Andrew Darfoor. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Andrew Darfoor. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

Alexander Forbes CEO Andrew Darfoor has been fired, two years into the job.

In an unusual step, the company said in a statement on Tuesday that the board had lost confidence and trust in Darfoor, who was put in charge of the financial services group in September 2016.

Independent non-executive director Marilyn Ramplin will act as interim CEO while the company searches for a new boss to replace Darfoor, whose services have been terminated immediately.

In June, SA's largest pensions administrator suffered a drop in profit for its 2018 financial year, which was cast in an unflattering light by profits from disposals in its 2017 financial year.

Darfoor, just hours after news of his sudden dismissal became public, said he was not happy with the outcome and will deal with the matter in due course.

“I can confirm that my relationship with Alexander Forbes has ended. I am not happy about the outcome and will deal with it in due course,” he said in a short emailed statement.

Investors welcomed the news, with the share price jumping as much as 8% before pulling back to trade 4.5% stronger to R5.07 in mid-afternoon trade on JSE. However, the shares are still down 26% so far in 2018, lagging the JSE all-share index, which was down 4.4% over the same period.

In June, SA's largest pensions administrator suffered a drop in profit for its 2018 financial year, which was cast in an unflattering light by profits from disposals in its 2017 financial year.

Net profit for the year to end-March was R327m — less than a fifth of the prior year’s R1.6bn.

mahlangua@businesslive.co.za