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Old Mutual head Peter Mwangi joins BAT board

Old Mutual Kenya group chief executive Peter Mwangi has been appointed to the board of British American Tobacco as a non-executive director. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU
Old Mutual Kenya group chief executive Peter Mwangi has been appointed to the board of British American Tobacco as a non-executive director. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Old Mutual Kenya group chief executive Peter Mwangi has been appointed to the board of British American Tobacco (BAT) as a non-executive director effective February 9.

Mwangi, who joined Old Mutual four months ago, was previously the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) chief executive for close to six years.

The listed cigarette manufacturer said Mr Mwangi’s appointment will be valuable to the firm and its shareholders given that he has served various companies at both director and board levels.

"He has over 20 years of proven experience to steer companies to deliver market-led solutions,” BAT said in a statement.

Mr Mwangi joins the firm’s board as strict new guidelines threaten to hold back growth by outlawing lobbying and discouraging cigarette use though graphic health warnings among other things. This is the latest in a series of regulatory onslaughts against smoking that the listed firm has had to face.

BAT Kenya has earned a reputation as a dividend stock by paying out all its profits to shareholders over the last seven years. In 2013, BAT paid Sh3.7 billion in dividends or Sh37 for every issued share.

Going by regulatory filings at the beginning of last August, the cigarette maker has 100 million issued shares, 76.8 per cent of which are held by foreigners (60 per cent by London-based multinational British American Tobacco Plc). A further 16.4 per cent is held by local institutions.

Mr Mwangi moved to Old Mutual in October shortly before the last of his two three-year terms was due to end on November 24.

Prior to joining the NSE, Mr Mwangi was the managing director of Centum Investment between 2004 and 2008.

He started his career in the Kenya Air Force where he worked for five years and left having attained the rank of captain.

Mr Mwangi holds a BSc degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Nairobi and is also a chartered financial analyst, accountant and secretary.

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