Categories: SpeechesPublished On: 05/03/2021

Dr Nurmazilah Dato’ Mahzan, Chief Executive Officer, Malaysian Institute of Accountants, PAIB Committee Members, Distinguished Speakers, Ladies & Gentlemen

  1. Good morning and welcome to the 7th CFO Circle, a high-level virtual gathering for senior finance leaders.
  2. On behalf of the MIA PAIB Committee, which advocates the interests and advancement of professional accountants in business, I thank you all for participating in this CFO circle session. MIA has over 37,000 members, 75% of whom are Professional accountants in business. PAIBs comprise a significant part of the profession working in commerce, industry, financial services, education, and the public and not-for-profit sectors. As such, PAIBs, especially senior finance leaders such as yourselves, are very influential in determining the future direction of business and the nation.
  3. This is why we chose to focus today’s CFO Circle event on the role of the profession and business in mobilising SDGs. Although SDGs are gaining visibility, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts slowed down SDG efforts as businesses prioritised business continuity and staying afloat. Now, as global business moves into the recovery phase with the distribution of vaccines, it is timely for us to reassess the impacts, relevance, and sustainability of our business models. As the owners of strategic and financial data, CFOs have an immense role to play in getting businesses to prioritise SDGs – for sustainability in the long haul.
  4. One challenge is that sustainability is frequently misinterpreted as being purely an environmental or CSR issue. However, sustainability has a wider and more holistic scope, and it is integral to business and economic longevity. Furthermore, sustainability is aligned with the ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) agenda that is becoming more widely accepted. Many institutional investors, activist investors and the public are consciously choosing to apply ESG filters in decision-making. It is hence imperative for businesses to internalise ESG and sustainability values to retain and build trust, whether in the capital or consumer markets.
  5. Today, I am delighted to welcome Stathis Gould, Director, Advocacy, International Federation of Accountants and Feroze Nadar, an experienced corporate sustainability practitioner who is currently the Executive Director for UN Global Compact Network Malaysia & Brunei, a local network of the United Nations Global Compact.
  6. Stathis will cover the role of business, finance and accounting professionals in accelerating sustainability and long-term value creation and Feroze will share on developments in the sustainability landscape in Malaysia, developments in the sustainable finance space and the UN Global Compact CFO Task Force as a call to action for Malaysian corporates.
  7. On behalf of MIA and the PAIB Committee, I hope that you will find today’s CFO Circle sharing helpful in implementing the SDGs and sustainability agenda in your organisations and businesses. In this secure and private webinar, do feel free to openly ask questions to our guest speakers. In line with MIA’s drive to collate and analyse data for future initiatives, the webinar will be recorded, and the findings documented to help us to better understand the challenges and issues faced by CFOs and to propose solutions.
  8. So far, we have received excellent feedback on the CFO Circle events. Going forward, the PAIB Committee will continue to focus on familiarising accountants with the latest business issues, in order to meet the future needs of business and ensure the continuing relevance of the accountancy profession and finance professionals. Let us work together to get more new members on board to strengthen our collective voice and influence and develop the competencies and capabilities of finance functions and finance leadership.
  9. Do enjoy the webinar and let’s do our best to stay safe. Thank you.