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Meet Rikus Vorster - Chief Financial Officer, Deloitte Nigeria, 32

 

Rikus Vorster is not a man who backs down from a challenge. In fact, he believes life is always full of exciting challenges and when faced with a challenge – you need to take action. He uses a golfing analogy to explain his philosophy: 100 percent of the putts left short of the hole don’t go in. Without sufficient action, he says, a situation will never change.

 

His strong character came to the fore at university, when he found he no longer had sufficient funds to continue with his studies. He was, however, fortunate enough to get a ticket to the UK, where he spent 18 months working in hotels and security sites until he had saved enough money to fund his degree. “The list of challenges I faced could go on and on, but what is important is what I learnt – that perseverance is one of the greatest attributes a person can have”, he insists.

During his time in London, one of his jobs was working as a security guard at the London Stock Exchange. It was here that he became more motivated and inspired than ever before – watching people coming in to work every day, he vowed that if he were ever to return to the Stock Exchange, it would be to work there. To achieve this goal, he believed that qualifying as a chartered accountant (CA[SA]) would be a step in the right direction.

Rikus started his career as a CA(SA) with Deloitte. It was here that he worked as a trainee accountant and subsequently went on to take a secondment to Deloitte Boston. When he returned to South Africa, he spent a year in commerce as financial manager, after which he returned to Johannesburg as a manager within the Assurance service line.

Always one to make the most of every opportunity, when the position of CFO at Deloitte Nigeria became available and Rikus was asked to take on the role, he gladly accepted. His key mandate as CFO was to ensure international standard financial transformation and sustainability within the finance department.

Having been in Nigeria since 2014, Rikus says it has been an eventful time – both personally and professionally. Living in Nigeria has broadened his horizons and enriched his life, he reveals, and the opportunity has been the highlight of his career so far, and one for which he is thankful. “I’ve been given the chance to make a real difference within the firm and it has been both a satisfying and humbling journey,” he says.

He’s also leant some important lessons that he’ll take with him as he forges ahead in his career: good leaders are humble – they believe that the team is more important than the individual. “We have a saying within our Nigerian team: ‘there is no I in the world team’,” he concludes. 

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