PwC probe into financial mismanagement at wiGroup: CFO confirms he resigned


The chief financial officer (CFO) of Cape Town based fintech company wiGroup confirmed today that he has resigned from the company. It comes as wiGroup revealed last month that it had tasked PwC to conduct a probe into what it is referring to as “financial mismanagement” at the company.

The saga comes just months after the company secured investment from the Virgin Group and retail solutions provider Smollan to fast-track its entry into emerging and developed markets.

An employee Ventureburn spoke to over the phone said Morne Patterson had resigned in July from the company.

It follows a TechCentral story last month which reported that the company had ordered the forensic audit and had been forced to restructure its operations and reduce its staff complement as a result. An anonymous source first tipped TechCentral off about the developments.

Ventureburn approached Patterson via LinkedIn today. He responded by confirming that he had resigned from wiGroup and redirected any queries to the company itself.

WiGroup has not released a formal statement on its website with regards to the forensic audit. Ventureburn attempted to contact wiGroup founder Bevan Ducasse (pictured above) today on his cellphone, but he was not immediately available.

The forensic probe over financial management comes just months after the wiGroup secured investment from the Virgin Group and Smollan

When approached for comment, the company’s chief marketing officer Nic Bednall declined to clarify whether Patterson had been fired or had left the company, saying only that the company is not “at liberty to offer more detail other than what has already been covered”.

He said that as the PWC audit is underway, any further comment on the issue is “inappropriate”.

The restructuring of the company, he said, was completed at the end of July and that while there were “some job losses”, the majority of the team “remains and it is business as usual at wiGroup”.

It follows comments he made to TechCentral last month that Ducasse “is in the driving seat” and that the company has quantified demand for its software across three continents”.

However, Bednall did not respond to a subsequent emailed question from Ventureburn on whether those employees were retrenched, or had resigned or been fired for any involvement in the financial mismanagement being investigated by PwC.

On Friday (7 September) Bednall told Ventureburn in an email that wiGroup has more than 100 clients, operates across Retail, Hospitality, Fintech, Banking, Telco, CPG and Insurance sectors, and in multiple countries.

Said Bednell: “The incident was isolated to our finance team and has no operational or technical impact”.

Read more: SA fintech wiGroup secures funding from Virgin, Smollan to boost global expansion
Read more: How wiGroup founder switched gears to build growth company around people



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