Corporate Travel Management CFO to exit, as company suffers $36.4m loss

Modern green emergency exit sign above a black doorway

Corporate Travel Management (CTM) has announced that its global chief financial officer, Neale O’Connell, will retire and step down from his role.

O’Connell will be replaced by deputy global CFO Cale Bennett, who joined CTM in August 2019 as part of his succession plan. His previous experience includes senior leadership roles at Bank of Queensland, Tatts Group and Aurizon.

Bennett will step into his new role on 1 March, with O’Connell to remain at the company until 30 June 2021 to ensure a smooth transition.

CTM managing director Jamie Pherous said: “When he joined CTM, Neale’s key objectives included strengthening the capabilities of the group finance function.

Neale O’Connell

“He has been instrumental in managing the financial impacts on the company through COVID-19, helping to execute the acquisitions in the current period and ensuring CTM is in a strong financial position ready for the recovery.

“Neale has executed on these key objectives and, having transformed our group finance function, will depart knowing that the business is well-positioned for recovery post-COVID-19.

“I want to thank Neale for his valuable contribution and for all he has achieved at CTM.”

Pherous also welcomed Bennett’s appointment, saying he was delighted to have “such a talented and highly capable internal successor”.

“Cale has been a key member of CTM’s senior management team since his appointment and, together with Neale, has contributed to the development of the group finance function and assisted in putting the company in a strong financial position ready for the recovery,” he said.

The senior leadership changes were revealed alongside CTM’s half-yearly results, with the company recording a $36.4 million loss, compared to a $32.9 million profit in the first half of FY20.

The group’s total transaction value was down 88 per cent to $403.8 million during the six months to 31 December 2020, and revenue dropped 67 per cent to $74.2 million.

However, CTM expects its ANZ and European operations to be profitable in the second half of FY21, provided domestic borders largely remain open and travel restrictions are relaxed as high-risk segments of the population are fully vaccinated, particularly in the US and the UK.

“Whilst Australia and New Zealand have not commenced their vaccination program, USA and UK are well-advanced,” Pherous said.

“The UK (population 67 million) has surpassed 15 million vaccinations, and the USA (population 329 million) has surpassed 50 million vaccinations.

“Both countries expect to have the high-risk segment of the population vaccinated in this quarter, potentially allowing a relaxation in travel restrictions much earlier than ANZ.

“Given 70 per cent of our pre-COVID revenue is derived from the UK and USA, we are well-positioned for the incremental revenue gains from travel relaxations in these markets.”

Featured image source: iStock/serts

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