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Testimonials

The FD Centre has consulted with over 700 clients. Below you can find out what a small selection of our clients have to say about us:

Boomerang SA

Robert Joubert
CEO

Boomerang SA is a business process outsourcing services provider serving a number of verticals and industries, from retail to insurance.

We approached The FD Centre because, although we are still a growing company, we needed the expert advice and assistance of a financial director. I specifically wanted to improve our financial decision making and bolster our executive management team, and we felt that a part-time employee would be ideal for the role, as the amount of work didn’t warrant a full-time appointment.

I had been introduced to The FD Centre some years previously, so I thought it would be a good time to revisit the contact. Although we were initially introduced to another candidate, we chose to work with Paul Oosthuizen because he has knowledge and experience of our industry. I think this ability to select who you work with is a definite advantage.

Our relationship has grown considerably since Paul first came on board, and his scope has evolved and broadened significantly. He is also more involved in the business. As hoped, he has become an important part of our executive team and decision making. He’s very pleasant to work with and his skills are of an excellent caliber.

I think that The FD Centre’s model makes perfect sense for companies that need the skills of a financial director, but on an ‘as and when’, rather than full-time basis.

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Boomerang SA

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Sintech

Maxine Regnart
Human Resource Manager

Sintech is an original equipment supplier, specializing in the supply and service of vehicle parts for off-road, mining and industrial vehicles.

We approached The FD Centre because we needed assistance with structuring our finance department to ensure internal process and authorization levels are adequate and appropriate. We also wanted to design and develop a monthly review process, with all accounts reviewed from top to bottom to ensure reconciliation. We felt that without these measures in place, we were facing potential risk and exposure. Moreover, we lacked the processes to ensure consistency.

We’d heard about The FD Centre and were intrigued to find out if this model would be appropriate for our needs; specifically around providing financial guidance and mentoring for our young team. We were impressed by The FD Centre’s ability to look at a company’s processes and workflow from an outsider’s point of view, thus allowing for subjective feedback, ideas and thoughts from a fresh perspective.

Without the input of The FD Centre, structuring our finance department would have been far more time consuming. We’ve benefited significantly from being able to structure how we view our accounts, gaining information about the processes we need to consider, and ensuring that we set measurable targets to evaluate our monthly books against a concrete objective, rather than simply monitoring month to month spend.

We believe that The FD Centre is a great resource that businesses can rely on to bring new perspective, new ideas and functionality to their finance departments. The FD Centre also offers strong support, mentoring and guidance from top management down to junior management.

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Sintech

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Alexander Forbes Group Services

Bruce Bydawell
Financial Director, Alexander Forbes Group Services

Alexander Forbes is a JSE-listed financial services group with its head office in Sandton, and business interests in Africa and Europe. Alexander Forbes offers integrated retirement, investment, life and insurance solutions to create, grow and protect wealth and assets.

My division is responsible for the financial reporting of the Alexander Forbes group. Earlier this year, as we were heading into our year end, one of my key people was promoted to another division. Facing a resource gap, it was perfect timing that Hylton Surat from the FD Centre contacted our CFO to see if our company could make use of the FD Centre’s services. They placed Lynn Preece with us on a full-time basis for three months.

Lynn’s experience was exactly what we needed for the preparation of our 2016 annual financial statements. She got on top of our processes very quickly and produced quality financial reports with great attention to detail. Lynn’s personality and leadership skills made for a pleasant working relationship, as she related well to the staff and also played a mentoring role.

With Lynn so capably filling the gap, I was able to oversee the year-end process more effectively without having to focus on every detail. It eased the pressure for me in what is typically an extremely pressurised period.
I would definitely consider using the services of the FD Centre again should we need another short-term placement in the future.

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Alexander Forbes Group Services

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Cross Fire Management (Pty) Ltd

Anton Kriel
MD Africa

1. Give a brief introduction of yourself and your business.

Cross Fire Management provides fire sprinkler systems. We operate throughout Africa, with businesses in Ghana and Mozambique. I am the MD of the African operations.

