Jamii Bora shakes up board of directors

Jamii Bora shareholders at the AGM on June 13, 2012. The bank has named a new board of eight members. Photo/Diana Ngila
Jamii Bora shareholders at the AGM on June 13, 2012. The bank has named a new board of eight members. Photo/Diana Ngila 

Jamii Bora Bank has shaken up its boardroom to reflect its new shareholding structure and sought new faces to turn around its operations.

During its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, the bank unveiled a team after the exit of former chairman Richard Njoba. Directors Colelette Suda, David Nyakang’o and Albert Shitakha were also replaced.

The new eight directors are James Gacheru (chairman), Betty Gikonyo, Cyprian Wekesa, Richard Kiplagat, Pamella Ager, Alban Mwendar, Sam Kimani (CEO), and chief operations officer Timothy Kabiru.

The move comes after the bank announced plans to raise Sh500 million through a rights issue in September to boost its core capital, fund expansion and move into new product lines, including corporate lending and forex trading.

“The new directors are professionals bringing in skills needed to turn around the bank,” Mr Kimani said.

Jamii Bora sold a 25 per cent stake worth Sh320 million to a consortium of investors, Messrs Asterisk Holdings, to grow its retail network and beef up its capital to the Sh1 billion required by Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) before December.

This also led to changes in its executive suite with the appointment of Sam Kimani as its new CEO and Timothy Kabiru, formerly retail director at KCB, as executive director. Mr Kimani was a deputy CEO at KCB Bank where he quit in May last year after a reorganisation of the bank’s top team.

The boardroom shift signals the increased influence of Asterisk, which also won the right to restructure Jamii Bora’s management team as part of its buy-in deal.

Other major shareholders include Jamii Bora Scandinavian Group with a 25 per cent stake, Jamii Bora Africa Group (12 per cent), and Nodic Micro (five per cent).

Of the Sh500m rights issue, the bank used Sh200 million to boost its core capital and meet the regulatory threshold of Sh1 billion.

Its core capital stood at Sh800 million from Sh230 million in 2010 and CBK has given banks until December to meet the threshold.

The remaining Sh300 million will aid its expansion that includes opening seven branches by December and upgrade IT network.

On Wednesday, its shareholders approved the creation of five million new shares for the rights, but the bank did not reveal the price of the issue and shares or the allocation criteria.

Jamii Bora announced a loss of Sh37.8 million last year, but Mr Kimani said it returned a profit before tax of Sh9 million in quarter one.