The PIC terminates now-former CFO Matshepo More’s employment contract

The asset management company has decided to part ways with More following “severe allegations”.

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) announced on Thursday that it has terminated the employment contract of its now-former CFO Matshepo More as the term of its current board comes to an end.

More was suspended in March 2019, along with other PIC executives, for concluding transactions that went against the company’s investment standards and requirements, which included the PIC’s investment in AYO Technology Solutions.

The asset manager had paid AYO R43 a share for a 29 percent stake in the company before it listed on the JSE in December 2017, and was the only investor to subscribe for shares in AYO – which are now worth R3.

More was suspended on full pay, earning a remuneration package of R6.9 million during the PIC’s 2021 financial year. She was charged for signing a memo for the PIC to invest in AYO before it had been approved by management and of failing to serve the interests of the asset manager by not disclosing that. However, she was found not guilty by an independent inquiry.

The PIC chair Dr Reuel Khoza said the board instituted another internal investigation against More and found her guilty of misconduct and dereliction of duty. “A decision has been made by the board to part ways with the former CFO. The board believes that she can leave the organisation as the allegations were severe.”

The asset manager said it had not made a decision about referring the adverse findings against More – emerging from the internal investigation – to the National Prosecuting Authority, or to dock her pension benefits, considering that the intrinsic value of the PIC’s investment in AYO has substantially reduced.

The PIC has also confirmed that it has launched a forensic investigation against former executives to determine if they benefited from improper and sullied investment transactions.