Dion Mhlaba: Soaring Like An Eagle
I LEARNT THAT TO FAIL IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF SUCCESS AND BREAKTHROUGH AND DOESN’T MAKE YOU A FAILURE AS SUCH. WHENEVER I’M GOING THROUGH DIFFICULTIES, I REMIND MYSELF THAT THERE WAS A TIME WHEN I FAILED, BUT IT DIDN’T STOP ME FROM WAKING UP EVERY DAY AND KEEPING AT IT.”
Private sector CFO of the Year Award and has been nominated for the 2020 CFO Awards. He holds a BCom Accounting degree and honours from the University of Johannesburg. He completed his auditing articles with KPMG in 2010, where he qualified as a chartered accountant. Dion also held a full-time senior lecturing post with UJ from 2011 to 2013. Through his consulting business, from 2011 to 2015, he held advisory roles with Afripalm Resources , a company with mining and financial services interests, Sakhumnotho Holdings with interests in mining, financial services and engineering services and financial support at Thebe Investments where he was involved in streamlining reports, analysing financial data, budgeting, performance and producing board reports.
In 2015, he joined RH Managers as a CFO, a boutique private equity firm investing in social and impact investments in South Africa. RH Managers managed to raise R2,7bn of equity and R2bn in debt for investing in South African health care. The company built 12 new hospitals and acquired 10 hospitals, mainly located in townships and availed funding to doctors and entrepreneurs in health care and creating new jobs in the communities. In 2017, when RH Bophelo, a newly formed company, was listed on the JSE after raising R500m, Dion became its CFO. From humble beginnings in rural Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, Dion pursued his future relentlessly. An ambitious boy, one of six children of a police officer and a housewife, he earned first position in his matric commerce class and third position overall, and consequently
If you dream it, work hard for it and then you will be it, says Dion Mhlaba, chief financial officer (CFO) of private equity firm RH Bophelo, when asked about the principles that secured his success in the business world. RH Bophelo is South Africa’s first black-owned and managed listed hospital group. It is a credo that in 2017 and at 31 years old helped make him South Africa’s youngest CFO of a listed company, an achievement that followed years of sheer determination and hard work. He believes what makes him a great CFO today is surrounding himself with “clever people”, planning, and business development. He ensures that his strategic plans become a reality by owning those plans, following up on a continuous basis and reminding himself of the outcome. A founding member of RH Bophelo, Dion last year won the 2019 ABASA
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