Africa’s Leading Renewable Energy Provider

Julian Johnson is CFO at BioTherm Energy, a pan-African renewable energy development and investment platform focused on the commercialisation of PV solar and onshore wind projects.

CIARAN RYAN: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Draftworx, which provides automated drafting and working paper financial software to more than 8000 accounting and auditing firms and corporations. CFO Talks is a brand of the South African Institute of Business Accountants. Now, what a pleasure it is today to welcome Julian Johnson, who is the CFO at Biotherm Energy, we’re going to get into what BioTherm Energy is in a minute. But Julian has been there since 2018, he previously worked as a senior financial advisor or in senior financial positions at Transaction Capital, which is a company that we’ve also had here on CFO Talks, and at MTN and KPMG. He’s a Chartered Accountant, and there’s not much that he hasn’t seen in the world of finance. Now, BioTherm Energy is an independent power producer with nearly 400 megawatts of wind and solar projects in construction in South Africa and Kenya. It’s backed by the world’s leading emerging markets, investor Actis, and we’ll get into that in a minute. We’re also joined by Nicolaas van Wyk, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the South African Institute of Business Accountants. We’re here to talk about the world of the CFO and also find out a little bit about BioTherm Energy. Now, Julian, renewable energy, of course, has become a hot topic of discussion in South Africa due to its well-reported energy problems. We’ve had outages repeatedly in South Africa and renewable energy is a solution to that. So a good place to kick off is with BioTherm Energy. Can you tell us a little bit about the company, the projects it’s involved with and what sets it apart from others operating in the renewable energy space?

JULIAN JOHNSON: Thanks Ciaran, certainly, BioTherm Energy was founded back in 2003, so we’ve been around for quite some time now. We’re a South African-based Pan-African renewable

energy business. We focus mainly or I should say, solely on utility-scale, wind and solar facilities. Interestingly enough, our Kenyan project happens to be the second-largest wind project in Kenya, which I think is quite a great achievement for us. Currently as it stands, we have 165 megawatts of operational assets and another 220 megawatts in construction, and those in construction, we plan to reach commercial operations in 2021, within the next few months, which is quite exciting for us. This equates to approximately $850 million worth of assets under management. What sets us apart, we’re a mainly South African team, we have a very successful track record. We were successful in [unclear] rounds with the renewable energy programmes in South Africa, we’re successful in the rest of Africa, and we’re successful in developing, constructing and operating power facilities. As you said, we are backed by Actis, which is one of the world’s largest renewable investors, and by having that sort of backing gives us access to a wealth of expertise, that complements our current local efforts. So it really assists us in where we are driving this business.

CIARAN RYAN: There’s been a lot of discussion about renewable energy and it hasn’t always been positive in South Africa, for example, the cost at which Eskom buys in renewable energy. It’s been reported that it comes in at about 228 cents per kilowatt hour but I think that cost is dropping. So just describe a little bit of the business case. These plants, where are they in South Africa exactly? Are they in the Karoo desert or are they in the Northern Cape somewhere? And again, the business model, these are like 20-year projects, are they not?

JULIAN JOHNSON: That’s 100% right, there are large-scale construction projects, with 20-year PPAs, so we do anticipate them functioning for that period of time. Um, you know, it says 80, sorry,

CIARAN RYAN: Sorry, just pause there a second and explain what a PPA is?

JULIAN JOHNSON: It’s a power purchase agreement, so effectively we enter into a 20-year agreement in which we will produce and sell electricity effectively to the utility.

CIARAN RYAN: Tell us a little bit more about the business model. What period of time are these, ten-year 15, 20-year projects?

JULIAN JOHNSON: Certainly, in South Africa the majority of these contracts generally are 20-year projects. If you think about the sheer scale and cost that it costs to construct these facilities,

you do need a fairly long life to be able to produce a reasonable return. So yes, these are generally 20-year PPAs. You do see in various other types of projects and maybe in smaller C&I projects and so on, you have differing terms and differing lengths, but 20 years is fairly common.


JULIAN JOHNSON: It’s basically commercial and industrial projects. So if you’re looking at things like your mines or warehouses, those sorts of facilities.

CIARAN RYAN: Have you got any idea at the projects that you have done, the PPAs, the power purchase agreement, what price are you selling to Eskom at and is that price coming down?

