Old Mutual confirmed in a very brief statement that there had been a material breakdown in trust and confidence between them and Peter Moyo.
“As a result, the board has suspended the chief executive officer with immediate effect,” it said.
No details were provided about what triggered the decision.
Chief operating officer Iain Williamson will take over the role on an acting basis.
According to the Old Mutual website, Moyo rejoined Old Mutual in June 2017 having left in 2005 to take the helm at financial advice and wealth management firm Alexander Forbes.
The move by Old Mutual mimics similar action taken by Alexander Forbes, which ousted its group chief executive Andrew Darfoor in September 2018 after two years in the role.
The signal to market being that these firms won’t shy away from taking action – even at the top.
The Old Mutual South Africa business split from the group following the managed separation that was first announced in March 2016.
The move saw Nedbank and Old Mutual in South Africa spun out, while the UK wealth management business rebranded as Quilter and the single-strategy arm of Old Mutual Global Investors was sold and named Merian.
The suspension of Moyo has no connection to Quilter or Old Mutual International, which has yet to adopt the group’s branding.