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Third executive at NIC Bank steps down in five months

 The new CEO will help deepen NIC Bank’s financial supermarket model, which includes trading shares, selling insurance products. FILE
The new CEO will help deepen NIC Bank’s financial supermarket model, which includes trading shares, selling insurance products. FILE  Nation Media Group

A third executive of NIC Bank has quit over the past five months, paving the way for the managing director, John Gachora to hire a new team to guide the mid-tier lender.

James Wanyika is set to quit as the director of credit risk following in the footsteps of former managing director James Macharia, now the Health secretary, and Joseph Mutugu who left as finance director in July after failing to agree on strategy with the bank.

“I have worked with this bank for 12 years and it’s normal retirement after attaining the age of 60,” said Mr Wanyika when reached by the Business Daily on Thursday.

The executive shift means that NIC will be searching for heads of finance and risk divisions after Mr Gachora on September 16 replaced Mr Macharia as its new managing director.

This will offer the new chief executive an opportunity to influence the appointments in a bank whose executive suite has witnessed little changes over the past five years unlike other top lenders.

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Mr Gachora, 44, joined Barclays Africa from South Africa’s Absa Africa where he was appointed CEO in 2010 and served in the global financial services firm Credit Suisse for a decade.

Mr Macharia was sworn in as Health secretary on May 15 and had led NIC Bank since 2005.

Executive turnover has been minimal over the past five years, save for this year. In January, it hired Edgar Kalya as retail director from Barclays Bank of Kenya where he was acting consumer banking director.

Its board, which is closely watched by the family of the late Philip Ndegwa, a former Central Bank of Kenya governor, has also seen little changes on its composition in recent years with the bulk of directors having served between 12 years and 20 years.

The Ndegwas entered NIC Bank in 1996 after they acquired a 20 per cent stake from Barclays Bank of Kenya through First Chartered Securities — an investment firm founded in 1974 by the family patriarch Philip.

They currently own a quarter of the bank and the son of the former governor, James Ndegwa, chairs its board.

Mr Gachora’s experience in mainstream banking and investment banking is expected to help him deepen NIC Bank’s financial supermarket model, which includes trading shares, selling insurance products and offering loans.

He is also expected to step up expansion into foreign markets, especially within East Africa. The bank has subsidiaries in Tanzania and Uganda.

NIC profit rose 20 per cent to Sh1.86 billion in the half year to June and its share at the Nairobi bourse has gained 10.2 per cent to the current Sh59.

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