Kenya-Re scouts for a new managing director

kenya re

Kenya Re Managing Director Jadiah Mwarania. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

The Kenya Re-Insurance Corporation (Kenya-Re) has initiated the process of recruiting a new managing director to replace Jadiah Mwarania whose term ends in April next year.

Mr Mwarania was appointed to the helm of Kenya Re on April 11, 2011, but had served the corporation for over 20 years, including as general manager for reinsurance operations.

The board announced he will be proceeding on terminal leave from mid-December to pave the way for the recruitment adding that Michael Mbeshi, general manager of property and administration will take over in an acting capacity.

“Kenya Re now seeks to recruit and fill the position of the managing director,” said the company in a notice inviting applicants for the position Wednesday.

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The managing director post targets finance, insurance and business administration professionals with at least 15 years of relevant work experience.

During his tenure, Mr Mwarania suffered an ouster in 2018 that saw him move to court alleging unfair termination and obtaining orders restraining the board from filling the MD’s position pending the determination of the suit.

His exit was announced in March 2018 through a Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) notice that indicated that Mr Mbeshi would take over as acting managing director.

In July 2018, the Employment and Labour Relations Court ordered the reinstatement of Mr Mwarania as managing director and that the board should not interfere with or sabotage his job.

The court noted that his termination was unfair as he was not given an opportunity to be heard, finding that the alleged loss of trust and confidence was unfounded.

Justice Byram Ongaya noted that contrary to the claim by the board, the company has returned a profit in the period Mr Mwarania has been at the helm.

Under his leadership, Kenya Re posted a 10.7 per cent compound annual growth rate in gross premiums to Sh20.3 billion last year from Sh6.6 billion in 2011.

The reinsurer’s net income grew at an annual compounded rate of 4.07 per cent to Sh2.9 billion over the same period.

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Dividend payout had the slowest growth at 2.65 per cent to Sh280 million or Sh0.1 per share.

Minority investors have protested the small cash distributions, arguing that the company has the ability to significantly raise payouts.

The firm, on the other hand, says it needs to further fortify its capital base as it seeks to grow into more markets.

Kenya Re, which posted a Sh832 million net profit in the half year to June, up from Sh533.7 million the year before, collected premiums worth Sh11 billion in the six-month period.

It has three fully owned subsidiaries including Kenya Reinsurance Corporation Côte d`Ivoire, Kenya Reinsurance Corporation Zambia, and Kenya Reinsurance Corporation Uganda limited and associate company Zep-Re.

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