Alexander Forbes chief executive and director of the company Dawie de Villiers. Photo: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG – Alexander Forbes has moved to calm fears of an implosion in the wake of the departure of seven of its executive members in a space of under five months. 

In a leaked letter to staff, confirming the resignation of Tony Powis, chief executive Dawie De Villiers said the company wanted to strengthen its competitiveness. He had earlier denied that executive members were purged for nefarious reasons. 

The letter reads as follows:


Dear colleagues

Sandton, 16 January 2019 – I would like to confirm that Tony Powis, the Chief Executive Officer of Corporate & Employee Benefits has resigned from his position with the company.  The effective date of his resignation is 31 January 2019.  I would like to sincerely thank Tony for taking on this assignment in South Africa and his contribution to the growth of the business over the past 12 months, and wish him well in his future career and endeavours.  

As announced at our half year results on 11 December 2018, our Corporate & Employee Benefits Division will be included in the strategic review of the Group which will focus on strengthening our competitive position in the employee benefits, savings and retirement markets, as well as position the business appropriately for profitable growth and commensurate returns on capital invested. 

In line with our succession plan, the C&EB division will be led by Butsi Tladi, MD for Health and supported by: 

- Craig Bentley: Coverage; Pan-African initiative working closely with Emerging Markets

- Michael Prinsloo: Research & Product Development; Learning Academy; Product Management (AFRF, AF Access, Trust & Beneficiary Funds)

- Martin Teubes: Employee benefits consulting including the Consultants & Actuaries and the Umbrella Funds Consulting teams nationally. 

It is a testament to the leadership in our business that we have a team with decades combined experience in the employee benefits market. Much of the experience was gained at Alexander Forbes and these individuals have a deep knowledge of Alexander Forbes’ DNA as well as the needs of our clients and staff having held various senior roles in the business for many years.