JULIAN JOHNSON: Very much so, in terms of the actual price itself, it does vary between the various projects. It goes out on a competitive tender basis. So no project is exactly like the next, what I will say though, definitely prices are coming down as technology prices are reducing. It does assist, cheap technology enables us to build a cheaper, which enables us to provide the power cheaper. In the news a lot has been said about a price of electricity and I think it needs to be considered overall of what we’re actually looking at. I think a lot of prices being quoted are really like the round one phase of the renewable programme, where it was the very first phase of our projects being kicked off and yes, technology at that point was fairly expensive. As we’ve gone through the different phases of these programmes, prices have definitely come down. We’re expecting the next round of the renewable programme to be coming out hopefully soon and we expect prices come down yet again. So there are definitely benefits to the end consumer with these – well, one would hope – with these reduced prices that we can provide to Eskom.

CIARAN RYAN: And this next round that’s coming up, what kind of prices are we talking about here? I gave the figure a little bit earlier of 228 cents that was quoted in last year’s Eskom annual report. That’s the price at which they are buying renewable energy. So what do you think it’s going to come down to?

JULIAN JOHNSON: I think you can appreciate it’s a competitive tender basis, I can’t disclose specific numbers, but I will say that the numbers are coming down quite steadily. So you should expect some quite aggressive pricing, I would expect.


South African project locations


CIARAN RYAN: Okay, good enough. Sorry, the question I did ask you was where are your projects in South Africa?

JULIAN JOHNSON: In South Africa the solar projects are based in the Northern Cape, it’s really quite hot and sunny out there. In our wind projects we have one project in the Eastern Cape and one project in the Western Cape. Again, the wind resource in those locations makes the most sense.

CIARAN RYAN: What about the Covid lockdown that we’ve had, has that affected your business at all? And if you can, at the same time, give us a sense of the size of the business in terms of what you’ve already said, capital invested I think it was about $850 million, and revenue, are you actually generating revenue at the moment or is that still to come?

JULIAN JOHNSON: Just to answer the Covid question first, I think every business has been impacted in some way, positive or negatively, by,what happened with Covid. I think there are many CFOs who didn’t put in a pandemic scenario into the business plans for 2020. I was one of them who didn’t factor in a pandemic scenario. But be that as it may, you work through it and you make sure it works. [Unclear] construction with a lockdown impact, construction has to be halted. So yes, it did impact our business, but I think more importantly for us was ensuring the safety of staff and it highlighted the real social concerns we had around some of the communities in which we operate, often they are quite remote communities, and it was really important for us to ensure that we were able to support these communities during this time. So I think that really amplified just the efforts that needed to be made in some of these communities. Covid really highlighted that.

CIARAN RYAN: What about the revenue?

JULIAN JOHNSON: From a revenue perspective, yes, we are operational on three of our projects. So yes, we are generating revenue as it stands, and with two of our projects in construction, once they reach operations, they will become revenue generating as well.

CIARAN RYAN: And from Actis, your investor, of course, is a very well-known name in the private equity space, and has moved very aggressively into renewable energy. What are the risks that you have in a business like this, maybe just spend a minute talking about that.

JULIAN JOHNSON: I think the risks in a business like this, you are deploying quite large amounts of capital, it’s quite highly geared, in developing or emerging markets. I think as South Africans we are used to a certain amount of risk, we understand the environment we work in, so it is different to other more developed countries. But there’s always a risk when you’re putting down infrastructure for 20 years and people always talk about what are your guarantees, can you get sufficient PRI cover put in place to cover these projects. So I think there’s always risk in any project, but specifically these large construction projects with 20-year life’s on it, there is there’s that sort of risk.

CIARAN RYAN: Okay and in Kenya are the risks a little bit different? They’ve had some sort of political turmoil there in recent years, but it’s also a very investor friendly place, that’s the way it seems, is that the case?

JULIAN JOHNSON: Very much so and again, risks will be different for every country, right? So as much as we are all on the African continent, the risks are slightly different but I wouldn’t say it’s any more or any less than what we’re dealing with here. You have different sets of laws and regulations and legislations you have to deal with, and it’s a matter of just understanding what you are working with, and just being able to make sure that you’re always abiding and complying with the rules.


‘I really felt that renewable energy was the next thing that could really help uplift Africa as a continent.’


