Ben Viljoen, Principal – Boland
Ben decided to complete his CA qualification after graduating from the University of Pretoria with a cum laude degree in Financial Management and an honours degree in Financial Accounting.
He completed his articles at PwC, where he gained extensive experience in the manufacturing and agricultural industries. This was followed by a stint, as Head of Finance, at the South African subsidiary of a United States listed company; an original equipment manufacturer which targeted the primary agricultural sector across sub-Saharan Africa.
Ben honed his managerial skills while working as senior manager at PwC; a position which allowed him insight into the intricacies of managing and coaching teams of professionals. His interactive skills were polished further when he took on the role of Head of Finance, as this post placed heavy emphasis on relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders, from banks to suppliers, dealerships and internal stakeholders. Tasks such as wage negotiations and restructuring discussions with unions have also helped Ben develop strong negotiation skills.
Ben’s strengths include his understanding of the need for specialised financial solutions within the agricultural space.. He also played a key role in developing and executing annual operational and financial strategic plans for large geographical areas. Ben was, furthermore, instrumental in negotiating a fit-for-purpose finance solution with one of South Africa’s major commercial banks, supporting a commercial strategy which led to increased sales growth. Over his career, he successfully guided the implementation of several HR performance management systems.
Ben was instrumental in the implementation of an ERP system, which was achieved with no interruptions to the business., an exercise which included user acceptance assessments and training.
Ben is excited to exercise his aptitude for negotiating successfully, especially with banks and suppliers of goods. He also counts people management among his strong points, and has a positive track record of coaching and mentoring professionals. He has a knack for cutting through dense information and making challenging scenarios more accessible.
A nature enthusiast who is always up for a hike, Ben lives on a farm in the Cape Winelands – an apt home for a lover of South African and Italian wine. He is currently home schooling his five children.