Chad Barton

Former CFO, Star Entertainment

Chad Barton, CFO, Star Entertainment - FEI CFO Mentor

Tell us a little about your career path

My formative years in the chartered accounting world were with Arthur Andersen working with both large clients in audit and mid-market advisory.

Having enjoyed the experience, I realised that I was more commercially focused, so I moved to SunSystems where I worked through the ranks over a five year period to become CFO for the ANZ region. Following this I was Commercial Director at SingTel Optus and then CFO for EDS (that was acquired by HP) for the ANZ region. Having been a divisional CFO, my next step was to Group CFO with ASX listed Salmat Limited. That preceded my current role of Group CFO The Star Entertainment Group Limited in 2014.

And your education?

Bachelor of Business at University of Technology Sydney, followed by the professional year programme with the Institute of Chartered Accountants. More recently I completed an executive leadership programme with the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona as well as the Company Directors’ Course.

What keeps you awake at night?

Actually I sleep pretty well but sometimes jet lag gets me. Life as a CFO with international investors sees me on roadshows regularly having recently visited Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, South Korea, US and UK.

What has been a career high?

I have completed a number of acquisitions that have been very satisfying, but probably the divestment of a business well over market expectations would be a high. The transactions also create a great team atmosphere where everyone is working hard and supporting each other.

Any lows?

I would like to say that I had 100 per cent strike rate on acquisitions, but unfortunately one was unsuccessful. The good thing is that you can learn considerably from those experiences.

How has the CFO role changed over the last decade?

The focus has certainly moved from being the finance leader of the business focused on getting the numbers right, compliance and reporting. In addition we are now more heavily involved in the execution of the strategic direction and driving change. But, we still need to make sure there is integrity in all that we do. The continued automation of transactions will lead the function more towards real time reporting and analytics.

Why do you mentor?

I was fortunate enough to be mentored through the FEI program in 2003 by Tim Regan and got huge value from the experience. This continues to be my opportunity to pay it forward.

What’s your favourite technology for work and play?

For work, iPhone 6 Plus (need the bigger screen these days) – it’s fully mobile and I can be available anywhere in the world. At home Spotify on my Sonos – amazing to have all that music content playing wirelessly through the home.

What do you think will be most disruptive to the finance role – technology, cultural shifts or regulation?

I think technology will continue to disrupt not only our function but business and this will continue to accelerate.

What are you reading now?

‘Lean In’ by Sheryl Sandberg the COO of Facebook. It is about women, work and the will to lead.

Can you share a personal productivity tip?

Be ruthless in how you allocate time to the most important matters and delegate others to your team.

Interested? Learn more about our Mentoring Program.

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