Neil Johnson, journalist

Mobility within the finance and accounting profession has always been a big pull for people seeking a career in which they can work across a variety of sectors, in all organisation types and sizes, and anywhere in the world. Indeed, ACCA’s Global talent trends 2024 report only serves to reinforce this attitude: 44% of respondents intend to move in the next 12 months, 68% in the next two years, and 45% expect to move internationally.

Few appear to revel in this fluidity as much as Ludovic Magic. A Mauritius native, Ludovic has spent almost two decades in Australia, where he is currently director of finance and operations at St Kevin’s College Toorak in Melbourne.

‘The reality is the director of finance and operations in a school is a critical job’

Critical role

Ludovic oversees six divisions, six managers and 50 people across finance, IT, property facility maintenance, groundskeeping, projects and administrative function. ‘The reality is that the director of finance and operations in a school is a critical job; there’s only the principal above me,’ he says.

Founded in 1918, the private Catholic boys’ kindergarten, primary and secondary school is at a turning point in its development. ‘It has a significant capital master plan; it wants to grow,’ Ludovic explains.


Director of finance and operations, St Kevin’s College Toorak, Melbourne, Australia

ACCA network panel member, Victoria and Tasmania

CFO, Infranexus Management

Client manager, Deloitte Australia

Assistant manager, Baker Tilly Mauritius

Audit supervisor, Deloitte Mauritius

Top of his to-do list is to implement a new management reporting process – no mean feat in an institution with a long history. ‘You have to go with the flow, but you also have to bring people on the improvement journey. So, first I’m making sure the teams are resourced, that they have the right people and they can work towards delivering the strategic plan,’ Ludovic explains.

Balancing act

Ludovic has joined at a challenging time for finance teams in education, especially those at private schools, for which funding challenges can be acute. ‘Families’ financial considerations regarding private schooling are very much influenced by the rising cost of living,’ he says. ‘Consequently, this can impact fees and admission numbers.’

Then there’s a balancing act between government funding and school fees, with the goal being to ensure financial sustainability and maintain capex plans while delivering a high level of education.

‘Finance teams need to manage expenses, while the school attempts to attract quality teachers – a challenge due to a shortage of educators entering the profession,’ Ludovic says. ‘We also need to strike a balance between financial sustainability and investing in future capital works and educational excellence.’

‘The Big Four is great for project exposure whether you become a partner in the practice or go outside and become a CFO’

He concedes that his move into the education sector was not an obvious one, but he believes that his previous roles laid the groundwork. ‘I was perhaps not your average candidate for the role, but I’ve done capital raising and looked after high-profile infrastructure assets, so I bring something a little bit different to the mix.’

Big Four beginnings

Ludovic kicked off his career with Deloitte and Baker Tilly in his home country, before making a move to Australia and finding a home once again with Deloitte. ‘ACCA and Deloitte were the passport to go anywhere,’ he says. ‘I had Big Four experience and a global qualification.’ These solid foundations led him to apply for permanent residency in Australia via the skilled migration path and within a few months he was granted a visa.

For Ludovic, Australia is now home. ‘I met my wife at Deloitte in Melbourne; we now have three kids, it’s a great country to live in, full of opportunities,’ he says. ‘And the currency is strong, which makes travelling easier.’

After five years at Deloitte, where he climbed to client manager in assurance and advisory specialising in financial services focusing on public private partnership (PPP) projects, he moved into industry with an asset manager overseeing key PPP infrastructure assets.

St Kevin’s College

St Kevin’s College was founded in 1918 by the Christian Brothers in East Melbourne, Victoria. In the 1930s, it outgrew its site and moved to Toorak. St Kevin’s is a private Catholic kindergarten, primary and secondary school for boys with over 2,000 student enrolments. The college has five campuses, three of which are in Toorak, and two in neighbouring suburbs. Facilities include a vast and well-equipped sport campus – the Tooronga Sport Fields – which is an offsite sports complex with 12 tennis courts, an athletics track, three soccer pitches and an Australian Rules oval.

‘The Big Four is great for project exposure,’ he says. ‘I worked on really amazing assignments with great clients, which really sets you up to do great things, whether you become a partner in the practice or go outside and become a CFO.’

‘I always felt like I was giving something back’

Ludovic’s move to Infranexus Management was, he says, ‘a natural progression. I always felt that because I wasn’t educated in Australia, I didn’t have that network of friends and alumni, that at some point I’d leave practice, and I really like financial services and PPPs. I reported to the CEO, I had a small finance team and we had two public infrastructure assets.’

In his 13 years with the business, which he describes as ‘a fantastic journey’, Ludovic became its first CFO, growing the portfolio of assets and undertaking several refinancings, raising debt locally and overseas. ‘We went to the US for a private placement, which was a great experience, presenting the business to US investors, trying to persuade them to invest in Australia,’ he recalls. ‘I was amazed by how US investors viewed Australia as a safe bet and how they reacted so positively to our assets; we were oversubscribed.’

Ultimately, Ludovic’s move into his current role in the education sector aligns with his values. ‘I’m impressed by the education that St. Kevin’s provides to its students,’ he says. ‘The kids develop into amazing individuals. I think being in the PPP sector, in infrastructure, dealing with the community, I always felt like I was giving something back and I think education is exactly the same.’