Old Mutual confirms new CEO after protracted legal battle

Following ‘comprehensive’ global search.
Image: Moneyweb

Old Mutual named acting chief executive officer Iain Williamson as the African insurer’s permanent head after winning a legal battle against Peter Moyo, who tried to get the CEO job back following his dismissal.

Williamson’s appointment follows a “comprehensive global search,” the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement on Friday. The actuary has spent almost three decades at Old Mutual, including managing director of its retail-affluent division, finance director of its emerging-markets business and chief operating officer of the group, it said.Read: Moyo loses out on multi-million rand payment

The High Court in Johannesburg in January upheld an appeal by the 175-year-old insurer against a judgment delivered in July last year to temporarily reinstate Moyo, who was first suspended two months earlier before being fired. Old Mutual’s board cited a “material breakdown in trust and confidence” over an alleged conflict of interest, which Moyo denies.

Read more: Old Mutual Feud With Fired CEO Risks Thwarting Growth Ambitions

Old Mutual said on May 28 that first-half profit probably fell at least 20% after lockdowns to curb the coronavirus hindered the insurer’s ability to distribute its products. Many of Old Mutual’s advisers and branch consultants weren’t able to see customers during April and May, when most of South Africa’s economy was shuttered by restrictions on the movement of people and goods.

The appointment provides much needed certainty for investors, said Warwick Bam, head of research at Avior Capital Markets. “Iain provides Old Mutual with stability and continuity of knowledge, which are invaluable in times of extreme change,” he said.

Old Mutual’s shares pared an earlier decline of as much as 2.8%, to trade 1.3% down as of 2:48 p.m. in Johannesburg. The stock has dropped 36% this year, the worst performer in the five-member South African life insurer’s index after Liberty Holdings.

© 2020 Bloomberg

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In future selection processes, use a method of testing that confirm honesty, trust, integrity and knowledge of governance and what constitutes conflict of interests.

Also, BEE on its own means nothing unless it is broad based. Do not start BBBEE from the top down.

Any truth to the rumour the various Black forums – no racism there? – all had emergency (‘Blacks only’) meetings – no racism there? – last night?

Agree

I take it Williamson had to agree and toe the line that there was no conflict when OM Shareholders paid for Trevor’s private legal expenses.

Amazed how Big Business can just paper of the scandals and act as if nothing happened.

Manuel should GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is a stain on OM’s dicey history.

End of comments.

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