Charles Hattingh

Founder of PC Finance Research

After serving five years of articles with a small auditing firm and attending Wits in the evenings and on Saturday mornings, Charles Hattingh (CPH) failed the qualifying examination in 1962. He then formed a small study group and rewrote in 1963, achieving honours (first in RSA).

He received his results while working for 20th Century Fox as company secretary in Nairobi, Kenya. On returning to South Africa, he joined the Industrial Development Corporation as an investigating accountant. He was fortunate to work under two incredible people, Mr. John Mitchell and Mr. Derek Keys, spending three years at the IDC performing due diligence investigations for loan and equity investments. He sat on three boards of directors as a representative of IDC.

After his stint with the IDC he joined Anglo American’s merchant bank, Union Acceptances Limited (UAL). His job was to investigate and value companies for listings and takeover purposes. The level of activity at UAL was much lower than that at the IDC so, in his spare time, he formed a group of fourteen candidates who had previously failed the CA qualifying examination.

Using his own experience of having failed and then achieving honours, he trained these candidates for five months in the art and practice of writing examinations. 12 of the 14 passed. The two who failed never managed to pass at subsequent attempts. Encouraged by these results, he left UAL to focus full time on preparing candidates for the Q.E.

During this stage of his career he:
- Was appointed to SAICA’s Accounting Practices Committee as a representative of financial statement analysts
- Presented courses for SAICA on International Financial Reporting Standards
- Wrote and passed the CFA (Chartered Financial Analysts) examinations
-   Co-wrote SAICA’s valuation booklet
-   Consulted on accounting and valuation problems
-   Analysed and valued about 80 companies a year

In 1999 he ceased his Q.E. activities and in 2011 ceased presenting workshops on IFRS.

In 2015 he gave up his valuation activities. He then focused all his efforts on researching portfolio management.

Charles valiantly fought a decade long battle with cancer. His brave battle has ended as he passed away on 2 March 2021.