UAP Old Mutual set to lay off 100 in cost-cutting drive

Peter Mwangi, UAP Old Mutual Group chief executive. PHOTO | FILE
Peter Mwangi, UAP Old Mutual Group chief executive. PHOTO | FILE 

Financial services group UAP Old Mutual has announced plans to lay off about 100 staff to trim expenses.

The insurance group said in a memo to staff the “restructuring” begins this month and is expected to conclude in the second week of March.

Only its Kenyan businesses will be affected. The layoffs do not impact the group’s businesses in Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

UAP Old Mutual Group chief executive Peter Mwangi said the redundancies had been occasioned by a recent review of the Kenya business organisational structure.

“The review has been concluded and it has been determined that we need to implement various changes to some of our businesses in Kenya,” said Mr Mwangi in a memo to staff.

“It is estimated that the total number of roles across the Kenyan businesses that will be adversely affected by the process will not exceed 100.

‘‘The changes are aimed at realising synergies and efficiencies for the whole group, eliminating duplication or roles, reducing expenses and strengthening the financial performance of some of the affected businesses.” UAP Old Mutual becomes the latest Kenyan firm to announce that it will send home some workers.

Bank of Africa Kenya, Standard Chartered, Ecobank, Family Bank, Sidian, and Islamic financier First Community Bank are currently retrenching staff.

In a statement yon Wednesday, Mr Mwangi said affected employees will receive fair compensation.

Old Mutual took a 60.7 per cent stake in UAP for Sh26 billion ($253 million) in January 2015, just two months after it bought a 67 per cent stake in microfinance lender Faulu Kenya for Sh4.1 billion ($40 million).

The new group soon after unveiled an operational structure which aligned the merged business.

Last year, UAP OLD Mutual merged its banking and insurance operations, enabling customers to access all its services under one roof.

Mr Mwangi said then that the group’s strategy was to consolidate all its branches countrywide into integrated services by 2018.

“The integration process is at an advanced stage and the company is in the process of securing the relevant regulatory and shareholder approvals to merge various business units into single entities,” he said Wednesday.