STEPHEN CRANSTON: Mopping up the Old Mutual mess
Old Mutual set itself up for its current problems as far back as 2004
Old Mutual set itself up for its current problems as far back as 2004. It let one of its deputy MDs, a certain Peter Moyo, be a founding partner of Amabubesi (now NMT Capital), one of the many black empowerment vehicles that benefited rising black businessmen. Later, while Old Mutual’s governance practices stopped short of letting Moyo benefit from its own BEE schemes, his partners were given their allocation of shares under the guise of a different consortium, Chestnut Hill.
It was a process fraught with conflicts. Even Pulane Kingston, the then wife of Martin Kingston, the banker who put the project together, was allowed to join in the feasting. There seems to be a more relaxed approach to BEE investments held by executives than for standard investments. Arguably, there is often an alignment of interests as the institution can invest side by side, as Old Mutual does in NMT Capital.