CIARAN RYAN: I see that you were at Transaction Capital for a while. So you came from the financial space into renewable energies, maybe just explain what attracted you to BioTherm Energy.

JULIAN JOHNSON: I spent quite quite a few years in telcos and I was at MTN for quite some time. I really saw how technology helps to speed up development and upliftment of our communities. I really felt that renewable energy was the next thing that could really help uplift Africa as a continent. Being able to provide a constant source of energy really helps to improve and your industrialisation. So I really think it helps with development and that really attracted me to the business to say that it’s something clean, it’s great for the environment, you can make money while doing it, no one says that you shouldn’t be making money, by all means let’s make money, and let’s do something that’s also great for the economy and can actually develop the areas in which we work.

So there are quite a lot of positives of what really attracted me to BioTherm.

CIARAN RYAN: Have you got solar panels at your house?

JULIAN JOHNSON: I actually do, yes.

CIARAN RYAN: Walk us through a typical day in your life as a CFO and what occupies most of your time and energy. Is it the team management, managing a team, is it the compliance issues,

is it dealing with shareholders? What is it?

JULIAN JOHNSON: I don’t think there’s any one day that’s a typical day, to be honest, especially in a business as dynamic as ours. As you just mentioned, being backed by a private equity investor, such as Actis, there’s always something exciting going on. Currently as it stands, we have been running quite a few projects on the go. So we’ve implemented a new ERP, we’re in our year-end period, so you’ve got your day-to-day job, which needs to get done, which is your typical gatekeeping, finance role. But what really gets me going and what really excites me to come to work each day is really supporting the primary objective of the business, which is to grow, and the strategy of the business. I spend quite a bit of my time ensuring that I am partnering with the business, ensuring that we’re structuring or we are providing the financial support where we can and where it makes sense.

CIARAN RYAN: Where are you based? Are you in Johannesburg?

JULIAN JOHNSON: Yes, our head office is in Fourways, Johannesburg.

NICOLAAS VAN WYK: There have been some interesting comments. Julian, I’m also very keen to understand your career development. You’re currently with BioTherm as CFO, at MTN you had more of a financial reporting role, and also the stint at KPMG. But it’s interesting, I see you also have some FSB first regulatory examinations completed.

JULIAN JOHNSON: Yes, correct.

NICOLAAS VAN WYK: And you are strong in IT as well, just tell us how all these things came together to now make you this diverse CFO that you are currently.

JULIAN JOHNSON: It’s really interesting and I think it goes back to my first few weeks at KPMG as an article clerk, and one of the partners had said to us that as an accountant you are expected to know everything, so know everything. Acknowledging that we can’t know everything, but I think it’s the sentiments about equipping yourself with as much knowledge as possible. So I really took that to heart back then and ever since it’s been what are all the things that impact and that you need to be aware of to try and get you to be the most rounded person that you can be. I thought IT was quite important, so I spent some time in IT services at KPMG, and, as you said, I have done a variety of other things. Just having that mixture of experiences, I think really helped to round me off, to enable me to be much more adaptable to the various things that get thrown at you as a CFO. I think as a CFO people do come to you with a lot of really ad hoc and odd questions sometimes, and they expect you as the professional in the business to have the answer. Sometimes you think to yourself, good gracious, why are you asking me this but in the back of my mind you know that people are trusting you, that you know how to get to the right answer, and I think that’s important.

NICOLAAS VAN WYK: That is so important, the diversity of scope, especially in a dynamic role. Then I see you are part of the Top 35 Under 35, and being a CFO, how did you accomplish that so early in your career?

JULIAN JOHNSON: I think I have been very fortunate, I’ve worked with some amazing individuals over my career, some great leaders, some great colleagues. I think, again, it comes back to what you said about the diversity of experience, being able to be thrown in with so many different things, I’ve done PE fund, sale of assets, mergers, helping to sell assets into and into a US yield co.

It’s being always eager to grab work, even if you’re not comfortable doing and getting involved and making sure that you do it successfully, even if you feel quite uncomfortable and you’re really not sure that’s the right thing you should be doing, but it’s stretching you. Having the colleagues and leaders I’ve worked with over time, allowing me that sort of scope to do that I think has helped me build up quite a nice skill base, which I think at the end of the day was what is reflected in the Top 35 Under 35.

