Collymore’s Sh196m pay shines a light on Co-op, KCB

 Bob Collymore Gideon Muriuki Oigara
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, Coop Bank's Gideon Muriuki and KCB Group's Joshua Oigara. FILE PHOTOS | NMG 

Kenya’s largest and most profitable company, Safaricom #ticker:SCOM, has disclosed that it paid its chief executive, Bob Collymore, Sh196.5 million in the year ended March, shining a light on two banks that paid their bosses much more for running much smaller and less profitable businesses.

Safaricom says in its annual report for the year ended March 2018 that Mr Collymore took home Sh94.32 million in basic salary, a bonus of Sh32.42 million, non-cash benefits of Sh35.64 million and a Vodafone UK share award worth Sh34.09 million.

This means his pay rose 16.6 per cent during the year under review, up from the total Sh168.5 million he earned in the year ending March 2017.

Safaricom said Mr Collymore’s remuneration is set according to the negotiated employment contract and is employed on a fixed term basis.

“Besides the basic salary, the executive director is entitled to an annual performance-based bonus and Vodafone Plc shares, residential accommodation, utility bills payment, children’s school fees and club membership,” the report says.

With an annual pay of Sh196.5 million, Mr Collymore, who has just returned to work from a nine-month medical leave, is the third highest-paid corporate executive in Kenya -- after Co-operative Bank’s #ticker:COOP Gideon Muriuki and KCB’s #ticker:KCB Joshua Oigara.

Sateesh Kamath, the Safaricom chief financial officer, who held forte for Mr Collymore during the medical leave, was paid a total of Sh96.6 million, made up of Sh52.8 million in salary, a bonus of Sh14.5 million, non-cash benefits worth Sh20.6 million and Sh8.7 million in Vodafone shares.

Directors' pay

Safaricom, by far the most successful corporation in Kenya, also stands out as one of the most modest in the remuneration of directors. The telecoms operator’s total expenditure on directors stood at Sh327.5 million, including the total Sh34 million it paid non-executive directors.

Co-operative Bank, which is Kenya’s third largest bank by assets and profits, stands by far as the most extravagant company it terms of executive compensation. The bank’s chief executive, Mr Muriuki, took home Sh370 million in the year ended December 2017 -- more than the entire Safaricom board.

KCB chief executive Joshua Oigara was second with a total package of Sh256 million, consisting of Sh65 million in basic salary and allowances and the remainder in form of a bonus.

Corporate governance experts said it would be difficult for Co-op Bank and KCB to justify paying their CEOs more than Safaricom, adding that Mr Collymore who works in Kenya as an expatriate should easily be earning the top dollar.

Safaricom remains by far Kenya’s biggest business with significantly higher revenue and profits, meaning Co-op Bank and KCB shareholders paid their executives more for every shilling earned in profits compared to the giant telecoms operator.

Safaricom reported a net profit of Sh55.3 billion in the year to March, representing a 14.1 per cent increase from 2016 earnings, riding on a 9.8 per cent revenue growth to Sh233.7 billion.

KCB reported the second largest net profit at the NSE in 2017 at Sh19.7 billion (or less than half Safaricom’s profit), followed by Equity Bank #ticker:EQTY and Co-op Bank, which reported Sh18.8 billion and Sh11.4 billion profits respectively.

KCB is Kenya’s biggest bank with Sh646.7 billion asset base followed by Equity with Sh524.5 billion and Co-op Bank Sh386.9 billion.

Equity paid its chief executive, James Mwangi, Sh60.4 million last year —Sh56.74 million in salary and Sh3.7 million in allowances. The lender said it did not pay the CEO any bonus.

The list of firms that paid their chief executives more than Sh100 million last year includes oil marketer KenolKobil #ticker:KENO, ARM Cement #ticker:ARM and Standard Chartered Bank #ticker:SCBK.

KenolKobil paid its CEO, David Ohana, Sh151.1 million in 2017, consisting of Sh52.9 million in salary, a bonus of Sh84.7 million and other payments for undisclosed items amounting to Sh13.4 million.

Mr Ohana was also offered the option of acquiring shares worth more than Sh1.5 billion over the next six years. The firm’s annual profit stood at Sh2.4 billion.

Stanchart, whose net earnings fell 23.5 per cent to Sh6.9 billion in the year ended December 2017, paid its chief executive, Lamin Manjang, a total of Sh104 million during the year, having raised his pay by Sh3 million.

Cement maker ARM paid its chief executive, Pradeep Paunrana, Sh114.7 million, despite closing the year with a massive Sh6.5 billion loss.

The company is grappling with a heavy debt burden and short-term liabilities that have left it in a negative Sh13.4 billion assets position.

Companies listed on the NSE have, beginning this year, been publishing their directors’ pay following the coming into force of the long-awaited regulations requiring them to disclose directors’ remuneration and the basis of such payments in annual financial reports.

In the past, board pay was lumped together, which made it difficult for shareholders to know each director’s compensation.