Top Alexan­der Forbes ex­ec­u­tives re­sign

Business Day - - FRONT PAGE - Rox­anne Hen­der­son /Bloomberg with Staff Re­porter

Three Alexan­der Forbes ex­ec­u­tives have re­signed as the re­tire­ment, in­vest­ment and in­sur­ance ser­vices provider pushes ahead with a strate­gic re­view of its mar­ket po­si­tion and busi­ness model.

CEO at Alexan­der Forbes In­vest­ments Leon Greyling, group chief risk of­fi­cer Vishnu Naicker and chief hu­man re­sources of­fi­cer Chris­tian Schaub plan to pur­sue other busi­ness in­ter­ests, the com­pany said in re­sponse to ques­tions. Schaub’s de­par­ture was ef­fec­tive on De­cem­ber 31; the depar­tures of the other two ex­ec­u­tives took ef­fect on Jan­uary 1.

“De­tails of the res­ig­na­tions are con­fi­den­tial be­tween the com­pany and the rel­e­vant ex­ec­u­tives,” the com­pany said.

Both Schaub and Greyling had spent less than two years at the com­pany, while Naicker joined Alexan­der Forbes in 2008, ac­cord­ing to their LinkedIn pro­files.

Alexan­der Forbes, SA’s largest pen­sion funds ad­min­is­tra­tor with about 1.4-mil­lion mem­bers, was half­way through the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a turn­around pro­gramme known as Am­bi­tion 2022 in Sep­tem­ber when for­mer CEO An­drew Dar­foor was ousted.

He spent only two years at the firm and has said he is chal­leng­ing his dis­missal. Shortly there­after, the com­pany an­nounced that Naidene FordHoon had re­signed as CFO.

The group’s new CEO, Dawie de Vil­liers, came on board in Novem­ber after the strat­egy driven by Dar­foor was ques­tioned by the com­pany’s sec­ond-largest share­holder, Pa­trice Mot­sepe’s African Rain­bow Cap­i­tal In­vest­ments (ARC).

De Vil­liers, as well as ARC joint CEOs Jo­han van Zyl and Jo­han van der Merwe, are for­mer San­lam ex­ec­u­tives.

One of the first steps taken by De Vil­liers was to can­cel a R1bn IT con­tract Alexan­der Forbes had en­tered into two years ear­lier un­der Dar­foor’s watch. The can­cel­la­tion plunged the firm into a R45m after-tax loss for the six months to Sep­tem­ber as it cost the group R52m to exit the con­tract. It also im­paired a fur­ther R287m for soft­ware that was no longer nec­es­sary.

While the mar­ket ini­tially cheered De Vil­liers’s ap­point­ment, the share re­mains un­der pres­sure, trad­ing 8% lower over the pe­riod. It closed 0.63% weaker at R4.70 on Thurs­day, near its three-year low.

Per­ma­nent re­place­ments for the three se­nior man­agers would be found after a re­cruit­ment process, which would take into ac­count the strate­gic as­sess­ment, the com­pany said.

The re­view was in­tended to strengthen the firm’s po­si­tion in the em­ployee ben­e­fits, sav­ings and re­tire­ment mar­kets, it said.

In line with the Alexan­der Forbes suc­ces­sion plan and to en­sure con­ti­nu­ity, some man­agers will have their ar­eas of re­spon­si­bil­ity ex­panded, as­sisted by in­terim ap­point­ments.

/Fi­nan­cial Mail

Re­struc­tur­ing: Leon Greyling, left, re­signed as CEO at Alexan­der Forbes In­vest­ments, while for­mer CEO An­drew Dar­foor was ousted in Sep­tem­ber 2018 half­way through the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a turn­around pro­gramme known as Am­bi­tion 2022.

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