Alexander Forbes exodus grows; two more execs resign

By Roxanne Henderson

(Bloomberg) – Two more Alexander Forbes Group Holdings Ltd. 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 by the end of this 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 the resignations were in a short period of time but for different individual reasons,” said De Villiers, who took the helm in November.

Alexander Forbes was midway through a turnaround program when Darfoor was ousted after his strategy was questioned by the company’s second-largest shareholder, African Rainbow Capital Investments Ltd. The insurer, which also provides retirement and investment services, reported a loss for the six months through September following write offs related to a botched information technology project.

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

The shares traded 0.2% lower at R4.74 as of 11:33am in Johannesburg, valuing the company at R6.4bn ($468m). The stock has fallen 31% over the past 12 months.


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