NICOLAAS VAN WYK: We find this a lot with the CFOs who we speak with, this total knowledge of various areas that they need to have to make the numbers mean more for decision-making. There’s so much development also in this industry that I think the modern CFO, if you Google the word, there’s so many articles about that, discussing the critical role the CFO is playing. So in response to that, SAIBA a new designation for CFOs called CFO SA. What we found was that there are so many people from diverse backgrounds now even in the CFO role, from engineers to attorneys to actuaries, just last week I spoke with an actuary who’s now turning into a CFO. How do you see this change, does it relate to the 4IR technology change, that people from non-traditional accounting backgrounds now enter the CFO role?


Diversity challenges traditional accounting thinking


JULIAN JOHNSON: I think it’s wonderful, I’ve always been a big fan of diversity and I think what it does is it challenges the traditional accounting thinking. I think when you do have engineers and actuaries and other qualifications and professionals wanting to take on this role, they bring a different mindset perspective and it helps us as more traditional accountants to say, wait a second, I’ve got the technical knowledge, I’ve got the IFRS and I’ve got the M & A, and I’ve got whatever may be, but there’s a more of a business aspect that can be brought into this as well. An engineer has a greater engineering, technical view and it challenges us to think, well, we need to start thinking that way as well. We can’t think just in our box of numbers, balance sheets and what is the next IFRS that’s going to be out. In my mind, it pushes us to be a more rounded individual.

CIARAN RYAN: Nicolaas, I’ve got a question for you, if you can maybe answer this, I think we are touching on this, but there is a gap between what we’re learning in accounting schools and the role of the CFOs. That gap is bridged, SAIBA has this designation, CFO SA, just explain what was the rationale behind that? Are you there, Nicolaas? Oh, he’s gone off air. Julian, maybe you can answer that, what do you perceive as the gap between the CA and the role of the CFO? You’ve already mentioned that you spent a lot of your time building up your…for example, we find a lot of CFOs doing MBAs because they’re not really familiar with some of the aspects of business, which would have to do with marketing and with strategy and managing people. Do you see a gap there?

JULIAN JOHNSON: I think maybe to answer the question in two ways, I think as a base the CA process is an amazing process to go through. I think it really builds the sort of technical competency from an accounting point of view that you really need and I think it builds a work ethic and resilience that you need to be a CFO. So I think from that point, I think the process is amazing that one goes through to become a CA and then go through your career. I do think though, in terms of a gap, a leap from there to CFO, I think it’s really that – and it’s what Nicolaas mentioned – it’s the gap between being the typical accountant to understanding commercially the business, what you’re trying to achieve. In our industry, for instance, it’s understanding the sun shining and the wind blowing. It’s not quite as simple as the wind blows or the sun just shine sometimes. It’s making sure that you actually sit down and glean as much knowledge off your engineers and your technical teams as you can. So you can have a more rounded understanding of what your business is doing, so you can actually provide the valuable financial advice that you need to provide.

NICOLAAS VAN WYK: Sorry, I got cut off. I’d just like to ask a follow-up question. What’s interesting to me now is if there are so many people with diverse backgrounds entering the CFO role, how do you ensure a standardised approach for CFOs? We’re working with organisations in China and Japan, and some of the Asian countries have started with standardised assessments for their finance directors because of the Silk Road there is so much of a need now in that area for financial managers. So they are trying to standardise the entry point. We are working in Morocco and Tunisia, starting a new association for finance executives. But I think the thing that we are grappling with is how do you set a benchmark or a standard or an entry point for a CFO, and is that even possible?

JULIAN JOHNSON: I think that’s a very interesting question in that I think every business requires something different from their CFO. No business necessarily wants the exact same thing or needs the exact same thing from a CFO. So can they be one standard? I think the only standard that is across all CFO roles is your statutory requirements and those requirements that are needed for you to meet your IFRS and your GAAP and so on requirements. But from a commercial business perspective, I think that does vary from business to business. I would say though, I think if you do have an engineer as a CFO, they need to be supported by someone who is a qualified accountant in that you still need someone who knows the accounting, who knows the IFRS, who knows what your statutory compliances are. So I’m not sure if there is one answer for your question.

NICOLAAS VAN WYK: Yes, thanks for that, I agree with you, it’s an interesting point that we have to resolve and maybe it relates to the way that the CFO interacts with the board and gives strategic guidance and advice. But yes, it is also contextual per business.

