Old Mutual CEO fights to get paid after suspension

UK’s Old Mutual is now embrioled in an unprecedented conflict with its CEO, Peter Moyo who has refused to step unless he is paid off according his terms.

Peter Moyo was suspended over conflict of interest with NMT Capital Chairman Manuel says relationship had become ‘untenable’

Bloomberg spoke with Old Mutual Chairman, Trevor Manuel on the suspension of CEO Peter Moyo. He said Old Mutual Ltd. has embarked on a transition unlike any in its 174-year history.

Suspended by the board for conflicts of interest involving his investment firm NMT Capital, Chief Executive Officer Peter Moyo signaled he had no intention of going quietly.

The 56-year-old South African insists he’s done nothing wrong and his links with NMT are above board. He is demanding a “complete” payout deal before he even considers accepting an exit offer, he said by phone on Friday.

The drama broke just hours before the annual shareholder meeting, with the company announcing the suspension due to a “breakdown in trust and confidence.” Old Mutual Chairman Trevor Manuel, a former South African finance minister, soft-pedaled the conflict when addressing investors. He said the CEO was indeed innocent of any wrongdoing and that the falling out had nothing to do with financial misconduct or company performance, an explanation that satisfied few.

“Old Mutual will suffer from the reputational damage,” Warwick Bam head of research at Avior Capital Markets, said by text message. However, from a corporate governance point of view, the decision was the right one, he added.