Mazars announces appointment of CO-CEOs

Michelle Olckers and Anoop Ninan have been appointed as the new joint Chief Executive Officers (co-CEOs) of Mazars South Africa, effective 1 September 2018.

The co-CEOs were elected by all Mazars South Africa’s partners in an independent process based on manifestos indicating their strategic vision for the company.

With over 1000 staff, 76 partners and 17 directors operating out of 12 offices within South Africa, Mazars has achieved significant growth within the firm.

The newly appointed co-CEOs will take over from current Mazars SA Chairman, Hilton Saven, who is retiring after 43 years of service to Mazars, having led the business for 24 years. Hilton will stay on at the firm as a consultant.

Olckers and Ninan have been part of the senior leadership team for 15 and 11 years respectively, both having steered the Cape Town and Gauteng Practices as Managing Partners for a number of years.

With close to a collective 40 years’ experience in the industry, they have built formidable careers and are well-equipped to lead the business forward. The co-CEOs offer a diverse set of skills. Olckers has considerable expertise in the areas of auditing as well as business consulting, with experience in the manufacturing, real estate, professional services and tourism sectors, having worked on both privately held businesses and large owner-managed companies. Ninan, on the other hand, has advised on several initial public offerings, mergers, and acquisitions, as well as being responsible for the development of new advisory services lines within Mazars over the past five years.

Olckers and Ninan will assume responsibility for a range of key strategic objectives and will ensure that Mazars South Africa continues to provide clients with both the professional service and specialist skills that they require.

Saven says that he is confident in Olckers’ and Ninan’s ability to achieve the strategic goals and objectives set by Mazars South Africa. “The ‘value-driven’ approach to our clients will no doubt be perpetuated into the future.”

“We believe that the co-CEO roles provide the right level of capacity and prioritisation required for the fulfillment of the firm’s objectives, and demonstrate the firm’s commitment to transformation and diversity,” says Olckers.

Olckers and Ninan both emphasise that the firm’s commitment to living their values and strong work ethic has been the key to the growth of Mazars over the last few years. “As a firm we have spent a lot of time ensuring that we have the right people and the right culture, which is critical to achieving the strategic objectives of the firm,” says Ninan.

Ninan further adds that Mazars is already an industry leader in the banking and financial services sector across Africa and Europe. The firm is currently the auditor of Central Banks in 17 African countries, and the auditor of 3 out of the 10 main African banks. Mazars is investing heavily in this sector and intends to create an African hub for banking in South Africa in the near future for both audit and advisory services. “Mazars is the fifth-largest audit and advisory firm in Africa, and our aim is to provide our clients across Africa with a full range of audit and advisory services.”

Mazars is also known globally for their extensive experience in Joint Audits. According to Olckers, joint audit is not new to South Africa, with many financial services companies already utilising this approach. “Mazars globally and specifically in France has seen the effect that the implementation of joint audits has had on improving the profession’s concentration levels, and reinforcing auditor independence. Joint audit should be supported as a means to stimulate progressive investment in order to create a more diverse audit market,” she says. “We are excited for this opportunity to further develop and nurture both our people and our firm to better serve our clients,” Olckers concludes