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Former Nairobi Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe Named The New MD Of Equity Bank Kenya Ltd

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Polycarp Igathe And James Mwangi

Nairobi 20th September 2018………Fives months after joining Equity Group Holdings Plc, Polycarp has been confirmed and named the Managing Director of Equity Bank Kenya. This marks the completion of the Group’s strategy of separating the management of its subsidiaries from that of the Holding Company. Dr James Mwangi will now serve as the Group Chief Executive and Managing Director providing overall strategic direction and oversight to the Group.

Speaking while making the announcement, Dr Mwangi said “The Board has completed the process of separating the operations and management of the Kenya subsidiary from that of the Group and appointed Polycarp the Managing Director of Equity Bank Kenya. Polycarp’s strong values and passion have enabled him to quickly fit well in the Equity Group organizational culture. He has distinguished himself as a results oriented and committed business leader who is Equity Bank is currently the largest bank in Eastern and Central Africa region with over 12.6Million customers, the largest in market capitalization and the second largest in balance sheet.

It is listed at the Nairobi securities exchange and cross listed in Uganda Stock Exchange and Rwanda Stock Exchange. It has banking subsidiaries in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan and DRC. renowned for fostering productive partnerships with external stakeholders and customers, resulting in delivery of outstanding company results. He has taken over a very successful subsidiary and market leader. We believe he has the skills, competence, capability and vision to retain Equity Bank Kenya in its leadership position while taking it to the next level.”

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Equity Bank Kenya holds the lion share of the Group’s business and contributes over 80% of the profitability. It is the first subsidiary of Equity Group Holdings Plc which has become a case study of excellence in growth management and transformation from a technically insolvent building society to a globally competitive bank. The Bank has been named the Top Banking Superbrand in Kenya for ten years in a row since 2007.

Moody’s gave the bank a global rating of B2 with a Stable outlook same as the sovereign rating of the Kenya Government in 2017. Global Credit Rating Co. (GCR) rated the bank AA- for long-term and A1+ for short term, with a stable outlook reflecting the Group’s strong competitive position in Kenya’s banking industry in 2017-2018. The Banker Top 1000 World Banks 2018 ranked Equity Bank position 11 globally on Return on Assets, position 44 on Profits on Capital and position 35 on soundness or Capital Assets Ratio.

In 2018, The bank was recognized by the Banker Awards East Africa as the Best Commercial Bank in Kenya and East Africa, the bank with the Best Digital Offering in East Africa and the Most Innovative Bank in Kenya. The East African Business Council awarded Equity Group Holdings the Overall Best Regional Company in East Africa, 2018. The African Banker Awards 2018 feted Equity Bank as the African Bank of the Year while Euromoney awarded Equity Bank as the Best Bank in Kenya 2018.

In Kenya, the bank emerged the Overall Best Bank in the 2018 Think Business Banking Awards for the 7th year in a row. It also won across 22 award categories becoming the most recognized market leader in the country.

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Kenya led in the implementation of the Group’s digitization strategy that has seen the bank move over 97% of its transactions from the banking halls to self service digital banking tools. The bank pioneered in rolling out agency banking in the region, setting the pace for the other subsidiaries. The Group’s social impact investments coordinated by Equity Group Foundation have benefitted immensely from Equity Bank Kenya’s infrastructure which provides the Foundation with unrivalled implementation capability giving the Foundation a high return on investment.

About Polycarp Igathe

Mr Igathe is a highly accomplished corporate executive, seasoned in overseeing large commercial enterprises in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector and with a remarkable track record of success in spearheading business growth and product development. Mr. Igathe has successfully served as CEO of leading blue chip corporate entities in Kenya and Eastern Africa, namely Coca-Cola SABCO, Africa Online, EABL, Haco Industries, Wines of the World, Tiger Brands International and Vivo Energy.

He has been elected, nominated, and appointed to serve as Non-Executive Chairman and Board member in several commercial and public-sector entities. Further, he has served as Chairman Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM); Chairman Petroleum Institute of East Africa (PIEA); Director & Trustee Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA); and Chair Board of Management at BG Ngandu Girls High School.

Igathe has served as Chairman Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM); Chairman Petroleum Institute of East Africa (PIEA); Director & Trustee of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and was the immediate former second Governor of the Nairobi City County. He brings his business networks and experience in the Eastern Africa private sector scene to grow the Equity brand in the corporate segment of the market.

