Longest-serving CEOs in NSE firms revealed

Longest-serving CEOs in NSE firms revealed

Seven chief executives of Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firms have served for more than 15 years and are expected to extend their tenure in a market where on average top managers don’t serve in excess of a decade.

Flame Tree’s #ticker:FTGH founder, Heril Bangera, has the longest run of 32 years, followed by Car & General’s #ticker:CGEN Vijay Gidoomal and TPS Eastern Africa’s Mahmud Jan Mohamed, who have served for 25 years and at least 24 years respectively.

Others are DTB Group’s #ticker:DTB Nasim Devji (20 years), Co-operative Bank’s #ticker;COOP Gideon Muriuki (20 years), Equity Group’s #ticker:EQTY James Mwangi (17 years) and Crown Paints’ #ticker:CRWN Rakesh Rao (16 years).

When it comes to these CEOs, the mantra in boardrooms may well be: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Their relatively longer tenures are due to a mix of factors, including being founders of the companies, being credited with success of the firms and a policy of not arbitrarily limiting CEOs’ terms.

Mr Bangera founded Flame Tree in 1989 and maintains an 84 percent stake in the fast-moving consumer goods manufacturer, securing his CEO post.

DTB and TPS Serena are majority-owned by the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), whose portfolio companies have smaller CEO turnover in general.

Mr Muriuki and Mr Mwangi are credited with the growth of their respective banks to the top of the industry in less than two decades.

Co-op Bank is the third-largest bank by assets while Equity recently ascended to the pole position, relegating KCB Group to second place on the back of aggressive regional acquisitions and suspension of dividends.

Mr Muriuki and Mr Mwangi each retain minority stakes in their companies and are expected to continue leading the firms into the future, riding on the above-average returns shareholders have booked via dividends and capital gains.

The banks have not officially disclosed succession plans but it is understood that their leaders have the latitude to stay as long as they choose to.“The earliest maybe on my own volition that I would ask to retire is when I turn 75,” Mr Mwangi told the Business Daily in 2019.“I have another 20 years. I take consolation from one of my role models, Warren Buffett who is still chief executive at the range of 87.”Co-op Bank has also previously indicated that Mr Muriuki’s performance has earned him the right to continue leading the bank. “It is a celebrated transformation journey now with the bank for over 18 years,” […]

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