Audit firm launches Financial Services entity to offer skills on demand
Global audit and advisory firm, Mazars has launched a practice to offer skills and consulting services to businesses in the financial sector. The newly established Mazars Financial Services Africa is geared towards assisting companies to meet the challenges of an evolving market.
Headed by industry veterans, Riaan Eksteen and George Ellis, Mazars Financial Services Africa will offer senior professional skills on-demand to financial services companies. Each brings over 20 years’ experience in financial services to the table. Before joining Mazars, Eksteen was a partner with Deloitte and spent 13 years with the Deloitte Financial Services Team. Ellis also spent nine years with Deloitte and nine years at Absa.
Mazars Co-CEO, Anoop Ninan, explains that financial services companies are changing the way they operate. “Business has progressed from long-range planning and static workforce requirements to quick implementation of projects and a dynamic, agile workforce.”
This is particularly true for South African financial services companies who need to manage digital disruption. According to the Digital Vortex 2019 study, financial services is one of the five industries that are most vulnerable to digital disruption. This means that companies in this sector need to respond rapidly to change and work quickly to implement new ideas.
“Projects undertaken by businesses in the financial services sector typically require specific skills for their duration. While companies recognise that they need to have the right skills for each project, finding people with the required expertise isn’t easy,” Ninan comments.
He adds that skills shortages and the war for talent are more than buzzwords. “They are very real and many companies in the financial sector are finding it difficult to hire the right professionals when and where they need them,” Ninan says.
Firms such as Mazars are in a unique position to find these skills and work with the financial services sector to develop and implement new systems, products and processes.
“We can fill the need for on-demand skills and deploy people with the required expertise when companies need them. Working in the areas of finance and operations will enhance the skills in the industry to the benefit of our clients, our people and South Africa,” says Eksteen.
“We are proud to attract Riaan and his team to Mazars,” says Ninan. “Our international integrated operating model allows us to leverage off the significant skills base we have globally and locally to realise our ambition to become the best professional services firm in Africa, servicing clients in all sectors. Our global financial services platform enables us to service large and small clients utilising local and global resources and benchmarks.”
Mazars is one of the top five audit and consulting firms on the African continent and is recognised as a major player in financial services. Excluding the Nigerian and South African market, Mazars is also the main player in banking sector in Africa auditing banks in 15 countries on the continent. The firm was recently appointed as auditor for Goldman Sachs in Europe, beating many other mid-tier firms. Other significant global credentials include Wells Fargo, BNP Paribas and AXA. The introduction of Mazars Financial Services Africa puts Mazars on par with the large auditing firms.
“Mazars Financial Services Africa offers its financial services clients the personalised service that their businesses need. The business world is changing, and we are now well-placed to help our clients face the changes and challenges of a rapidly evolving market,” Ninan concludes.