Companies

FEP taps ex-UAP boss to its board

UAP

Former UAP Holdings managing director James Wambugu. FILE PHOTO | NMG

brianngugi_img

Summary

  • James Wambugu, who quit UAP Holdings in July, is expected to join the Sh4.4 billion asset chama on Wednesday next week when the company holds its AGM during which directors Peter Massawa, Stephen Maina Njuguna and Sarah Mbeti Karingi will also seek election.
  • FEP is shaking up its board of directors in the embattled chama's latest effort to regain shareholders' trust and revamp business following recent troubles.
  • The firm in March this year sent chief executive Maurice Korir packing nearly two years after tasking him with restructuring the chama and replaced him with John Muchira Kithaka

Diaspora-backed investment firm FEP Holdings has tapped ex-UAP Holdings managing director in charge of the general insurance business James Wambugu to its board of directors.

Mr Wambugu, who quit UAP Holdings in July, is expected to join the Sh4.4 billion asset chama on Wednesday next week when the company holds its AGM during which directors Peter Massawa, Stephen Maina Njuguna and Sarah Mbeti Karingi will also seek election.

The AGM is set for September 26.

FEP is shaking up its board of directors in the embattled chama's latest effort to regain shareholders' trust and revamp business following recent troubles.

The firm in March this year sent chief executive Maurice Korir packing nearly two years after tasking him with restructuring the chama and replaced him with John Muchira Kithaka.

Previously long-serving founding chief executive John Kithaka had occupied the position but quit in October 2016 following Mr Korir’s promotion.

Mr Kithaka had served at the helm of the financially haemorrhaging investment group for more than a decade while Mr Korir was the chief operating officer.

Prior to joining FEP in 2014, Mr Korir was chief operating officer of publicity firm Ogilvy.

The firm’s board linked the management shake-up to need to conform to a changing investment landscape.

“The board wishes to assure shareholders and stakeholders, both local and in diaspora, that the corporate leadership changes are aimed at aligning and strengthening the group’s organisational structure to ensure we meet evolving investor expectations,” it said at the time.

Founded in 2002, it has a membership of 70,273 investors, with a significant stock held by Kenyans residing in the UK and US.

FEP’s multiple projects including a planned 146-bed hotel in Sagana, Kirinyaga County have missed completion deadlines over lack of capital.

The new board will be charged with overseeing the finishing of stalled projects and revamping the company.

Its planned rights issue collapsed while plans to acquire a majority stake at Credit Bank, controlled by the Nyachae family, also failed. FEP was rocked by fraud in 2016 and hired an asset recovery agent to pursue six former senior managers and confiscate Sh67 million allegedly stolen from the organisation.

The Central Bank of Kenya in 2016 declined FEP’s bid to take control of the bank after raising queries on the chama’s share register and ability to adequately capitalise the small lender.