Equity Group CEO James Mwangi could become one of the longest-serving CEOs in the country, after disclosing that he will leave his position earliest 2032.
Mwangi has served the bank for 31 years including 17 years as CEO, and he plans to go beyond the 70-year age limit set by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA). Currently, he is 59.
“I have served only 17 years. I am inspired by that. Equity retirement age is 70. Peter Munga retired as chairman at age of 75, just like David Ansell. When my time comes, it will be really easy [retiring] but I am still under 60,” Mr Mwangi said in an interview.
“I have retired from all the subsidiaries and now on the holding company. So I don’t see a challenge because I don’t run the business. The company that I run is the holding company, managing the relationship with investors. That doesn’t drive performance, but drives relationship with the shareholders. That can be done by anybody.”
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During his tenure, Equity Group has spread its wings from Kenya to Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, DR Congo, and Uganda.
Mwangi joined Equity in his late 20s as finance director when the lender was still a building society, before rising to the rank of a chief executive in the 1990s.
Equity’s market valuation has risen from Ksh8.1 billion in 2006 to Ksh189.6 billion under Mwangi’s watch.
Other CEOs who have served for long include Flame Tree’s founder, Heril Bangera (32 years), Car & General CEO Vijay Gidoomal (25 years), TPS Eastern Africa’s Mahmud Jan Mohamed (24 years), DTB Group’s Nasim Devji (20 years), Co-operative Bank’s Gideon Muriuki (20 years) and Crown Paints’ Rakesh Rao (16 years).
Mwangi currently holds 127.8 million Equity shares, equivalent to a 3.38 percent stake.
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