Schalk Viljoen, General Manager – Strategy & Growth

BCom (Accounting) Honours • Chartered Accountant (SAICA)

A natural leader with complementary strengths in business development, entrepreneurial insight, relationship management, risk mitigation and critical thinking, Schalk has played a pivotal role in the growth of several organisations in Australia and South Africa.

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As an innovative strategist and seasoned business professional, Schalk has more than 20 years of global experience in the consulting, mining, banking and insurance sectors.

Prior to joining Xenith and relocating his family to Australia in 2024, he was based in Johannesburg as Head of Strategy Execution (Insurance, Africa Regions) for the Standard Bank Group.

He previously held positions at Deloitte and Coal of Africa, while also having co-founded and led a successful management consultancy firm, which placed equal value on improving personal and business growth within teams.

In the mining and resources sectors, Schalk has led several financial and commercial due diligence processes, working closely with technical advisors to achieve desired deal outcomes.

A clear, charismatic and confident communicator, Schalk has the ability to inspire teams, keep them motivated and on track to achieve strategic outcomes.

As Xenith’s General Manager – Strategy and Growth, Schalk is passionate about driving new business, championing strategy and optimising operations. This includes supporting the management team to enhance systems, processes and tools in alignment with the company’s exciting growth trajectory.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE …

Schalk is married with two small children. When he’s not spending time with his family and getting reacquainted with Brisbane (he lived in Queensland about 15 years ago), he’s going for a run or playing golf, guitar or violin.

SKILLS AND EXPERTISE

  • Business management: Team leadership and governance; financial: budgets, working capital, due diligence and reporting; resourcing and talent management; risk mitigation and project management.
  • Strategy development and execution: Strategy facilitation and formulation, execution of strategic imperatives, critical thinking and analysis, unlocking growth opportunities.
  • Business development: Client relationship management, pipeline management, corporate transactions.
  • Leadership: Team leadership, lecturing and facilitation, effective communication.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

LeadStrong Business Consulting
  • Led and owned a boutique management consultancy providing corporate clients with solutions around strategy development, talent development and innovation.
  • Directed daily operations with a focus on efficiency, profitability, and resource management.
  • Delegated tasks and monitored performance and workflow to meet daily demands.
  • Developed and facilitated Leadership Development Journeys containing leadership modules, topics, and practical tools for individuals to develop.
  • Facilitated a strategy process for corporate leadership teams that enables them to derive or refine their corporate strategy and helped cascade it in the organisation.
Standard Bank Group
  • Facilitated strategy processes that enabled the bank’s Africa Regions Insurance business to formulate and share its corporate strategy.
  • Drove the accountability and execution of agreed strategic imperatives and transformation projects across multiple African countries.
  • Drove the execution of digital projects, including the development of a Financial Fitness Academy (reaching 120,000 people across the African continent) and a digital insurance technology stack.
  • Relationship management of strategic partners and consultants.
  • Chaired governance forums such as Executive Committees (Excos) and Governance Committees (GovCo) and assisted with the integration of large corporate teams as part of a merger.
Coal of Africa
  • Led the financial, commercial, and technical due diligence processes on the proposed acquisition of mining tenements and raw coal.
  • Led and managed the sale process which a Chinese company successfully subscribed for 23.5% of the group’s shares.
  • Led and managed the successful divestment of one of the group’s open cast thermal coal mines and New Order Mining Rights.
  • Successfully built and implemented a complex financial valuation model for the group, its subsidiaries, and its individual projects.