The board of directors of the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) has suspended the company’s CEO, George Otieno, with immediate effect.

John Lentaigne, ATI’s chief underwriting officer, has been appointed acting CEO.

Explaining the reason for the suspension, ATI writes in a statement: “This comes following Mr Otieno starting court proceedings against ATI in relation to his employment contract, which makes his position untenable as the legal representative of ATI.”

The insurance company further notes that “it is essential that we allow due process to run its course and it would be inappropriate to comment any further on the specifics of the case at this stage”.

ATI is a pan-African institution that provides political risk insurance to companies, investors and lenders interested in doing business in Africa.

Otieno had been CEO of ATI since 2010. He previously spent 27 years with the African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re), most recently as regional director for East and Southern Africa.

Lentaigne, meanwhile, joined ATI in 2016 from Brit, where he had served as the co-head of political and credit risks in London. He has also held positions at Axis, Catlin and Ace Global Markets (now Chubb).