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Renaissance Capital chief executive quits after two years

Renaissance Capital CEO for East Africa Patrick Mweheire has resigned after a two-year stint with the Russian international investment bank.

Mr Mweheire (pictured) told the Business Daily on Friday that he is heading back to his native Uganda, but declined to disclose his next move, only adding that he had accomplished his objective of establishing Renaissance Capital in the region.

“The rebuilding of Renaissance East Africa is done,” he said.

A senior source at the global investment bank said Mr Mweheire had resigned following a mutual agreement with the bank, and he had been delayed announcing the decision as a suitable replacement for his position was being sought.

An investment banker who was involved in Renaissance Capital’s entry into the region is tipped to take over as CEO.

“He has stayed on for a few months to help with the transition but he is leaving now,” said the source who could not be quoted discussing information that had not yet been announced.

The firm did not give more details on Mr Mweheire’s replacement or when he is expected in office.

During Mr Mweheire’s reign, Renaissance bagged transaction advisory contracts in Kigali and Kinshasa, which lifted the investment bank to profit from loss-making territory in 2010.

Renaissance Capital’s tightening grip on regional transaction advisory and dealing business saw the investment bank turn around from losses to a Sh173 million after-tax profit in the first half of 2010.

In 2011, the firm was second in Kenya in turnover terms, moving Sh20.6 billion worth of shares compared to the top broker, Kestrel Capital, which intermediated in transactions valued at Sh33 billion.

Under Mr Mweheire, Renaissance Capital was the lead transaction adviser for Rwanda’s first and second initial public offerings (IPOs), Bralirwa and Bank of Kigali. Further down, the investment bank saw the privatisation of Onatel, Burundi’s largest state-owned telecoms company and is also advising on the sale of a bank in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mr Mweheire becomes the third chief executive to head the Renaissance Capital’s Nairobi office in nearly five years that the Russia-based firm has been operating in Kenya since early 2007.

Renaissance Capital set up base in Nairobi in mid-2007 and was at the time headed by Amish Gupta, who is now an executive director at Standard Investment Bank.

Mr Maina Mwangi took over towards the end of the first half of 2008, before leaving to head Equity Bank’s investment banking unit arm, but has since left.

Mr Mweheire took over from Mr Mwangi in 2010. Both Mr Mwangi and Mr Gupta declined to comment on Mr Mweheire’s departure.