JULIAN JOHNSON: Very much so.


‘I then made the leap into corporate and I think that’s the best decision I made.’


CIARAN RYAN: Julian, just a couple more questions here. I’m a little bit interested to find out a bit more about your career journey and where you grew up. Are you Johannesburg born and bred, tell us about that?

JULIAN JOHNSON: Very much so, proudly Johannesburg born and bred. I get laughed at by my friends because I do love Johannesburg, I’m not someone who wants to move down to the Cape and look at the mountain. I very much enjoy the pace of Johannesburg and all that it has to offer. I started my career at KPMG and I was very fortunate that I was exposed to some really great clients and very large clients, and I think that’s really ingrained the resilience that’s needed for a finance job. After my time in an audit, I moved into advisory. I knew that audit wasn’t necessarily for me, I understand the importance of it, but it just wasn’t something that I wanted to follow. So I moved into advisory and from advisory at KPMG I then made the leap into corporate and I think that’s the best decision I made. I qualified back 2008, so it was the height of the financial crisis, there weren’t that many global opportunities to go for, so I leapt into a corporate locally. I was very fortunate in that I landed up at MTN, where I spent quite a few years there growing, and I ended up heading up consolidation and financial reporting at MTN for the group. It was such a fantastic experience in that you’re exposed…MTN is so dynamic, involved constantly in various M&A activity and all sorts of transactions and just being able to get involved in all those different things that are happening at MTN and different projects really helped, we spoke about it earlier, in rounding me out quite nicely.

I really feel those were very much the foundation years, those years I invested there. From there I had my first stint at BioTherm, which was as senior financial manager, where I learnt and got to grips with what does it mean to be in renewables and how does it work, and I really grew a passion for it. From there I went onto Transaction Capital, I had some good times there and I am back now at BioTherm as CFO and I have been here for quite a number of years now. So that’s a quick summary of my career progression and my journey.

CIARAN RYAN: Were you working with Sean Doherty and David Hurwitz at Transaction Capital?

JULIAN JOHNSON: No, at that time I was there before Sean joined as CFO.

CIARAN RYAN: It’s also an interesting company, a very different business model to most.

JULIAN JOHNSON: It’s an absolutely fascinating business.

CIARAN RYAN: Yes, what did you learn there?

JULIAN JOHNSON: What was great about that business is I think it shows the diversity of business and how you don’t have to be typecast or typeset into one sort of business model and say I’m only doing one thing. They invest in such a variety of different businesses and it works. I think it shows entrepreneurial nature and I think that’s fantastic that it’s a very entrepreneurial business, and it comes through in the acquisitions and the way they run the business. It’s a very exciting business to be a part of.

CIARAN RYAN: And I’m sure MTN as well would have been a fascinating place to work because of the scope of the work that you were involved with. You already said you were involved in M&A type activities, and of course it has become a huge multinational corporation. So a lot of that is dealing with cross-border stuff and I guess some fairly complex transactions.

JULIAN JOHNSON: Very much so and what I loved the most about MTN is all the exposure to all the different African markets. I spent quite a bit of time traveling to different operations in different countries, and I’ve really met some fascinating people. I’ve been all the way out to a place like Liberia, as an example, which most people would probably not ever be able to consider. When you get to work with that sort of diversity of people, I think it really opens up your mind in terms of how to work with people across different backgrounds and cultures and countries, especially in a continent like Africa, which is really quite diverse.

CIARAN RYAN: I guess you were in Ghana because MTN is in Ghana as well, and Nigeria.

JULIAN JOHNSON: Correct, I have been to both of those places. Nigeria actually has really good food. People always think I’m a bit strange when I say that, but they actually have some really good food in Nigeria. So yes, I have been to some interesting countries.

CIARAN RYAN: Did you eat the fufu?

JULIAN JOHNSON: No, I must say, I am daring but sometimes not that daring. But I try as much as possible when I am in new countries to try the local food.

CIARAN RYAN: Good for you. Okay, so that brings you up to present time now. You’re at BioTherm, this is your second stint there, did they reach out to you? Did you reach out to them? How did that happen?

JULIAN JOHNSON: I was at Transaction Capital at the time and the previous CEO at that point reached out to me and she asked me if I would like to come back to BioTherm as the CFO. At that point it was actually the CFO/COO position, and I said definitely. It was such an amazing opportunity, it was a business that I am passionate about and it was really an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. So I grabbed it with both hands and I came running.

