothing.

For roles above $250,000 – CFO roles, the market is a little slower.  I think this can be attributed to the focus on year-end and the reporting season delaying some of the decisions on recruitment at the senior level. 

In my update for this month, NSW again was the busiest state, followed by Victoria with a couple of big roles being finalised there.  Given it is year-end and reporting season, sometimes changes in the CFO role get hidden in amongst annual result announcements, but here are some of this month’s key appointments –

CFO Appointments – Listed

I announced last month that Tiernan O’Rourke has resigned from Stockland.  Tiernan’s new role was announced this month.  Tiernan will be the new CFO at Worley LimitedCharmaine Hopkins had moved internally to be the interim CFO when Tom Honan’s departure was announced.

I also mentioned last month that Luke Oxenham had been appointed interim CFO at Superloop.  Following a market search, Luke has been appointed into the permanent CFO role.

Infomedia has picked up a new CFO in Gareth Turner.  Gareth had recently left amaysim before this business was sold.  Gareth is replacing outgoing CFO Richard Leon.

Recently listed Cashrewards (leading savings and cashback website) has a new CFO.  Zelma van Woerkom is the new CFO replacing Iain Skelton who has decided to pursue other opportunities after 6 years with the business.

Medicinal cannabis company, bod Australia has a new CFO in Adrian Sturrock.  Adrian has moved from Blackmores, after over 10 years, where he was most recently Finance Director ANZ.  Adrian replaces outgoing CFO Alan Dworkin.

Power generation and energy storage business, Genex Power has promoted Craig Francis to the CFO role.  The current CFO, Ben Guo will transition to a NED role.

Interim CFO Appointments – Listed

Global apparel business, GLG Corp has promoted Li San Lee as interim CFO following Victoria Yong’s resignation as the Company’s CFO

Oliver Stiles is currently interim CFO at AMP Capital.  Oliver is covering for Aideen O’Donovan who is on parental leave.

Given Peter Fredricson’s move to Acting CEO at Oil Search, Beth White has been promoted internally to Acting EVP Group Finance.

Other CFO Appointments

There were some musical chairs at the utility services company, IntellihubWes Ballantine the CFO has been promoted to CEO.  Brent Lyster the GM Finance has been promoted to CFO.

Innovative mining and minerals processing business, Next Ore has a new and experienced CFO, Uno Makotsvana recently joining the business.

Aged care provider, Scalabrini has a new CFO with Doug MacColl recently securing the role.

After leaving Tubi earlier in the year, Ariel Sivikofsky has a new role as CFO of DSS – a large data storage provider.

After over 18 years working for Swarovski in various CFO roles, Tom Tran recently returned to Sydney and is the new CFO at Steve Costi Seafoods.

Experienced insurance CFO, Alex Houvardas has landed a new role.  Alex moves into the CFO role with Tokio Marine Management Australasia – a commercial insurance business.

Garlo Pies has appointed Lisa Hennig as CFO – Lisa has a strong finance background across a number of sectors.  For over 10 years she worked for Birch & Waite Foods.

Andrew Walters has moved internally to be interim CFO at the University of New South Wales  – following Stacey Mills leaving the University.

Victoria CFO Appointments

Farhan Faruqui is the new CFO at ANZ Bank.  This is an internal promotion.  Farhan is replacing Shane Buggle who is retiring.

Well-known Sydney CFO Ray Church is moving south to join Karoon Energy.  Ray has been appointed Executive VP and CFO.  Ray has been CFO of Tenix, UGL and GFG Alliance more recently.

Companies in the market for permanent CFOs

I am still waiting to hear of any permanent CFO appointments in the following businesses: 

  • Nuix
  • Allianz Australia
  • TPG Telecom
  • Transgrid
  • Class
  • NSW University
Colin Kerr

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]

After graduating with a first-class honours degree in Accountancy from the University of Stirling, Colin began his career with PwC in their audit team in London and became a qualified Chartered Accountant. After a secondment to PwC Jakarta for three years, Colin moved to Sydney in 1997 and began his recruitment career with a leading international recruitment firm.

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.