Herselman attributes the completion of articles at BDO as one of the contributors towards his professional success
Having been selected as a finalist for this year’s Top 35-under-35 SAICA (South African Institute of Chartered Accountants) competition, Robin Herselman (35) has had a chance to reflect on an impressive career that brought him to this point.
One period he highlighted as pivotal in directing him on the path of success was the three years spent training for articles at the Durban office of international audit, tax and advisory firm, BDO South Africa.
“This was an incredible platform for growth because I benefitted from high-intensity training where I was mentored by partners and managers at BDO with extensive experience,” said Herselman, the current Group Finance Director (GFD) of International Facilities Services (IFS).
By 22 years of age, Herselman had founded Zitha Group, a residential construction company which saw him develop speculative residential property in estates. But by the age of 26, he knew there were limitations to his own development within the professional realm.
“I made the decision to exit my business and qualify as a chartered accountant mainly for the opportunity of being part of articles,” recalled Herselman, explaining he wanted the chance to analyse what makes businesses succeed.
“I was very specific about what I wanted to get out of articles and the main objective was broad range exposure across multiple industries of varying sizes,” he said. “BDO was the only option for me. Being the biggest of the mid-tier firms, they offered exactly what I was looking for, giving me exposure to everything from listed manufacturing and construction companies, through to family trusts, sole proprietors and everything in-between.”
Using his prowess in analysis, Herselman said there were three key benefits of having spent time at BDO.
“Because BDO offered broad spectrum exposure, I could engage my commercial roles outside of BDO with confidence. An unexpected benefit of articles is that your mind gets conditioned to look at problems with a solution-focused lens, something which has helped me in business. Finally, the networks I built at BDO were incredibly beneficial and something I constantly rely on for problem solving,” he explained.
Herselman is currently the GFD at IFS, a premium-rated service provider, where he is responsible for all the transactional and strategic finance activities of the business. He is also involved in a number of CSI initiatives and it was his extraordinary success professionally and positive impact on society that saw him selected from hundreds of chartered accountants to make the top 35 SAICA list which is exclusive to CA(SA) members.
Bryan Galliver, Audit Partner at BDO, said the company was proud to once again have a finalist in the SAICA Top 35-Under-35 competition.
“Robin is someone who was always destined for success,” said Galliver. “His mature and pragmatic approach to business and life in general, combined with the respect he shows to everyone he has dealings with, are in our view, key to his success. We are privileged to have had Robin complete his articles with BDO in our Durban office. Robin was respected by both his colleagues and clients and his time with us was characterised by his hunger to learn as much as possible to develop himself.”
Robin is the fourth finalist to come out of BDO’s Durban office in as many years. Previous finalists include Cuan Chelin, Melanie Marchbank and last year’s winner, Bronwyn Corbett, who currently serves as CEO of property group, Maradelta.
“We like to think that this is not coincidence, but rather that it points to the quality of the training we provide to our audit trainees at BDO,” continued Galliver. “We wish Robin well in the competition and whatever the final result may be, we are very proud of his achievements and are confident of his continued success in business.”