Old Mutual issues another termination notice to Peter Moyo

22 August 2019 - 11:02
By Nick Hedley
Peter Moyo, Old Mutual CEO. Picture: SUPPLIED
Peter Moyo, Old Mutual CEO. Picture: SUPPLIED

Old Mutual, which is under pressure from shareholders to end its bruising public battle with Peter Moyo, says it has issued the axed CEO with a further notice terminating his employment.

In July, the high court in Johannesburg ruled that Old Mutual should temporarily reinstate Moyo after firing him without a disciplinary hearing in June over alleged conflicts of interest. The insurer is appealing against judge Brian Mashile’s order.

“It will remain important to finally resolve the dispute about the validity of the June notice of termination,” the Old Mutual board said in a letter to shareholders.

“However, irrespective of what might eventually happen in those legal proceedings, events following the June notice have made it clear that a continued employment relationship between Mr Moyo and Old Mutual is untenable.”

Terminating his employment was in the best interests of shareholders, the insurer said.

The group said Moyo received R30.6m in ordinary dividend payments from NMT Capital, which he approved in his capacity as a director even though NMT Capital should have paid dividends to Old Mutual first.

Old Mutual said Moyo had also not been able to explain “satisfactorily” why the NMT Capital board decided to disburse cash while ignoring a liability to the Industrial Development Corporation, part of which was “apparently written off”.

The second notice of termination “has been taken after legal advice and on careful reflection by directors, with proper regard to their fiduciary duties to the company”, the board said.

“We must accept that Mr Moyo may decide to challenge this step too. We will stand our ground if he does, naturally and at all times continuing to respect the law and our court system.”

Old Mutual said separately that headline earnings in the six months to end-June fell by between 33% to 36%.

But adjusted headline earnings rose by about 6% to 12% “mainly driven by higher shareholder investment return in SA”.