2019 Global CFO Excellence Awards

16 Acquisition International - 2019 Global CFO Excellence Awards Copperbelt Energy Corporation Plc (“CEC”) is a Zambian and privately owned power utility dedicated to providing innovative power solutions to mining companies in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In celebrating the success of its CFO, Mutale Mukuka, we invited him to tell us more about his work for the firm and how it has driven him to win one of our prestigious 2019 Global CFO Awards. Copperbelt Energy Corporation Plc ith its operations base on the Copperbelt Province, the country's economic hub, CEC is an asset rich business, owning and operating multimillion dollar power infrastrastructure comprised of more than 1000km of primary transmission and distribution lines, 42 high voltage substation, 80MW of thermal generating assets and 1 MW grid connected solar PV plant. In the pipeline are 2 by 20MW each solar PV projects and medium sized hydro power project, both cardinal to growing and diversifying the country's energy sources. Being a key player in Zambia’s energy market, the Company requires expert leadership. Among this leadership is CFO Mutale Mukuka, who is proud to discuss his journey to this role and how it has prepared him for the work he undertakes today. “I started my career in audit where I had a very short stint, then moved into tax audits and policy with the national tax authority. In 2003, I joined CEC as a Senior Accountant; focusing on tax, reporting and pension administration. Two years later, I was elevated from Senior Accountant to Head Business Planning where I mostly focused on financial planning, modelling, management accounting, costing and financial decision support in addition to tax and reporting.” “Post this role, I was appointed to role of Director of Corporate Finance, which was another interesting role as it combined business development and project finance in addition to group reporting and financial strategy. Some of the key milestones I achieved included the spearheading and successful listing of CEC on the Lusaka Securities Exchange (“LuSE”) in 2008, making CEC it the first and only listed power utility on the LuSE. I further arranged and project managed the financing of a local bond from local pension schemes, which at the time was the largest local bond issuance to a corporate institution. I also worked on corporate development assignments in the DRC and Kenya, covering various projects for about a year.” “In 2011, I was appointed as Regional Head for West Africa (M&A) Department focusing on Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. In 2014, I progressively moved from a role focused on operations, commercial and M&A into a finance role, having been appointed CFO of CEC, a role which I continue to hold today.” “Over the years, this journey has been stimulating, as I have been exposed to a wide range of technical and leadership skills. The W technical skills I have acquired in the various roles include Corporate Development (deal origination, structuring, packaging, financing ensuring bankability to operations), M&A, tax planning and compliance, corporate and project finance and these skills, required for day to day operations such as financial operations, reporting and treasury management. On account of these skills I have been involved in corporate and project transaction in which over USD500million over the last six years. Additionally, I have performed roles that have exposed me to the complexities of people and business operations in different countries which widened my perspectives over such important aspects as differences in legislation and regulatory requirements, cultures and the impact this could have on productivity and performance, I have further acquired (soft) leadership skills which include negotiation, drive for performance improvement and delivery; all of which have been paramount to enhancing my skills and ability to deliver high quality work. I have also appreciated various contexts having interacted directly with various regulators, boards, labour unions, tax authorities, policy makers, financiers, capital market players, investors etc.” As a business leader, Mutale works hard to ensure that he supports his team and drives them to achieve excellence for CEC. “When leading my team, I typically adopt a situational leadership approach which entails varying my style depending on the task at hand. However, the most common is probably the delegation and participatory style which in most instances allows the team to take ownership and responsibility of the activities required to be undertaken in the execution of our strategy.” “I believe that effective leadership involves adopting either a supportive or directive approach depending on the circumstance. However, whereas the delegation and participatory approach are my most common approaches, I do apply the supportive and directive approach where necessary. As a result, I am able to meet the needs of my staff and ensure that they feel supported and encouraged while they work with me.” “I have, over the period (specifically focusing on my current role), had the opportunity to work with a fantastic team whose contribution is immeasurable and I can proudly say that with appropriate initiatives for capacity building, we have developed a team that is ready to progress into higher managerial roles and also lateral movements for specialist roles, which concept we refer to as “plug and play readiness”. Energy Services Finance Executive of the Year 2019 - Africa

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