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Igathe is celebrated as a Warrior of the Marketing Society of Kenya (MSK), Savant of Marketing by Marketing Africa Magazine and as Savant of Policy Advocacy by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM). Igathe obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics & Sociology, from the University of Nairobi and is a graduate of the Strathmore University’s Advanced Management Program (AMP) with IESE Business School in Spain. At the University of Nairobi, he was the national Chairman of AIESEC in Kenya, the International Association of university students interested in Economics and Business Management.
He was the second Deputy Governor of Nairobi County, under the devolved government before his resignation from the post in January 2018.


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Urithi Adopts A Unique Model To Deliver Affordable Housing In Kenya

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Urithi Housing Cooperative Society Chairman Samuel Maina handing over the keys to the new owners of one of the houses during the handing over ceremony of Springs View gated community estate in Gatuanyaga Location of Thika East in Kiambu County.

Since President Uhuru Kenyatta unveiled his Big Four Agenda during his inauguration to serve his second term in office, the different sectors that anchor his legacy have been making all necessary alignments to fit into the presidential vision which can only be achieved through collaboration between public and private sector players.

One of the pillars of President Kenyatta’s legacy is affordable housing, with a target of 500,000 new housing units per year.

Opinions and commentaries have been penned but what has stood out is the many experts who have made a strong case that the projected numbers can only be achieved if stakeholders would embrace the socio-economic model of housing provision.

Legend supports this narrative yet fact is that it is not exclusively dependent on this model but that this will largely drive the realization of this pillar. So what is the socio-economic model of housing, how does it work and does any of the current players in property business operate on this model?

The model is entirely dependent on members, whose contributions are key and vital in initiating and executing any project that seeks to provide housing, be it public or private. Upon payment of a pre-determined deposit or down payment, the balance of the cost is spread out and paid over a period of between 12 and 48 months.

Samwel Maina, the Chairman of Urithi Housing Society, the only player that operates on this model, says monthly subscriptions vary from one member to the other depending on their economic ability.

“For the project timelines to be achieved, also entirely depends on the speed of members to make their contributions. However, slow remittance by some members has contributed to delays being experienced as most times the society has to move with the speed of the slowest member in payment,” he says.

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“Speed is determined by how fast you get money from members. But due to the uncertainty and unpredictable nature of contributions and cash flows we adjust accordingly.”

The pricing does not change over time “simply because the model mitigates on cost of labor, land and materials. Hence making it affordable without changing the initial price.”

Being an off plan project, there are critical steps, approvals and mandatory procedures that must be undertaken. Market sounding is the first of the many steps and acts a notice of the intention to undertake the project.

Then follows mobilization which entails recruiting members and other stakeholders, which process is followed by pursuit of statutory and other approvals by various government bodies, both national and county level.

Once the necessary approvals have been granted, the groundbreaking marks the beginning of construction work, whose completion is entirely dependent on members’ fidelity to make subscriptions.

“There are incidents where a member pays their subscriptions in full and expect that they would get their units but the principle here is that we pool together to own together.

“The explanation is very simple. While you may have paid yours in full, the model works in such a way that those who pay upfront help kick-start the project and sustain it by making the first commitment which is key to property ownership and the subsequent subscriptions take us through to the tail end,” adds Mr. Maina.

Urithi has over the past six years, completed and handed over thousands of housing units in Springviews in Thika, Plainsview in Juja, Gem1 in Witeithie and Lanet Homes (Nakuru and Juja).

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They intend to complete and hand over all housing projects currently under construction in the next 12 months. They include Utange – Mombasa, Gem2 and Rongai Homes which are set for completion in the next quarter for handing over to the members, while investors in the Osteen Terrace Gardens will be delivered by the last quarter of 2019.

“The OTG project is the first-of-its-kind to enable us achieve affordable housing for our members and we are using the socio-economic model. This particular project [OTG] is very timely and it will hugely compliment the government’s efforts in attaining the big 4 agenda – the housing component, by engaging other stakeholders like us,” adds the Urithi boss.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda focuses on expanding the manufacturing sector, Universal Health Care, Food security and Affordable housing.

