Revolving Doors – September 2022

Richard Nixon resigned as US President, Gough Whitlam was Australian Prime Minister, a litre of petrol was 57 cents, and The Roosters were on their way to winning the Premiership. That is what was happening the last time Australia’s unemployment rate was 3.4%.

That should be really positive news although high-interest rates and high inflation are still lingering and having an impact on the economy.

I have just returned from a short break to the UK. Whilst the weather was glorious, the mood was very negative. All the conversations centred on a UK recession, soaring prices of energy, inflation expected to reach 13%, and interest rates expected to reach at least 4%.

I don’t feel the mood is as negative in Australia, however, the view from the economists is mixed. The economists at Westpac and ANZ say rates will go above 3% in Australia before the end of the year, whereas the CBA and NAB economists say interest rates will peak at 2.5%.

In CFO land this uncertainty brings indecision, and I think we are seeing some of that indecision with the slow down in CFO movement for August. This month’s activity is nationally slightly down. The drop is more pronounced in NSW where there was 12% less activity compared to August 2021.

CFO appointments – ASX Listed

ASX CFO Moves In

•             ASX have announced Andrew Tobin as their replacement for Gillian Larkins in the CFO role. Andrew was previously CFO at Challenger.

•             Robert Bakewell has announced he will leave the CFO role at Brickworks in February 2023. Grant Douglas will be promoted internally as his replacement. Grant originally joined Brickworks in 2011.

•             Following the sale of Ardent Leisure’s Main Event business, Group CFO and Main Event CFO Darin Harper has left the group. Group General Manager of Finance, Jose de Sacadura has been appointed Acting Group CFO.

•             One that I missed from last month. Integrated Research have appointed Matt Walton as interim CFO following Peter Adam’s resignation – Peter left at the end of August.

•             Australian semiconductor developer BluGlass have appointed Rob Ambrogio as their new CFO to lead the business through its next phase of growth. Rob has previously been CFO at Gowing Bros.

•             Data insights business, Invigor reappointed Gregory Cohen as their CFO on 5 August. However, the business went into Voluntary Administration on 24 August.

ASX CFO Moves – Out

•             Online tradie marketplace Hipages have announced Melissa Fahey’s resignation. Melissa was Chief Finance and Operations Officer.  After 4 years with the business, Melissa has a senior leadership role with a well-known high-growth Australian company.

•             Due to a change in the complexity of the business, the CFO role at listed management and investment company CVC has been made redundant.  As a result, CFO John Hunter will transition out of the business – passing the finance work to Joanna Jiang the current Financial Controller.

•             Following the resignation of CFO Leslie Smith, technology business Rocketboots have decided to outsource their accounting function to a professional services firm.

ASX CFO Moves – becoming CEO

•             Adam Watson, CFO of Australia’s largest natural gas infrastructure business – APA Group, moves into the acting CEO role following Rob Wheals announcement that he is stepping down.  Kynwynn Strong, the current GM of Investor Relations, will move into the acting CFO role.

Interesting Moves outside the ASX

•             Tim Fawaz the CFO of MA Hotel Management (Formally Redcape Hotel Group) has a new CFO role. Tim is off to Craveable Brands as CFO, replacing Victor Cuthell who I mentioned last month is moving to Peter Warren Automotive.

•             Clean technology business 5B has appointed Sharon Markulin as their new CFO. Sharon moves across from agricultural technology company Green Camel where she was COO.

•             After over ten years at Kennards Self Storage, CFO Anthony Rous has changed companies. Anthony is off to employment relations expert Employsure taking over the CFO role from Steven Nicholson.

•             After over 10 years at Oil Search, Lee Ritchie moves across to One Rail Australia as their new CFO.

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.