2. Describe your business before The FD Centre got involved and some of the issues that have been addressed since the Principal’s involvement in your business (describe your experience with The FD Centre).

Our relationship with The FD Centre started in 2013, after we won contracts to work in Ghana and Mozambique. This was not our first foray into cross-border business; however, until then we had been able to work and bill from South Africa. Shortly after we won the contracts, new legislation was introduced requiring us to change this model. We now had to work in country and receive payment in the local currency. I was tasked with setting up operations in Ghana and Mozambique but, although this seemed like a simple undertaking, I soon realised that there were severe limitations to my knowledge. We therefore requested that The FD Centre supply a Principal who was aware of the nuances of doing cross-border transactions and understood the unique business challenges we were facing.

3. What value do you feel that The FD Centre / Principal has brought to your business during their time working with you?

Our major problem was our lack of knowledge about cross-border transactions. Issues like transfer pricing, or the functioning of other countries’ accounting systems, were beyond our grasp. Because of this, we made several unfortunate mistakes. Our Principal, Burgert Blom, was well-versed in these matters, and he swiftly helped us gain a better understanding of the complexities of the business landscape.

4. Talk about the relationship you have with the Principal you are working with/have worked with

Burgert is not only highly skilled; he is also very personable. In fact, we have become friends. He’s very easy to get along with.

5. What impact has the Principal / The FD Centre made on your business?

He’s repaired and reversed the damage resulting from our earlier poor business decisions and helped us get to grips with a business environment that was very foreign to us.

6. How has the Principal supported and developed your Finance Team during their time with you?

He has helped all of us understand the business environment and ensured that the business operates appropriately within this context.

7. In closing, would you recommend The FD Centre and the Part-time Finance Director offering?

Yes.

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Cross Fire Management (Pty) Ltd

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Praxis Computing

Yugasen Naidoo
CEO

1. What’s your background?
o I am the CEO of Praxis Computing which is an FD Centre client.

2. What problem were you trying to solve?
o I needed corporate finance skills but due to the company size not on a full time basis
o I also needed an external finance function to help with good governance and ensure that the finance function was slightly
extracted from Praxis.
o Finally, I wanted the ability to ramp up with other finance resources as the need appeared (and ramp down as well)
o In terms of Covid 19, that, of course appears as one more business challenge

3. How was the problem affecting you?
o As the CEO it is useful to me (and the shareholders) to have an independent and external finance function
o In terms of Covid 19 we had to re-look at our entire business operations like everyone else in the world

4. What possible solutions did you consider?
o Hire a part time individual(s)
o Hire an external company with the function
o Extend our external auditors function

5. Why did you choose The FD Centre?
o They were recommended to me
o I like the flexible model

6. What makes us unique/special that you have not seen/experienced anywhere else?
o Flexibilty

7. What would have happened if you had not engaged with us?
o May have ended up using a more costly and inefficient resource
o Resource may not have been easy to change

8. What measurable benefits have you seen?
o Finance function at Praxis has been greatly improved
o New benefits have been introduced that The FD Centre have seen working at other clients

9. What message would you have to other businesses considering a part-time or interim FD?
o Know what you want
o Clearly define the role
o Use the flexibility to benefit your organisation
o Be open minded and allow The FD Centre FD to introduce improvements that they have seen working in other
organisaitons

In conclusion
Covid 19 meant that we had to re-look at the business and the next 12 months and scenario plan the various cases. The FD Centre has helped with this and also with the application and vetting of the various funding initiatives that we found ourselves applying for. The idea that The FD Centre was also involved with lots of other clients in our situation also was useful as we were, as a community, able to look for the best solutions and way forward.

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Praxis Computing

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Durpro

Jacqui Denny
Managing Director

Operating in all sectors, Durpro specialises in sourcing, placing and managing staff from factory floor level through to the C-suite. The company employs 4 500 staff members nationally.

