Shake up looms at ZB, Fidelity Life

October 21, 2021



A massive shake up is imminent at financial services group ZB Financial Holdings Limited and Fidelity Life Assurance Company following the changes in shareholders, Business Times can report.

The shake-up  has already  swept through ZB and Fidelity, which has seen CEOs of the two entities  exiting recently.

ZB has since engaged a new CEO Shepherd Fungura, who replaced Ron Mutandagayi. The ZB finance director, Fanuel Kapanje, is leaving in December this year.

The changes came after the National Social Security Authority disposed of its 37.79% stake in ZB to an investment vehicle linked to business tycoon, Kuda Tagwirei .

At Fidelity Life CEO Reuben Java left last month to pursue other interests. Finance director Zvenyika Zvenyika was installed as the acting CEO.

The financial services unit is now controlled by Zimre Holding Limited. This came after NSSA disposed of its 35.09% stake in the  Fidelity Life Assurance  to ZHL.

Business Times can report that several directors are also on the departure lounge after new shareholders took control of the two entities.

The full integration  of ZHL and Fidelity Life means they would be a massive cut in head count.

The looming shake up was confirmed at  meetings held between the management and workers last week.

Business Times has seen minutes of the meetings held last week.

From the question-and-answer session, the Fidelity management acknowledged that most decisions are now made at ZHL level.

“However, it is inevitable that certain roles will fall away as a result of new operational structures.

“Some roles will remain within Strategic Business Unit structures depending on the future recommended structure for that unit. What is key is having a structure that best serves the whole group efficiently and optimally,” reads part of the Fidelity management’s response at last week’s meeting.

The Fidelity management said while the integration exercise will try to minimise job losses as much as possible, any decisions on affected employees will be made after all due considerations are taken, and in line with the country’s labour laws.

Fidelity said as part of the strategy to minimise job losses, redeployments will be considered depending on the availability of vacancies in other areas.

This will also be informed by the potential and fit of affected persons to occupy any such roles.

Management said some will be redeployed  to other positions, while others will be retrenched in accordance with the labour laws.

Business Times can report that panic has now gripped employees, who are facing uncertain future at the two entities.

Contacted for a comment,  Fidelity spokesperson Melanie Gumbo  referred  all questions to ZHL.

However, they had not responded to Business Times inquiries by the time of going to print.



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