Investment firm Centum has picked former African Development Bank president Dr Donald Kaberuka as its new chairman, replacing James Muguiyi who retired at the company’s annual general meeting in September.
Centum, which yesterday reported a 7.9 per cent jump in half-year profits to Sh2 billion, says the appointment of Dr Kaberuka is in line with its strategy to use cross-country networks to grow its business.
Mr Muguiyi retired from the firm’s board two months ago after 13 years as chairman with Dr James McFie serving as acting chairman in the intervening period.
“Mr Kaberuka has very good experience with business in the region and the world. We are very fortunate to attract him to chair Centum’s board of directors,” the firm's CEO James Mworia said Wednesday.
“Centum is not a local company anymore. We are playing at the continental level and that is why we need to incorporate people with significant experience and expertise business outside our borders,” he added.
Dr Kaberuka, who also served as Rwanda’s Finance minister, is currently the African Union High representative for the Peace Fund.
He is also a board member of the World Economic Forum board of trustees among other international organisations. He holds a PhD in economics from University of Glasgow, Scotland.
Dr Kaberuka is one of two foreign directors who were appointed to Centum’s board on October 11.
Uganda’s Attorney-General William Byaruhanga was also appointed to the board.
Besides their corporate skills, the foreign directors are expected to benefit Centum from their local market knowledge and connections in their respective countries.
The NSE-listed investment firm currently operates in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
The company in a joint venture with Sabis Education Network and Investbridge Capital is set to build a chain of schools in several African countries including Egypt in the medium term.
Its asset management units buy marketable securities including equities in other African countries including Nigeria.
Other new directors in the firm’s expanded 11-member board include former CMC Holdings acting CEO Mary Ngige and AIG Kenya Insurance managing director Catherine Igathe.