Wayne Jaggard had been recommended by a personal acquaintance, which is why I approached The FD Centre when I realised that our business, which had started as a relatively small, entrepreneurial entity, had grown to the size where we needed to formalize financial structures and processes. In short, I wanted to gain a tighter grip on the finances.

One of the things I appreciated about Wayne from the outset is that he understood the pain of a ‘once upon a time’ business that had grown rapidly, and he grasped my need for more clarity around finances. He understood our business instantly and came back to me with recommendations for improvements within the first week of working with us.

He’s successfully brought many of the aspects of the business together and into sharp focus, obtaining the results we had been hoping for. Wayne’s talent lies in working through each layer of a problem and then distilling it to find the solution. I have enormous faith and trust in him and feel that a weight has been taken off my shoulders since he joined us. Having started our relationship in March, we used the coronavirus lockdown to work on many of the challenges facing us, which has been a great help in a business environment made more complicated by legislation.

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Durpro

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Roytec Global

Alan Fanton
CEO

What’s your background?
Roytec Global is an equipment supplier specialising in mineral separation and filtration technologies since 2001. We have approximately 80 professional staff and turnover of R 400 million. We're an owner managed business with reputation for agility, innovation and delivery.

What problem were you trying to solve?
Roytec Global is expanding globally and requires high level input on corporate structure, ownership, tax management, funding and registration of new entities in foreign jurisdiction. Mentoring of our finance team was also an important consideration.

How was the problem affecting you?
Corporate structure and ownership is not tax efficient
No adequate firewalls between entities
Foreign dividends currently returned to RSA
Globalisation limited by balance sheet and access to funding required for future

What possible solutions did you consider?
Option for full time FD appointment. The Part-time option was a good fit for our current organisational needs will be reviewed as the structure grows.

Why did you choose The FD Centre?
They have a clear understanding of our needs and fit of candidate to our culture.

What makes us unique/special that you have not seen/experienced anywhere else?
The Part-time option permits access to high level skills to match needs at relatively lower cost.

What would have happened if you had not engaged with us?
We would have had to live with existing issues complicating growth until such time as a full time appointment was concluded.

What measurable benefits have you seen?
Work plan to address priorities in our business
Independent oversight and input into implementation of strategy
Operational and financial controls.

What message would you have for other businesses considering a part-time or interim FD?
The FD Centre model allows for input that meets the needs of an organisation. The fit of the candidate to the company culture is important for a successful relationship and this was most certainly met.

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Roytec Global

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HP Store

Matthew Sledge
General Manager

The FD Centre, and specifically John, have been critical in assisting us navigate through the Covid-19 crisis.

John's intimate knowledge of the business allowed us to make crucial decisions, especially regarding cash flow, and his advice at a broader level allowed us to build longer term plans, even when things were changing from day to day. The advice extended beyond just financial concerns, including keeping us up to date on labour law changes and relief programmes in SA.

The FD Centre also organised a workshop with several of their customers, from a variety of industries, to share best practices in the midst of the crisis. This was extremely useful.

Generally, I've always felt that I could reach out to John without a moment's notice and his leadership and mentoring have also been vital for our finance team.

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HP Store

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On The Dot

Paul Oosthuizen
CFO

What does your company do?
On The Dot is a logistics business which focuses exclusively on the media market segment, serving mostly group companies. As CFO I oversee the business performance management to ensure that we reach our financial goals and manage risk across the landscape.

What prompted you to take on an FD Centre FD?
When we took on the services of the FD Centre in 2012, the business was mature, and had to start a process of reinvention. I had joined the company after an ERP implementation didn’t go according to plan, and I was tasked with improving governance and controls. The finance team was stuck in the paradigm of ‘scorekeeper’ and so we had to regenerate and rebuild it into a ‘business partner’ function.

