Mazars South Africa has appointed Michelle Olckers and Anoop Ninan as joint chief executive officers.

Olckers and Ninan started their positions 1 September, after they were elected by all of Mazars South Africa’s partners in an independent process.  

The pair intend to lead Mazars in creating an ‘African hub for banking in South Africa’. The firm is already investing in this area and is the auditor of three of the ten main African banks as well as auditor of central banks in 17 African countries.

In South Africa, banks are required to have joint audits which Mazars has experience of. Olckers said: “Mazars globally and specifically in France, has seen the effect that the implementation of joint audits has had on improving the profession’s concentration levels, and reinforcing auditor independence.

“Joint audit should be supported as a means to stimulate progressive investment in order to create a more diverse audit market.”

Mandatory Audit Firm Rotation was introduced in South Africa for listed companies in 2017. South African banks initially sought exemption from this due to concerns that they would be limited on choice of audit firm.

The co-CEOs took over from Mazars chairman Hilton Saven who retired after 43 year at Mazars, including leading the firm for the last 24 years.

Olckers and Ninan have been part of the senior leadership team for 15 and 11 years respectively and collectively have almost 40 years of experience in the industry.

Olckers commented: “We believe that the co-CEO roles provide the right level of capacity and prioritisation required for the fulfilment of the firm’s objectives, and demonstrate the firm’s commitment to transformation and diversity.”