Top Alexander Forbes executives resign
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.
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.