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SOUTH AFRICA: Old Mutual’s Sacked CEO Sues Former Employer

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SOUTH AFRICA: Old Mutual's Sacked CEO Sues Former Employer

The sacked CEO of one of the prominent insurance companies in South Africa; Old Mutual, Mr Peter Moyo who was sacked over alleged conflict of interest, has revealed through his lawyer his intentions to file a lawsuit against his former employer.

The statement was made known by his lawyer, Eric Mabuza’s hours after Old Mutual announced the dismissal of Mr Moyo, who had been on suspension over the past three weeks after the allegations.

In a statement made by the Insurer, the CEO, Peter Moyo had taken questionable steps that constitute a breach of interest.

However, according to his lawyer, Old Mutual’s statement was incomplete and misleading, he stated that

“More importantly no financial or other prejudice was suffered by Old Mutual as a result of any action on the part of Mr Moyo.”

He added that;

Mr Moyo will, therefore, challenge Old Mutual’s conduct in court, where we trust the truth will be ventilated.”

Mr Moyo was suspended in late May over a disagreement as to how the company should engage with the investment firm founded by Mr Moyo; NMT Capital. According to reports, Old Mutual Life Assurance Company, a subsidiary of Old Mutual, is an investor in NMT Capital.

The breach of interest is rooted in the failure of NMT capital to deliver on it dividend share with Old Mutual, a preference shareholder and the only institutional investor in the company.

According to reports, two payments, which totalled 115 million rands ($7.78 million) have been made as returns from the investment company (NMT), however, the two-year arrears owed to Old Mutual have not been settled despite its preference shareholder’s status.

However, the shareholder became suspicious as Mr Moyo and his investment company got a 30.6 million rands as cuts from the second ordinary dividends which saw both Moyo and Old Mutual as chairs, meanwhile, there was a failure to pay Old Mutual despite the fact that payment of the arrears was still valid at that time.

Old Mutual opened up to say that Mr Moyo has not tabled cogent reasons to account for the actions, hence, his suspension.

Old Mutual stated that,

“Mr Moyo’s actions since the suspension contravened his fiduciary duties to Old Mutual, his contract of employment and notice of suspension. Following unsuccessful attempts to engage on the terms of separation, the Board has now resolved to give notice of termination of employment.”

The perceived break in the trust is however not reciprocated by Mr Moyo as he believes he is absolved of any misconduct in his dealings with the insurer. This was made known in a statement following his suspension. In an attempt to fight thus seeming injustice, Mr Moyo has treated to press this issue further with court actions.

Despite the ongoing friction between the entities, the Chairman of Old Mutual, Mr Trevor Manuel, said Mr Moyo’s conduct during the course of his work, leaving out the existing issue, was commendable.

Currently, it has been agreed by the board for the Chief Operations Officer, Mr Lain Williamson to take over the vacant position and commence work as the acting CEO

Mr Moyo’s removal comes less than a year after he was appointed CEO of the company.

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