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FML takes steps to protect investment

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First Mutual Life (FML) has taken measures to ensure that it protects the investment of its shareholders and policyholders, a board member has said.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ update on Thursday, board member Israel Ndlovu said the Afre Corporation group, the parent company of FML, had put in place “robust measures to uphold policyholders and shareholders’ interests in all of the group-related business activities”.

“Various changes had to be effected in order to bring order and restore normalcy in our businesses. Amongst the changes, was the abolition of the executive chairman’s post along with the departure of the then incumbent Patterson Timba from the group,” he said.

The stakeholders’ update came against the background of the ReNaissance Bank saga.

Ndlovu said Tawanda Nyambirai, a well-known businessman and lawyer, had been appointed as the new non-executive chairman and Sibusisiwe Ndhlovu, a seasoned executive and chartered accountant, had been appointed as the group chief executive officer.

“The separation of responsibilities should enhance good corporate governance at group level. The Afre board has also been reconstituted to strengthen it to discharge its mandate in an effective and efficient manner. This is expected to be an ongoing process,’ said Ndlovu.

He said the group had also set up a Related Party Transactions Committee consisting of independent non-executive directors, “who are not aligned to any of the major shareholders of Afre Corporation”. Ndlovu said the ReNaissance saga did not have much of a direct impact on FML.

“FML has its own board of directors, independent of the Afre board. The board of FML is satisfied that the company is unscathed by these events,” he said.

“However, due to perceived anomalies in corporate governance and the Afre group exposure, the Insurance and Pensions Commission has commissioned investigations to be carried out into the affairs of the group’s insurance subsidiaries including FML,” he said.

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