2019 Global CFO Excellence Awards

24 Acquisition International - 2019 Global CFO Excellence Awards Originally known as RH Managers, RH Bophelo is a boutique listed investment equity firm focusing on impact investment across South Africa and the continent. As part of our showcase of a selection of winners from this year’s Global CFO Excellence Awards we profile the firm and explores how CFO Dion Mhlaba (33) has helped drive it to the success it enjoys today. RH Bophelo ince its inception, RH Bophelo has been focused on strategic investments that generates both social and economic returns to both its investors and the South African public. RH Bophelo evolved from RH Managers, a Fund Manager with FSB accreditation. RH Bophelo became the first South African black listed owner-managed healthcare company. RH Bophelo was listed in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in 2017. Currently the group has +/-$310mn of assets under management and successful investments in the development and operational hospitals to a portfolio of 30 hospitals within 4 years, across South Africa. Over the years the company has been creating capacity in the region’s healthcare market, focusing on new infrastructure to drive change and support all stakeholders. This has led to the business launching an Pan-African Infrastructure Fund that will support projects in the continent with focus on impact investments. Such vital work would be impossible without a dedicated leadership team, which includes CFO and Chartered Accountant Dion Mhlaba. Dion draws on vast industry experience which he uses to ensure that he supports RH Bophelo and drives the firm towards excellence. He attributes his past professional and entrepreneurial experience; the team he works with as the reason why he comprehends his role as a group CFO. Like any other CFO, Dion wants his finance team to continue learning, grow and innovative towards a reliable IT platform. Dion thinks CFO’s must always be on top of the following, Risk management, Growth and strategy of the business, Training and development, IT environment, and Financial trends on Taxation and Financial Management. Dion says to young CFOs, with work ethics and competency, people eventually forget that you are younger than them and treat you as equal. Initially he completed his auditing articles with KPMG Johannesburg, where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant (CA). While with KPMG, Dion worked with a wide range of companies including Nedbank, IDC, DBSA. His audit role included looking at structured lending, private equity divisions, where we were mainly looking at credit policies, financial models, tax, IFRS. Gained a great understanding of financial instruments such as bonds, preference shares, debentures, loans and money market, equities, derivatives and hybrids. Dion has held advisory and financial roles with South African private equity firms such as Afripalm Resources, Sakhumnotho Holdings, and Thebe Investments (Thebe). Working with these companies, gave Dion an exposure to investments and deal making on projects, S in mining (coal and platinum), financial services (capital raising), engineering. The constant interest in agriculture, has led Dion to an advisory panel with a South African Economic Development Agency on how to attract capital and investments by the local government, the work entailed developing feasibility studies, development of Information Memorandums and holding investor road shows. His tenure at Thebe, Dion was responsible for portfolio management of assets in mining, energy infrastructure (renewable energy), petrochemicals, and telecommunications, where he was reporting to EXCO and CFO. Alongside his work at RH Bophelo, Dion also enjoys working with other organisations to share his vast industry expertise. This includes his advisory work with one of Provincial Economic Agency on how government can implement an alternative funding mechanism in line with National Treasury laws. Dion serves as a chairman for Wesmart Financial Services (www. wesmart.co.za) , an empowered insurance underwriting company, focusing on delivery of holistic and well-priced solutions for private individuals, families and any size employer group. The affordable prices will give South Africans access to private healthcare. His passion for black economic empowerment, and an interest to work with small and medium sized black owned businesses has made Dion an activist and a voice that continuously insists on developing and empowering small businesses in order to create more opportunities for the youth owned businesses. Dion has also held a full time lecturing post at one of South African top university. His passion of working with the youth in business and corporate, allows him to continue mentoring new businesses and young professionals. Today he draws on this experience to support RH Bophelo. He works with the firm to ensure that it invests wisely and is able to drive real change for the people of South Africa, and now the continent as a whole. Overall, the future looks bright for both RH Bophelo and CFO Dion Mhlaba, with many new projects in the pipeline to keep the company working towards its focus on changing the lives of people across Africa. Long term, Dion believes that they will be able to grow and expand the business to become one of the biggest diversified healthcare company in the continent within the next 10 years. Short term, aim to double the size of the group in four years, to grow the business to $700mn or R10bn. Impact Investment CFO of the Year 2019 - South Africa & Best Social Investment PE Firm - South Africa

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