CAPE TOWN – Athol Williams, a partner at Bain & Company’s global Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility, shook the finance professionals industry when he publicly resigned from the global management consultancy firm on Thursday.
Williams’s resignation formed part of his keynote address on rebuilding after lies and corruption to 6 000 finance professionals at the 2019 Finance Indaba in Sandton, where he also addressed the difference between standing by and keeping silent in a time when the country is in a moral crisis.
Williams, a poet, author and strategist, delivered a strong message to finance professionals and challenged the audience to consider what they could do in their own situations to stem the tide of corruption.
“I believe we’re in a moral moment, a moral crisis and that requires some very serious action and response from finance professionals,” he said. Referring to companies implicated in state capture, he asked the audience, “If you worked for one of those companies, what would you do? What have you been doing? Some of us do work at those companies, or for companies where similar things are happening, and we need to think about what we are doing about what’s going on around us.”