CIARAN RYAN: Does a lot of your work there involve regulatory issues, are you dealing with Nersa and Eskom and things like that, or is it just really managing the team internally?

JULIAN JOHNSON: Fortunately, we have a really good team, so we do have specialist teams that, look at the environmental issues, deal with the Department of Environmental Affairs. We have our technical team of engineers who deal with Eskom. So we’ve got a great complement of staff here. So yes, it’s very much a case of my days are [spent] making sure that the business is on the trajectory it’s supposed to be on, assisting the teams where they need to be assisted and guiding where I can.

CIARAN RYAN: What does the future look like? What is the pipeline for the next couple of years at BioTherm?

JULIAN JOHNSON: The pipeline is strong. As I mentioned, round five is fast approaching and we’ve got some really good projects which we will be tendering into this round. As mentioned, we are active in the rest of Africa as well and we’ve got a few projects in the pipeline that we are actively working on. I can’t speak to them right now, but we are quite active on working on and we hope to close in the near future.


‘2021 is definitely setting us up for a lot of success for the future.’


CIARAN RYAN: Okay, so it’s going to be the best year ever, 2021?

JULIAN JOHNSON: Well, especially with construction and prototype projects, it’s not a one-year type play, but yes, 2021 is definitely setting us up for a lot of success for the future.

CIARAN RYAN: Wonderful. Okay, here’s the question I always wrap up with, any books that you recommend, and they don’t have to be accounting books or business books.

JULIAN JOHNSON: To be honest with you, when I read I like to have a bit of escapism, so I generally try not to read business books because I find that just keeps me back in work. My favourite author is Keigo Higashino and he’s a Japanese murder mystery writer, his books are absolutely fantastic. He’s one of my favourite authors and I try to read his books when I can.

CIARAN RYAN: What is it that you like about his stories?

JULIAN JOHNSON: They are just really cleverly written, these murder mysteries, it’s so well written that you actually don’t know who is the culprit and he’ll lead you down the path for many, many pages and you’ll think everyone in the book is a suspect until the very end.

really, um, clearly you return, um, the, you know, these murder mysteries and, um, it’s just so well-written, you actually don’t know who. Who is the culprit and will lead you down the path for many, many, many pages. And you’ll think everyone in the book is a suspect until the very end.

CIARAN RYAN: Oh, so it’s a whodunit kind of thing?

JULIAN JOHNSON: Very much so and I quite enjoy the cleverness of the way it’s written.

CIARAN RYAN: That sounds like great escapism. Nicolaas, I don’t know if you’ve got any final questions for Julian before we close off?

NICOLAAS VAN WYK: I was just impressed with the range of experience Julian has and also working across Africa in very difficult circumstances, I’m sure, and the way I think or perceive that he planned his career, strong development with KPMG, with MTN and now in the green sector, and he has a passion for that green sector. I think that’s also why they wanted him to come and work with the company. So yes, it was really great speaking with him.

JULIAN JOHNSON: Thank you, Nicolaas.

CIARAN RYAN: Yes, Julian, I think your passion for renewables comes across very, very strongly and it is a technology that, of course, is changing everything. It’s not only bringing energy, but it’s bringing jobs and it’s bringing a cleaner environment that is really setting something up for future generations.

JULIAN JOHNSON: Very, very much so, I’m very passionate about it and there are so many positives to the industry that we could spend hours talking about it.

CIARAN RYAN: Well, I think we’ve got to get you back on again. I really do want to explore this a little bit more. It is becoming a huge feature of investment, there’s not a lot of investment happening in South Africa, but there is in this particular space a lot of investment happening, and I’d love to have you back.

JULIAN JOHNSON: Definitely, anytime.

CIARAN RYAN: Thank you so much for coming on, Julian, and also Nicolaas van Wyk for both of you, I think that was a fascinating discussion. That was Julian Johnson, who is the CFO at BioTherm Energy, and Nicolaas van Wyk, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the South African Institute of Business Accountants.


Ciaran is a seasoned journalist and podcast host. He has a back-ground in finance and mining, having pre-viously headed up a gold mining operation in Ghana.In this podcast he interviews various CFOs, get-ting more detail on the role of the CFO and their daily challenges and solutions.


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