Tell us about your work experience and what led you to coming to Cape Group as the new CFO?
I started my career with PwC and obtained my CPA, CA designation in 2010. Soon after that, I joined a local developer as a Controller, in charge of financial reporting and tax compliances. In 2008, I became the VP of Finance of another local developer and arranged a syndicated financing of over $200 million for a 640,000 sq ft multi-phased project. I became familiar with Cape Group through a mutual contact, and was drawn to the family dynamics, the rapid growth potential, and really the diversified portfolios. Even though Cape Group is a family owned business, it has all aspects of a real estate business.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
A typical work day will start with email scanning at 8am and a daily to-do list. I like breaking down all my milestone deadlines into small daily tasks so I don’t feel overwhelmed. Specifically, my daily work can include all or some of the following aspects.
- Strategic planning – This is usually a collaboration with the owners and/or other department heads to discuss the upcoming deadlines, challenges in each line of business, and forecast any financial or overall risks and opportunities.
- Corporate Governance – You will see me on the phone constantly reaching out to bankers, insurance, lawyers, auditors to make sure we get supported in corporate governance and financing.
- Accounting – Back to my roots, I will make sure that our books are accurate, invoices are paid, and rents are collected.
- Process improvement – My team and I are all about how we can better work together as a team to reduce errors and improve efficiencies.
As a CFO, what would you consider to be your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge for me is to foresee changes coming our way and ensure that we have all the mechanisms to control our risks and capture opportunities. I specifically see technology changes are due for all real estate businesses. Real estate businesses have fallen behind on utilizing technologies compared to a lot of other industries.
What is your favourite song of all time?
Hero by Mariah Carey.