Under the affordable housing pillar, the government through the National Housing Corporation and collaboration with private sector players, intends to construct 500,000 units annually by using innovative construction methods and low cost building and construction materials.

“The government will achieve its dream fast if they partner with the saccos and cooperatives. Cooperatives and Saccos have structures, a wide geographical reach and most importantly members,” avers Mr. Maina, who believes affordable housing is a major milestone towards achieving the other three pillars of President Kenyatta’s legacy plan.


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Airtel Kenya And Telkom Make Official Their Merger To Face Off Safaricom’s Dominance

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Telkom Kenya Limited and Airtel Networks Kenya Limited, today announced the signing of a binding agreement that will see the shareholders of the two companies enter into an agreement to merge their respective Mobile, Enterprise and Carrier Services businesses in Kenya to operate under a joint venture company to be named Airtel-Telkom.

Telkom Kenya Limited’s real estate portfolio and specific government services will not form part of the combined entity. The final shareholding will be determined at the closing of the transaction. Telkom Kenya has the option of holding up to 49 per cent of that shareholding.

The merged company will be chaired by Telkom Kenya Limited CEO, Mr. Mugo Kibati while Airtel Networks Kenya Chief Executive, Mr. Prasanta Sarma, will be appointed Chief Executive Officer.
The finalisation and closure of the transaction is subject to approval by the relevant authorities.
Airtel Networks Kenya Limited (Airtel Kenya) and Telkom Kenya Limited (Telkom Kenya) will see no immediate changes to their operations which will continue as usual.

Similarly, there will also be no change to the current respective leadership and management, legal, organisational and staffing structures. Additionally, both brands: ‘Airtel’ and ‘Telkom’, as well as their respective products and solutions, will continue to co-exist. Similarly, service delivery to the respective companies’ customers as well as engagement with all business partners of both companies will continue to operate as usual.

As per the agreement, both the partners will combine their operations in Kenya and establish an entity with enhanced scale and efficiency, larger distribution network and strategic brand presence, thereby enhancing the range and quality of products and service offerings in the market, and greater choice and convenience to the consumer.

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The combined entity will see sustained investments in networks to further accelerate roll out of future technologies. The Enterprise and Carrier Services businesses will get a boost with a larger fibre footprint and increased number of enterprise customers – including both large corporations and SMEs who would have access to a diverse portfolio of world-class solutions.

Commenting on the agreement, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Henry Rotich said:
“This move is well aligned with the government’s agenda to optimise the value of the assets that it holds in trust, on behalf of Kenyans, while cementing the country’s position not only as a regional business hub but also as an international investment magnet.”

ICT Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Joe Mucheru commented: “ICTs remain a vital link to achieving Kenya’s economic goals and our national development agenda, particularly with respect to service delivery. Such mergers have had positive impact on the development of the sector and service levels to consumers in other markets. Similarly, we look forward to this merger leading to the introduction of new technologies and telecommunication products which will, in turn, support the growth of other business sectors of our economy, thereby spurring national production to meet the growing demand locally and beyond.”


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RBA Gives Cytonn Investment The Nod To Manage Retirement Benefit Schemes Funds

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Investments Manager at Cytonn Maurice Oduor.

Cytonn Asset Managers Ltd (CAML) says it has been registered and authorised by the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) to manage retirement benefit schemes funds.

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) also licensed CAML in March 2018. The Cytonn arm said it will “further grow its regulated products portfolio to include fund management services for retirement benefits schemes” following the nods.

“Despite the retirement benefits assets under management growing to about Sh1.2 trillion as of June 2018, only 15 per cent of Kenyans belong to a registered pension scheme and there is a vast opportunity to increase this,” said Cytonn Asset Managers principal officer Maurice Oduor.

“With this licence, we look forward to adding value to the retirement benefits industry by reaching more Kenyans and enabling them to save for their retirement and securing their future.”

According to Zamara, a pension fund administrator, pension funds only earned 9% p.a in the last year. The entry of Cytonn into the pensions industry brings high yielding products earning upto 18% p.a into the industry.

Cytonn Asset Managers earlier acquired Seriani Asset Managers Ltd.


Kenya Insights allows guest blogging, if you want to be published on Kenya’s most authoritative and accurate blog, have an expose, news, story angles, human interest stories, drop us an email on [email protected] or via Telegram
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