Dismissal of CEO (for a second time) - Old Mutual, South Africa

On 22nd August 2019, Old Mutual, a pan-African investment, savings, insurance, and banking group listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange, dismissed Peter Moyo, its former chief executive for a second time and said it would continue to fight his attempts to get reinstated, despite a south African court ruling overturning his original dismissal.

Moyo was originally dismissed in June 2019 in relation to a conflict of interest related to NMT Capital, an investment firm Moyo founded and in which an Old Mutual subsidiary is the only institutional investor. In July 2019 the South African High Court ruled that Mr Moyo should be temporarily reinstated. Old Mutual’s board has said it would explore all reasonable alternative options but would not have Mr Moyo back as CEO. In an open letter to shareholders the board states:

“A continued employment relationship between Mr Moyo and Old Mutual is untenable. For this reason, Old Mutual has now given Mr Moyo a further notice terminating his employment.”

In addition, allegations concerning:

  • conflicts of interests relating to the chairman and former finance minister Trevor Manuel, and
  • non-disclosure of legal fees the company had paid on Mr Manuel’s behalf;
    have been made in the press and Old Mutual has stated that these claims are “incorrect and defamatory”.

Old Mutual’s shares have fallen by 15% since Mr Moyo was first suspended in May.

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