NMT Capital has noted with concern a statement issued by Old Mutual on the matter relating to its CEO Mr. Peter Moyo, who is also a Non-Executive Director at NMT Capital. Ordinarily, NMT Capital would not comment or be drawn on issues relating to employer-employee relations, however the recent statement by Old Mutual makes specific reference to NMT Capital and therefore warrants some clarification.
When Old Mutual was seeking to acquire the services of Mr. Moyo, they did so fully aware of various other interests that he held including his Non-Executive directorship at NMT Capital. They made arrangements on ways of handling and managing the potential conflict that could arise as a result of such Non-Executive directorship. We are now baffled by this sudden realisation of an unmanageable conflict of interest because all the facts that existed during Mr. Moyo’s appointment have not changed, in our view.
In so far as the statement issued by Old Mutual this morning, NMT Capital’s considered view is that important information has been omitted in as far as the distribution of both ordinary dividends and preference share dividends are concerned. As a result, the statement fails to provide sufficient information on this matter and subsequently paints the directors of NMT Capital and Mr. Moyo in particular in a bad light.
For the record, on the issue of ordinary dividends, an Old Mutual appointed board member was part of both board meetings which declared ordinary dividends. The portion of Old Mutual’s ordinary dividends during 2018 amounted to R23m, a matter not reflected in their statement. As a matter of fact and as provided for by corporate governance, a director nominated by Old Mutual signed off the resolutions that dealt with the issue of the ordinary dividends.
On the issue of preference shares dividends, the preference share dividends that were due at the time were duly paid by NMT Capital. A slight delay in the payment of the said dividend had however occurred, owing to negotiations that were continuing between NMT Capital and Old Mutual. The negotiations were in relation to an extension of the redemption date of the preference shares.
NMT Capital had started discussions with Old Mutual aimed at extending the redemption date of the preference shares. There was also a proposal sent to that effect. These discussions were ongoing and Old Mutual was aware at that stage that NMT Capital did not intend to redeem the preference shares but preferred an extension of the redemption date.
For its part, NMT Capital has on several occasions made attempts to meet with Old Mutual representatives to iron out these issues towards finding common ground. This includes a meeting with the Chairman of Old Mutual, Mr. Trevor Manuel, which took place on the 30th of May 2018.
We therefore find it unfortunate that Old Mutual has gone ahead and issued a statement with factual inaccuracies without first consulting NMT Capital on the matters raised in that statement. To date, there has been no engagement between Old Mutual and NMT Capital as purported by Old Mutual in its SENS report.
As always, NMT Capital is willing to engage with Old Mutual on this matter with a view to resolving it amicably.