This municipal manager seen as someone 'who cannot be bought'

11 May 2018 - 11:18 By Timeslive
Christine Ramon, CFO of AngloGold Ashanti.
Christine Ramon, CFO of AngloGold Ashanti.
Image: Gallo Images

The best finance executives in both the government and corporate sectors have been announced at the 2018 CFO Awards.

Kandimathie Christine Ramon‚ chief financial officer of gold mining company AngloGold Ashanti‚ has been named South Africa’s CFO of the Year.

Ramon is the first female winner of the award‚ now in its fifth year‚ organised by CFO South Africa‚ the organisation that connects South Africa's finance professionals. She scooped up four of the ten prizes‚ which was another first‚ also winning the Compliance & Governance Award‚ the High Performance Team Award‚ and the Moving into Africa Award. Her finance team was credited with playing an integral role in recent successes in African countries like Ghana‚ the Democratic Republic of the Congo‚ Tanzania and Guinea.

This was announced on Thursday night at the gala event held at Constitution Hill‚ Johannesburg. The black-tie dinner was attended by 350 CFOs and prominent leaders from business and the public sector.

Krish Kumar‚ CFO of eThekwini Municipality‚ was named Public Sector CFO of the Year.

The other big winner of the evening was Dis-Chem Pharmacies CFO Rui Morais‚ who was crowned Young CFO of the Year (for finance leaders aged 40 years and younger) and also won the much-coveted Strategy Execution Award and the Finance & Technology Award.

The Transformation & Empowerment Award went to former Servest CFO Peter Walsh‚ who recently moved on to a new job overseas. The Finance Transformation Award was won by Aspen Pharmacare CFO Sean Capazorio.

The event organisers noted that Kandimathie Christine Ramon comes from a remarkable accounting family from the Eastern Cape. Her brother Mark is CFO at the JSE-listed AECI‚ while brother Veran recently vacated a CFO role to become managing executive: commercial at Vodacom. Ramon’s twin sister Justine Mazzocco is a member of the executive committee at Deloitte Africa.

For many years‚ Ramon has been one of the country’s most prominent CFOs‚ working at Sasol from 2006 until 2013 and at AngloGold Ashanti since October 2014 and has formed a formidable pair with outgoing CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan. She won the Finance & Technology Award at the 2016 CFO Awards. Ramon is also a board member at MTN and the chairperson of the CFO Forum‚ a lobby group of finance executives of listed companies. She took over that role a few years ago from former Standard Bank FD Simon Ridley‚ who was elected CFO of the Year at the very first CFO Awards in 2014.

CFO South Africa said "temperament‚ tenacity and patience are among the most crucial traits" for Dr Krish Kumar‚ who has been CFO at eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality since 2001 and was elected 2018 Public Sector CFO of the Year.

"Kumar had to make tough calls around IT implementation and the Bus Rapid Transit system in eThekwini. He is adept at achieving success in a highly politicised environment and emphasises that a good man cannot be bought. He has 38 years of local government experience and is committed to the triple bottom line‚ financial sustainability and environmental sustainability."

The 33-year-old Dis-Chem Pharmacies CFO Rui Morais was recognised for his involvement in the JSE listing and reating the reporting structures to understand the different operational returns between the dispensary and front shop. After becoming an accountant at EY‚ Morais has spent his entire career to date at Dis-Chem and‚ with the introduction of non-executives after the listing‚ plays an important role as go-between with the founding CEO Ivan Saltzman. Morais also oversees many new IT initiatives.

Aspen Pharmacare CFO Sean Capazorio won the Finance Transformation Award for the implementation of collaborative management reporting between group head office and the regions‚ which also helped kick off a technology enhancement cycle.

Transformation & Empowerment Award winner Peter Walsh recently left Servest and moved to London to become the global CFO at ITL‚ a global leader in the provision of labels and tags to the apparel industry. He is widely known for his passionate views on transformation and says the lack thereof is a bigger threat to South Africa than corruption.

CFO Awards winners 2018:

CFO of the Year – Christine Ramon (AngloGold Ashanti)

Public Sector CFO of the Year – Krish Kumar (eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality)

Young CFO of the Year – Rui Morais (Dis-Chem Pharmacies)

Strategy Execution Award – Rui Morais (Dis-Chem Pharmacies)

Transformation & Empowerment Award – Peter Walsh (Servest)

High Performance Team Award – Christine Ramon (AngloGold Ashanti)

Compliance & Governance Award – Christine Ramon (AngloGold Ashanti)

Finance Transformation Award – Sean Capazorio (Aspen Pharmacare)

Moving into Africa Award – Christine Ramon (AngloGold Ashanti)

Finance & Technology Award – Rui Morais (Dis-Chem Pharmacies)