Alexander Forbes. Picture: MARTIN RHODES
Alexander Forbes. Picture: MARTIN RHODES

Another top Alexander Forbes executive has resigned just eight days after CEO Andrew Darfoor was fired.

SA’s largest pension fund administrator said Naidene Ford-Hoon would leave her role as CFO and director on December 31. Ford-Hoon had been with Alexander Forbes a little more than a year and worked closely with Darfoor. Alexander Forbes said its board had already activated a succession plan for the replacement of Ford-Hoon, suggesting that another quick replacement might be in sight. The company replaced Darfoor just six days after firing him.

"The resignation is effective 31 December 2018, so there should be a short handover period if a new replacement can be found in the next two months, said Karl Gevers the head of research at Benguela Global Fund Managers.

"The CEO replacement was certainly found very quickly."

Gevers said that as the CFO worked closely with the CEO it was highly likely the axing of Darfoor was the main reason for Ford-Hoon’s resignation.

Jean Pierre Verster, portfolio manager at Fairtree Capital, said it was a bit concerning that the CFO had resigned after little more than a year in the role. He said there had been a lot of change in a short while.

"Minority shareholders are putting a lot of faith in ARC [African Rainbow Capital] to drive the changes that will enhance value for all stakeholders," said Verster.

Patrice Motsepe’s ARC was one of the shareholders most vocal about the dissatisfaction with Darfoor. The company owns a 17% stake in Alexander Forbes and is its second-biggest shareholder.

When former Sanlam executive Dawie de Villiers was appointed new CEO on Monday, analysts said it was clear that ARC saw Alexander Forbes as vital in executing its financial services ambitions.

Gevers said the new leadership team had to stabilise the company as soon as possible.

buthelezil@businesslive.co.za