Team UKZN, comprising of four Accounting graduates, twins Mr Steffen Wies and Mr Rudi Wies, Ms Camira Govender and Mr Tim Siepman were crowned the 2018 Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Case Study Competition winners at the finals which took place at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) recently.

Team UKZN, whose four members are all completing their articles at PwC Durban was one of the initial 450 teams from six continents that entered the global contest.

‘This achievement means a great deal to us. It has shown us that we are able to compete on a global level, and that our grasp on business strategy and management is on par with our international peers. We are incredibly grateful to UKZN for providing the foundation to our success,’ said team leader Steffen.

The road to victory has been one of growth and development for the team as the competition gives practical context to the theory studied at university through the simulation of real life challenges faced by company directors. This involved team members executing specific roles to critically analyse information and provide solutions to problems faced by the case company. Govender was responsible for performing the team’s quantitative analysis, Siepman’s responsibility was researching into the qualitative aspects of the challenge while Rudi handled the editing of the teams work and Steffen’s role was to co-ordinate the team and ensure its key strategies are highlighted.

This hard work led to the team making the semi-finals which saw them make a video presentation as a summary and key recommendations of the board report based on AB Inbev with specific focus on its merger with SABMiller for the public voting stage which led them to the finals where they faced off against Team UMCC from Germany and Team Fynergy from the University of Pretoria and won!

‘We were able to seal the victory by working together as a team. In this competition, effective teamwork is the cornerstone to success. We are very thankful to The Charterquest Institute for organising this competition, and to ACCA for sponsoring it, as it has given us the opportunity to network with students from all over the world, and interact with executives from top South African companies,’ said Steffen.

School of Accounting, Economics and Finance Dean and Head Professor Mabutho Sibanda congratulated team UKZN on their achievement. ‘Our Accounting students have done us proud – again! Many thanks to their Accounting and Finance mentors. Last year, Team UKZN made it to the top six, and persistency has led to this remarkable achievement,’ he said.

Words by: Thandiwe Jumo

Photograph: Supplied