When a financial director steps into the role of CEO, there is usually a well-grounded suspicion that the firm’s strategic focus will rapidly turn inwards. Belts will be tightened to bolster cash flows, acquisitive tilts abandoned to build up margins, operations "right-sized" for efficiencies, and noncore assets hived off so that management can focus on the most profitable assets. That said, the recent — and well-deserved — elevation of Imraan Soomra from FD to CEO of Africa’s largest fishing group, Oceana, won’t have shareholders rushing for the lifeboats for fear of a wave of operational consolidation. Soomra is seen as a capable hand on the tiller. An executive of a rival fishing company says Soomra is a strong implementer who worked well with former CEO Francois Kuttel (now the owner of the majority stake in Oceana’s fishing partner in the US). "He learnt the fishing business very quickly, and always had [Kuttel’s] back. He is as hard as nails when it comes to business … I’ve se...

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