Kevin Backhouse

Chief Financial Officer at Tarsus

Kevin Backhouse is a qualified Chartered Accountant with a passion for people and business. He joined Tarsus Distribution in March 2012 and is responsible for the broader financial activities at Tarsus, including financial reporting, cash flow, working capital management and strategic input from a financial standpoint.

Kevin completed his BCom Honours in Accounting at the University of KwaZulu Natal before starting his career in 2004 as an article clerk at KPMG in Pietermaritzburg. He qualified as a CA(SA) and moved to Johannesburg in 2007 to take up the position of Group Financial Manager at Stuttafords. During his time at Stuttafords, he was appointed as a member of the Exco, taking responsibility for the warehouse and distribution centre. He also received his ACMA qualification through CIMA during this time.

Kevin started in the capacity as Finance and IT director at Skye Distribution in 2010. One of his career highlights is the work that he did at Skye Distribution to unify the finance team. In 2012, Kevin completed his MBA at the University of Witwatersrand and joined Tarsus as the CFO.

During his time at Tarsus, he has focussed on optimising the working capital within the company and provided leadership on the GP visibility project that successfully allowed the business to understand profitability at every conceivable level.

His behind-the-scenes work with vendors, bankers and finance-related suppliers combined with his passion for strategic and people management are core elements to the success of Tarsus’ operations.

When Kevin isn’t working, he enjoys a round of golf with his friends. He is a braai-aficionado and celebrates his time off around the fire with some music and good company.

What would you like to leave behind as a legacy?

I would like to leave behind a legacy of adding value to both people and the business and improving decision making on a sustainable basis.

A lesson you learned early on in your career

Emotional intelligence is far more important than
intellect in a leadership role


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