Alexander Forbes’s Andrew Darfoor is unapologetic about the sweeping management changes he has made at the country’s largest pension fund administrator since becoming CEO in September 2016. "What I inherited was a lethargic juggernaut that was growing substantially below the market and was not delivering on total shareholder return. So some change was needed," the Ghanaian-born and UK-raised Darfoor told Business Day on Monday. It was "inconceivable" that a new strategy, dubbed Ambition 2022, could be executed with "the same team that was the source of the underperformance for three years". Darfoor has brought in a number of foreign nationals to execute specific turnaround strategies. This is unusual in a sector facing political pressure to transform, but Darfoor said Alexander Forbes had instituted programmes to fast-track the development of black talent.

Alexander Forbes’s full-year results to March reflect that Darfoor — a relative outsider in SA’s cloistered financial serv...

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