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Britak executive leaves as firm prepares for IPO

Mr Kiarie has a wealth of experience in asset management. Fredrick Onyango
Mr Kiarie has a wealth of experience in asset management. Fredrick Onyango 

Mr Dominic Kiarie, the MD of British-American Asset Managers Ltd, will leave the company at the end of next month — at a time when the group will be in the middle of an initial public offer (IPO).

The disclosure came from the regulator, Capital Markets Authority (CMA), which has approved the listing of British American Investments Company (Britak) — the holding company of British-American Insurance Company, British-American Asset Managers, and Britam Insurance Company (Uganda) Ltd.

He “will be leaving the asset management company with effect from July 31. The directors have identified a... replacement who will be in place prior to Mr Kiarie’s departure to ensure a smooth hand over,” read part of the company’s prospectus seen by Business Daily.

Analysts said Mr Kiarie must have opted to resign from the company to pursue other interests. “It is most likely a personal decision that was communicated to senior management earlier on, allowing the company to plan for his replacement,” said a source who sought anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Wealth of experience

His smooth exit is a pointer to the fact that Mr Kiarie initiated the move, the source added. Britak expects to retain its current team of executives for two years after the IPO. The group is headed by billionaire Benson Wairegi who holds a 6.63 per cent stake in the firm. At Britak, Mr Kiarie heads one of the largest funds in Kenya estimated at Sh17.3 billion from 6,500 clients, more than double the Sh8.4 billion in 2009.

He will be leaving Britak with a wealth of experience in asset management, having helped to set up the business at the firm. He has more than 12 years of management experience in investment banking and fund management as well as over 15 years of professional experience. He graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Actuarial Science from Cass Business School in England and holds a Masters Degree in Mathematical Finance from the University of Cambridge, also in England.

It was not immediately clear whether he will go into private practice or seek a new job in Kenya’s fast growing financial services market. The fund management business is witnessing increased competition where the number of players has risen to 17 firms.

By going public, Britak hopes to raise Sh5.8 billion to fund the rollout of new products and expansion into Tanzania, Rwanda, and Southern Sudan in the medium term.

Seeking replacement

Mr Kiarie had earlier expressed interest to join Old Mutual but later reversed the decision in unclear circumstances. In March 2008, Old Mutual publicised the hiring of Mr Kiarie as chief executive to replace Mr Stewart Henderson.

Mr Kiarie, however, lasted in his new position for a few days before he took back his position at Britak, disrupting Old Mutual’s succession plans and saving Britak the problem of seeking his replacement.

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