KCB Group has sent home nearly the entire former board of National Bank of Kenya (NBK) in a reshuffle, weeks after formally acquiring the troubled lender.
The country’s largest bank has consequently tapped NSSF board of trustees chairman and ex-KDF boss Julius Karangi and Treasury’s acting director general in charge of public investments and portfolio management directorate Stanley Kamau to its board of directors.
KCB Group chief executive Joshua Oigara and NBK managing director Paul Russo have also joined the board.
The board shakeup means Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) secretary-general Francis Atwoli becomes the latest highest-ranking victim of the takeover after serving on the NBK board for 16 years.
Mr Atwoli joined the bank’s board in April, 2003, where he represented workers’ interests in the bank, having been appointed to occupy one of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF’s) two positions on the board.
KCB had said it was using a two-year transition period to “streamline human resources, systems, processes and procedures” to realise efficiency and productivity synergies.
Former NBK Board chairman Mohamed Abdirahman Hassan has also been axed and replaced by John Nyerere, a member of the KCB Group board.
Those retained at the new board include Linnet Mirehane and Jones Makau Nzomo.
KCB Group is shaking up its board of directors in the latest effort to regain the loss-making NBK shareholders' trust and revamp its business following successive years of troubles.
KCB Group chairman Andrew Wambari Kairu said the changes are aimed at building “a bigger and stronger institution, focusing on people, systems, processes and institutional governance.”
“Corporate governance is of utmost priority for us and the structure of the board and management is important in ensuring that the level of corporate governance you expect is maintained,” he said in a statement.
“We must continue to strengthen and enhance our oversight and risk management practices, which are essential cogs in the banking sector to meet the expectations of our regulators, protect, and serve the interests of our stakeholders.”
Former NBK MD Wilfred Musau was replaced last month by Mr Russo, who was formerly the group’s director of regional businesses, following the buyout deal.
The acquisition was promoted as a rescue deal aimed at pulling NBK out of its perennial low liquidity troubles.
Under the deal, KCB bought NBK through a share swap of one KCB share for every 10 of NBK, joining a wave of consolidation in Kenya’s banking industry.
With the take-over, the group delisted NBK’s shares from the Nairobi bourse and says it plans to run the bank as a stand-alone subsidiary before integrating its operations within about two years of the acquisition.