Old Mutual has sacked chief executive Peter Moyo following a period of suspension due to a conflict of interest related to an investment firm he founded.
The insurer said Moyo’s actions since his suspension in May “contravened his fiduciary duties” to Old Mutual.
“Following unsuccessful attempts to engage on the terms of separation, the Board has now resolved to give notice of termination of employment,” the company said.
The conflict of interest related to ordinary dividend payments made by Moyo’s investment firm NMT Capital, in which an Old Mutual subsidiary is the only institutional investor.
Old Mutual said two payments made by NMT Capital last year totalling 115 rand, were a breach of its rights as a preference shareholder. The personal benefit to Moyo and his investment company was 30.6m rand, the insurer said.
Following the discovery of the dividend payments Old Mutual’s board said “there was a material breakdown in trust and confidence” in Moyo.
“The board has not been provided with an acceptable explanation why, in clear contravention of the relevant preference share agreement with Old Mutual as well as Mr Moyo’s employment obligations, ordinary dividends were declared whilst debt to Old Mutual was outstanding,” the company said in a statement.
Old Mutual, which is jointly listed in London and Johannesburg, said it will shortly begin the process to appoint Moyo’s successor.
Chief operating officer Ian Williamson will continue as interim chief executive until a replacement is found.