TFG outlets, which include Foschini stores. Picture: KATHERINE MUICK-MERE
TFG outlets, which include Foschini stores. Picture: KATHERINE MUICK-MERE

Fashion retailer TFG has poached the CEO of Grindrod Freight Services, Bongiwe Ntuli, to fill the role of finance chief.

TFG said previously that Anthony Thunström, the current CFO, would move into the CEO role on September 3. Current CEO Doug Murray will step down at that time after almost 11 years in the job.

The owner of the Markham and Foschini brands said on Wednesday that Ntuli would take over from Thunström and would become an executive director of the group with effect from January 14.

"The appointment follows an extensive internal and external executive search," TFG said.

Ntuli, a chartered accountant who has also completed the advanced management programme at Harvard Business School in the US, has worked in the freight and logistics, mining and financial services sectors, in New York, Canada, the UK and SA.

In addition to her role as CEO of Grindrod Freight Services, Ntuli has been an executive director of the broader JSE-listed Grindrod group for four years. She has served on a number of boards in a nonexecutive capacity, including at JSE-listed Adapt IT.

TFG chair Michael Lewis said: "On behalf of the board we extend a warm welcome to Bongiwe and wish her well in her new position. We look forward to her contribution to the organisation."

TFG’s group turnover rose 21.4% to R28.6bn in the year ended March, while headline earnings were up 9.6% at R2.5bn.

The company’s foray into the international market has been more successful than some of its peers. so far. Murray said in May that TFG planed to open six stores in Australia under one of its South African brands in October. The TFG Australia business, which comprises the recently acquired Retail Apparel Group (RAG) and some G-Star Raw outlets, was performing better than expected and new stores were planned, Murray said.

He said TFG London, which includes Phase Eight, Whistles and the recently acquired Hobbs brand, was "running ahead of our expectations as well".

TFG’s shares have risen 14% over the past year, versus Truworths’ 7% gain and Mr Price’s 33% climb.

Shares in TFG closed 1.1% lower at R170.35 on Wednesday.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za