Alexander Forbes CEO says two more executives resigned the exodus



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Two more Alexander Forbes executives have resigned from the South African insurance-services provider, extending a management exodus following the ousting of former Chief Executive Officer Andrew Darfoor in September.

Tony Powis, CEO of Corporate and Employee Benefits, and Sugendhree Reddy, head of retail financial services, will leave the month, Alexander Forbes' new chief, Dawie de Villiers, said in an interview in Johannesburg on Wednesday. The total number of senior departures including Darfoor is now seven.

"All of the dates were short, but for different individual reasons," De Villiers, who joined in November from Cape Town-based rival Sanlam, said.

Alexander Forbes was midway through a turnaround program when Darfoor was questioned by the company's second-largest shareholder, billionaire Patrice Motsepe's African Rainbow Capital Investments. The insurer, which also provides retirement and investment services, reported loss for the six months through September following write-offs related to the abandonment of an information technology project.

Strategic changes

De Villiers said last month he would provide a new strategy for Alexander Forbes by the end of March, with the challenges facing economic growth in South Africa and an unemployment rate of more than 27%.

The CEO has made changes to the executive committee, with Bruce Bydawell heading the finance and mergers and acquisition units. But it has been appointed to lead corporate & employee benefits, Bonga takes over the emerging markets team and Ryan Knipe the retail business, he said. De Villiers will extend its interim base.

"It's bad to lose people but it's a good opportunity to start on a clean slate," De Villiers said. "I have to look at the positives."

The shares declined 1.1% to R4.70 as of 3:15 p.m. in Johannesburg, valuing the company at R6.4 billion ($ 468 million). The stock has fallen 31% over the past 12 months.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P

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