How has having an FD Centre FD specifically benefited your business?
We had three newly appointed finance managers (FMs) who were technically sound but lacked the experience necessary to manage and direct a team of finance specialists. Cliff Warren, the part-time FD from FD Centre sat alongside me to mentor the new FMs. He has created depth in the finance team, created perspective for the team and myself by acting as a sounding board, and added another dimension to our journey to excellence.

Without the FD Centre’s involvement it would have taken longer to rebuild the finance department. My own experience is supplemented and complemented by the FD Centre, and their role in our business is invaluable.

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On The Dot

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FluidRock Governance Group

Ronelle Kleyn
CEO

Offering corporate governance services, FluidRock was formed when four companies came together in 2018 to advise companies how to manage their Boards in terms of corporate governance. As a firm of lawyers accustomed to dealing with company Boards, we realised the value of having a CA on our team, especially someone who could provide oversight and guidance for our finance function, but who was also independent. Without such a person, we felt exposed; however, the role was not large enough for a full-time employee.

We approached the FD Centre because I had worked with Matt previously. Added to this, one of the companies within our stable was a network distribution partner of The FD Centre.

Matt has come to understand every aspect of our business and, in particular, how each of our five divisions interact and overlap. This was especially important because the coming together of four different companies meant that we had four different accounting systems in place, and so the function was in disarray. Matt helped us make sense of it all, while also providing assistance on various projects ranging from cash planning to restructuring the finance team and ensuring a succession plan is in place. His input is not restricted to finance, however; I have often used him as a sounding board, and I consider him a resource for general business guidance and advice.

I think that companies considering a part-time FD need to acknowledge that the relationship will not be built overnight. It takes time, and you must be prepared to let your CA view even the messy parts of the business. But, once you do, you will be rewarded with a highly valuable resource.

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FluidRock Governance Group

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Prime Product

Mike Rigby
CEO

What is your background?
I am the CEO of Prime Product Manufacturing, our core business is the Manufacturing and Packaging of Cosmetics, Toiletries and Fragrances

What problem were you trying to solve?
To transition a good business in to a great sustainable and resilient business.

How was the problem affecting you?
It is the next step in the evolution of the business. We have all been affected by the Covid 19 Pandemic, this is particularly evident when you look at the financial predicament everyone is finding themselves.

What possible solutions did you consider?
Review Customer relationships; Financial Modelling; Improved efficiencies resulting in a more effective approach; Revisited Financial burdens imposed by Customers etc.

Why did you choose The FD Centre?
Having met Mike Sacher over 3 years ago, I could see a broad base of knowledge, experience and financial acumen that was not in Prime. Subsequently we have taken Prime from a good company, with financial weakness, to a great company!

What makes FD Centre unique/special that you have not seen/experienced anywhere else?
I believe FD Centre offers a cost effective, flexible Value Add.

What would have happened if you had not engaged with us?
I could easily say that it would have just taken us longer. No, I think we would have kept missing what we need to do.

What measurable benefits have you seen?
Certainly improved results, working better together, sharing knowledge, impairing skills and certainly overall managing the business better.

What message would you have to other businesses considering a part-time or interim FD?
Give it a go, nothing to lose and everything to gain. Just the insight from professionals will give you a new outlook to improve any business. You must be able to listen and then collectively realign the business.

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Prime Product

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Executive Solutions

Richard Levine
Managing Director

Covid-19 is a trying time for most businesses, but more specifically the challenges in meeting payment responsibilities - namely staff, suppliers, banks, etc. In a nutshell, managing cash flows and budgets even more closely than ever before.

John assisted us immensely by providing not only the usual financial assistance mentioned in the previous sentence, but also a large degree of strategy. By leveraging his customer base and The FD Centre, John continues to give us valuable Covid-19 related feedback as everyone attempts to navigate through these completely new and uncertain waters together.

We are fortunate to have this depth and experience at this time.”

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Executive Solutions

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