Australia’s top CFOs revealed in new Yellow Folder Executive Index

Click to view full table: YF Index Nov 23 – ASX CFOs

Australia’s 25 top performing Chief Financial Officers have been revealed in new research, painting a picture of business value growth and delivering a who’s who of future company leaders.

Whitehaven Coal’s Kevin Ball came out on top in the first edition of the Yellow Folder Executive Index, which this month ranks ASX Top 100 Chief Financial Officers against market capitalisation change over the past three years.

The top five largely reflect the performance of the metals and mining sector, with Lynas Rare Earths (Gaudenz Sturzenegger), Yancoal Australia (Kevin Ning Su), Mineral Resources (Mark Wilson) joining Ball near the top of the list, and the growth in the healthcare sector, with Pro Medicus (Clayton Hatch) rounding off the top 5.

The top 25 list features well-known brands including Macquarie Group (Alex Harvey), Carsales.com (William Elliott), Reece (Andrew Cowlishaw) and QBE Insurance Group (Inder Singh).

Yellow Folder Research’s Managing Director Julian Doherty said the monthly index, produced by Australian consulting firm Yellow Folder Research, will highlight a significant underlying trend in today’s economy, with a list of top executives each month.

This month’s index points to Australia’s leading CFOs being on a fast track to the top job, within 12 to 24 months.

“These CFOs are future CEOs, with ASX Top 100 companies such as Transurban, Qantas Group, Coles Group, and Telstra already promoting their CFOs to the CEO role over the past 12 months,” Mr Doherty said.

“Our data shows which CFOs are likely to be CEO candidates in the next 12 to 24 months.”

Further key insights revealed by the October 2023 Yellow Folder Executive Index include:

  • Clayton Hatch, CFO of healthcare informatic provider Pro Medicus, oversaw a 131% increase in market capitalisation. Other tech success stories such as Wisetech Global and Carsales.com, are in the Top 25.
  • Resources companies led the Top 10 with CFOs at Whitehaven Coal, Lynas Rare Earths, Yancoal Australia, and Mineral Resources overseeing over 130% growth in market capitalisation.
  • Macquarie Bank and CommBank are the only mega cap companies (with over $50 billion in market cap) in the Top 25.
  • Other key economic trends reflected in the index include a boost in home improvement during the pandemic (Reece), rising demand for healthcare (EBOS Group, Pro Medicus), the opportunities in the energy sector (Origin Energy), and the ongoing strength in financial service companies (Macquarie Group, Computershare, Steadfast Group, and Suncorp Group).
  • Only three of the top 25 CFOs are women.
  • CFOs such as Nick Oldfield (Computershare), William Elliott (Carsales.com), Inder Singh (QBE Insurance) and Janelle Hopkins (REA Group) and are ones to watch for CEO appointments in the future.

Yellow Folder is an Australian consulting firm providing market insights, succession planning, and remuneration intelligence advice to boards and executives, and is at the forefront of market trends.

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