Global CFO Excellence Awards 2022

4 Acquisition International - Global CFO Excellence Awards 2022 Mar22681 Renewable Energy CFO of the Year (Africa): Nic Mudaly Climate change can no longer be ignored – it is, in essence, the greatest crisis of our lifetimes. As such, organisations like BioCarbon Partners are coming together in order to create solutions and raise awareness of the topic. Join us as we talk to Nic Mudaly about what makes BioCarbon Partners’ mission so important. orking in harmonious collaboration with the Zambian Government and community partners, BioCarbon Partners (BCP) is a leading REDD+ developer working in subSaharan Africa. The organisation has pioneered a new form of conservation finance model that unites the community, wildlife, and climate positivity under the UN’s REDD+ framework. Moreover, this ties in with the company’s mission of making conservation of wildlife habitat valuable to people, to bolster the importance and awareness of conservation amongst the wider population – as such, BCP aids clients from all walks of life to offset their carbon emissions. Ultimately, it hopes to bring people together to operate as a global collective to reach Net Zero Emissions. According to Chatham House, a leading policy institute, over 90% of deforestation in Africa is caused by agricultural development, charcoal production, and logging. It is a way for people to gain food security whilst making an income – henceforth, year by year, the land being used for farming is rapidly expanding. BCP is greatly aware of this, and it understands how deforestation is intrinsically linked with poverty. Consequently, BCP focuses upon such reasons in order to provide a long-term solution – it offers direct cash payments to communities to protect the forests. The money used comes from the revenue generated from the sale of carbon credits. Furthermore, the organisation runs a diverse range of livelihood programs (such as Eco-Charcoal, Sustainable Beekeeping, and Climate-Smart Agriculture), which gives communities sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives to encroaching on the forests. Nic Mudaly, BCP’s CFO, plays a great role within these projects. Indeed, with over 15 years of experience in finance, Nic’s knowledge is essential in the organisation’s success. His experiences exceed those typically found within a finance executive – Nic has earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Taxation from the Durban University of Technology in South Africa, a certificate in Management Accounting from CIMA, and is currently working towards an MBA through the University of South Wales. Such qualifications led Nic to W become the youngest financial director for the Bata Shoe Company at age 28. ‘I am grateful to Bata Shoe and my mentor and colleague Shaibal Sinha for the opportunity to serve with a passion. It goes without saying that I wouldn’t be where I am without my life partner and best friend, Chantal, for her immense sacrifice and unwavering support in allowing me to venture into the unknown and uneasy,’ Nic comments, ‘indeed, the road behind was not easy, but arriving at a magical sunset never is!’ In 2020, Nic began his career with BCP, taking the position of its Chief Financial Officer. ‘It is an exciting space to work in, and one that is very much unchartered territory in many ways, especially within Africa,’ he continues. Working in this arena has allowed Nic to utilise his extensive skillset, applying them to the voluntary carbon market under REDD+. It is his hope that through doing this, other companies across the continent will follow suit. Nic’s success led him to be appointed the role of Interim CEO at the end of 2021. Taking the lead was a natural progression for Nic, who cites the mantra, ‘serve with a passion, be responsible for those that you lead. Lead and not manage. Find a learning in every obstacle and turn it into an opportunity.’ It is this that effectively summarises his approach to leadership. Additionally, Nic hopes to inspire passion, determination, and collaboration amongst his team, believing that such attributes drive success forward. ‘We celebrate the wins, but more importantly we rally together to overcome the hurdles – that to me is what embodying a strong leader is truly about.’ When asked about his strategy, he replied, ‘It is simple, the number of forests left to save is limited, and the need to expand and scale is immediate. Which is why we are working closely with Zambian Government, governments regionally, and communities to expand and bolster our efforts within Zambia and regionally to conserve as many hectares of forest as we possibly can.’ BCP’s four-year plan, launched in 2021, details its goal to scale and reach its Thirty-Cubed