How a man in his forties has fun.
Chartered Accountant with big 4 articles
Memberships: SAICA and CIMA
SA GAAP and IFRS knowledge
Board level interaction (10 years +)
Evan is a finance and accounting professional who boasts a wealth of valuable financial management skills, with over 15 year’s experience in medium to large corporate environments at CFO level. His industry experience includes vehicle telematics, security services and commercial and industrial property, and key skills include intensive financial management and modelling, management accounting, assessing and assimilating acquisitions, taxation advice and due diligence compliance.
Despite his vast experience, Evan acknowledges his need to remain current, and undertook a Masters degree in Tax at age of 40. Keeping abreast with technical developments is of value not only to his own consultancy, but also to clients. Evan’s experience as an accountant in many large organisations enables him to appreciate and analyse the ‘big picture’, whilst paying attention to the finer details.
An entrepreneur is … someone who has the passion to build his or her own business. Someone who usually has a great idea that will generate revenue. The entrepreneur is the ground breaker, but once this phase is over, support is required from those with the skills and experience to take the business to the next level.
My wife taught me … to persevere. To never give up. As difficult as it may be.
It is difficult to work with entrepreneurs who … are unstructured and lack knowledge of sound financial principles. They find it difficult to ‘let go’ and hand the business over to the experts when ground breaking systems and management styles are no longer appropriate. It is difficult for them to accept that this can get them into trouble. And result in missed opportunities. One requires empathy when working with them.
I am a big believer in … treating people the way you want to be treated.
The most difficult thing about having children is … you think you have the answers to everything, and then they ask something that you cannot explain. It’s the same in business. That is why I am committed to keeping up to speed with developments in my field. Clients deserve the correct answers to their questions.
A previous boss made an impact on me … when he stressed that “businesses are bigger than individuals”. I never forget that.
My advice to a promising young entrepreneur is … surround yourself with the right people. If you have the guidance and support of people with the right experience and ethics, you can’t go wrong.
I wish … I hadn’t left it so long to start doing what I do now.
We are proud to work with the dreamers, the visionaries, the outliers. Those who see something where others see nothing. Those who recognise potential where others fear obstacles. People like us.
We too embraced entrepreneurial ventures. We embody the steps in your journey.
We have taken them too.
Maizonn is built on the unshakeable foundations of our own successes – and failures.
We are unique individuals brought together by an overriding passion for enabling people and their businesses.
We believe in genuine teamwork. Our people have excellent credentials. And exceptional business contacts and networks. We are straightforward and honest - and we apply these principles to the way we work.
WE DREAM BIG AND AIM HIGH.
We are unapologetically passionate about we do. We’ll be as enthusiastic about your business as you are. For us, partnership comes standard. It is our passion that drives us.
"Founders get fired. It’s a way of life, and knowing when to go is an art and rare skill.” Susan Slovic
Non-exec: Business Development
A long queue can be the start of something remarkable.
While most people would be uninspired by a visit to the Post Office, 23-year-old Harm Fourie turned an errand into a successful business venture.
Harm saw the opportunity to put TV advertising into Post Office branches for the eyes of queueing customers and his first successful entrepreneurial venture was born, with investors vying for shares.
Harm has built an exceptional business network across Africa. He is an avid believer in start-up businesses and an expert in getting them off the ground, and identifying new markets globally.
He has owned media and marketing companies in countries such as China, Dubai and various African countries.
Good relationships are built on … the ability to connect quickly, gain solid trust and nurture these relationships constantly. I am valued for my ability to network and cultivate mutually beneficial relationships. You can lose trust as quickly as you gained it, so you need to do what you say you are going to do.
In business, I know what I don’t know and use this as an opportunity to back myself with the very best. I will always hand pick the best local partners wherever I do business, and appoint the most powerful people to deliver on all aspects. In this way, my network keeps growing and strengthening.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners often miscalculate risk because … they try to do too much themselves. If you don’t give things the attention they need, they come back to bite you. It is better to invest in the right people and processes. People who are experts in their fields, and correct processes that need to be followed.
My children have taught me … life is not all about work … play is equally important. Even if you thrive on what you do, balance is critical. Business relationships also require balance. Our partners and clients are people too. We need to connect with them on that level in order to maintain and nurture the respect we have for each other.
I am proud of giving up … saying ‘yes’ to everyone and everything. Choosing priorities results in more efficient and effective time management.
Regardless of the success one achieves, I believe it is very important to remain humble. I know what it is like to lose everything and have a credit card declined at the grocery store. You can never take anything, or anyone, for granted. I am extremely grateful for the amazing people that I have in my life and in by business. They compliment me and support me to ahcieve the high goals that we set for ourselves.
Director: Mergers and Acquisitions
An accountant who knows when to walk away.
Chartered Accountant – ‘big 4’ articles
BCom: Cum laude
Memberships: ICAEW and SAICA
+10 years Board level interaction
UK / SA GAAP and IFRS
What do you do when you are a highly qualified chartered accountant at the top of a 3000-strong UK-based accounting firm? If you are David Stoltz, you leave.
David’s belief in and commitment to the economic development of South Africa and the African continent fuels his passion for facilitating business deals that make a difference to lives and communities.
Valuable financial and leadership skills acquired both whilst at the helm of sizeable corporate entities, and in start-ups, translate into David’s solutions-focussed approach to financial creativity in business planning.
I remain fascinated by… the enquiring minds of children. They learn the small things in life that we miss as adults – and these are often the most important things we take for granted. In business, it is those small things that can make or break a relationship.
