A former executive director of Equatorial Commercial Bank (ECB), Robert Shibutse, has taken over as chief executive of the giant Mwalimu National Sacco.
The teachers savings and credit co-operative society (Sacco) has appointed the career banker as it seeks to grow its loans book and dividends payable to members.
Mr Shibutse succeeds Joshua Ojall, who had been with Mwalimu Sacco for three decades serving as CEO for 19 years.
Mr Shibutse faces the daunting task of growing Mwalimu Sacco’s earnings and offering returns to members, amid growing competition from commercial banks.
A prized target
Teachers have been a prized target for banks and Saccos — wooing them with cheaper loans, salary advances and top-ups — due to the job security they enjoy.
Mr Shibutse holds a BA in Economics from the University of Nairobi and is currently pursuing an MBA at the Arusha-based Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI). He is also a certified accountant and secretary.
He also serves as a director at Fidelity Shield Insurance, where ECB owns a 23.86 per cent stake.
Mr Shibutse will now take charge of Mwalimu’s plans to roll out housing mortgages and insurance brokerage services for its members.
Mwalimu is ranked Kenya’s largest Sacco by assets, which totalled Sh24.5 billion in the year ended December 2013, according to data from the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (Sasra).
The other top Saccos in Kenya are Harambee, Afya, Stima, Kenya Police, United Nations, Ukulima, Kenya Bankers, Imarisha and Gusii Mwalimu Sacco.
Mwalimu’s current membership is 57,521 mostly comprising of public high school teachers and their spouses as well as employees of education sector agencies such as the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
Mwalimu Sacco’s loan book grew by a 10th to Sh20.96 billion at the end of last year, from Sh18.96 billion in December 2013, buoyed by increased lending to members. It has 11 branches countrywide.
The Sacco marshalled additional deposits worth Sh1.9 billion last year to have members’ deposits stand at Sh18.5 billion.
Mwalimu’s asset base, loan book and deposits would easily rank it as a mid-sized lender when compared to Kenyan banks – grading it 23rd after GT Bank.
It declared a dividend of 12 per cent on members’ shareholding, up from 11 per cent paid in 2012.