I wouldn’t be here today if … it wasn’t for the freedom that my parents gave me to venture out from a middle-class constrained environment and take responsibility for my own ambitions. Today, I have the tenacity to leave the ‘safe’ zone and find taking measured risks on behalf of my companies, and my clients, stimulating and, ultimately, rewarding.
The question I ask myself most often … why do I keep doing this? Changing career paths. Changing countries. Managing multiple businesses. Postponing yet another holiday.
My childhood dream was to be … a professional golfer, but after a period at an academy and caddying for a British professional I accepted that I truly didn’t have the talent. It is important for entrepreneurs to acknowledge their weaknesses and allow an expert to give them support where needed.
Companies are crazy if … they don’t see the value in embracing technological change .
The first risk I remember … was certainly not the first, but went wrong and I lost R58,000… and to top it off, it was the day before I started my articles at Deloitte earning R3,000 per month. Recovery meant remaining calm and thinking straight … traits that I am acknowledged for today. My ability to remain controlled and measured when under pressure has been a deal saver on more than the odd occasion.
I am different from the stereotypical accountant because … I look forward when they are looking backwards.
Entrepreneurs should understand that … it is first and foremost about the business … we need to focus on doing what is in the best interests of growing the business, and that might mean the entrepreneur having to let go of the reigns. We acknowledge that it is difficult … but necessary.
WILLEM DU TOIT
Director: Venture Capital
How taking risks on the playground became the foundation for a lifetime success story.
Challenged by boredom in the classroom and looking forward to his next hectically active break time, Willem was starting his first business venture.
The confident entrepreneur used his pocket money to buy sweets in bulk for his back pack tuck shop, and sold them at a profit to his classmates.
Whilst he was soon shut down by the school ‘authorities’, Willem’s entrepreneurial spirit lived on.
Willem has continued his path as an entrepreneurial investment professional with extensive experience in international investment, venture capital, private equity, non-profit and social enterprise development, real estate, international tax and corporate consulting.
Don’t always tell people … what to do. We are inherently designed to take our own initiative. If an entrepreneur is getting it wrong, ask the right questions. Most people have the intellect and capacity to recalibrate onto the right course. Even if that means moving aside for someone else to manage the business, the individual has been empowered to do what he needs to do, without being told to.
My favourite time as a child was spent … living in nature at the foot of a mountain in the Eastern Cape. I learned to respect the environment and everything in it. I think that applies to the business environment as well. One can be more educated, more experienced, more confident … but every person one comes into contact with deserves respect.
Smaller companies have the advantage of … a more controllable culture, and speed. SMEs are able to manage their internal culture and employee engagement far more effectively than large corporates, and this creates a differential advantage. They are also able to respond more efficiently to change.
Businesses need to spend more on … the little things. They can make a massive difference.
I sincerely hope we see the death of … the impersonal. Smaller environments are more empowering. Most people can be more than they are, but they sacrifice themselves. Small companies create the opportunity for people to be truer to themselves and do a greater job.
Corporates are guilty of … being bound by rules rather than relationships.
The best thing I can say of a business partner is … I trust you. I believe you.
My personal mantra is … “anything is possible”. I really believe that. We are fortunate to be able to walk alongside someone with a great idea and help to achieve a dream. Not only that – we can make the dream even bigger and better in some way.
Director: Group Legal
Where professional and personal values align.
With over a decade of Commercial Law experience, specifically in the field of compliance with various statutes, regulatory and supervisory requirements within the financial services sector under her belt, Samantha delivers legal expertise and an ability to approach problems from different angles.
Addressing issues of governance and opposing any form of corruption have gained Sam recognition in the workplace, and “no breaking the rules” is an ethos she lives by.
Sam is a problem-finder as well as a problem-solver. Her focus on uncovering issues before they become problematic is a challenge which she tenaciously pursues.
I am driven to … give structure and stability to visions and dreams … at the end of the day, it is important to me that clients do not make deals that are not beneficial to them.
As a parent I understand … the defensiveness and fear that business owners and entrepreneurs experience when considering ‘letting go’ of projects they have conceived and then nurtured over time.
I am unlikely to convinced by anything but reasoning based on solid facts.
One of my strongest childhood memories is … supporting my soccer team, which team I have supported from 9 years old. Loyalty is core to my being. In business, nothing is achievable without a team of specialised individuals each playing a specific role in reaching the end goal. Mutual trust will determine how soon and how hard you score.
Good business is … that feeling you have when you walk away and know you have achieved something for yourself and others.
I live by … karma. In the business world one cannot be complacent about the systemic impacts of one’s decisions and actions.
Made up of a multidisciplinary team of successful entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals in their own right, Maizonn is a specialised consultancy that manages client business as seriously as it manages its own. The partners share vast intellectual capital and expertise, gained in establishing and managing their own profitable entities, to deliver a 360 degree consultancy that places equal emphasis on due diligence and profit maximisation. The focus is on integrity and passion, and the company exudes a strong sense of collaboration built on trust and the willingness of individuals to invest a great deal of themselves.
Having interacted with each other during a four-year journey the Maizonn team has developed solid mutual trust, respect and friendship – which is transferred to clients. Every individual is passionate about finding the best opportunities through networks of contacts with similar values and high levels of commitment to a win-win ethos. They all own profitable entities and their confidence in their joint ability to de-risk means that they will even invest their own financial resources where they believe this to be in the best interests of all parties.
Very importantly, there is a stage at which the team members also know when to walk away.