Britam CEO Benson Wairegi has announced his retirement from the firm in December 2020, after serving for 40 years.
Wairegi has opted not to seek a new term at the helm once his current three-year contract expires in December.
However, he will still be eligible for a board position courtesy of his 4.01 percent stake worth Ksh715.7 million.
“The board is seized of the matter. They have actually engaged and started a search for my successor. Whether it’s internal or external (replacement), that’s now for the board to decide. But the process actually began as long as two years ago. That should not worry the market, should not worry anybody. When I leave, there will be that pool of leaders who can take over from me,” he told Business Daily.
He however told the local daily that he plans to take a sabbatical and spend time with his family before thinking of his next step.
“After 40 years here… the first thing (I will do) is sit back and think what next. (I will) spend time with family, I have golf to play and there are friends I have missed because I have focused on this business all these years. There’s no urgency to do anything, just taking stock before I decide what to do next,” he said.
The firm which is partly owned by business moguls Peter Munga and Jimnah Mbaru was listed with the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) in July 2011.
Following the listing under Wairegi’s watch, the firm saw firm like Swiss Re, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Africinvest buy substantial stake, earning the owners hundreds of millions of shillings.
In the recent months, the share value of the firm has dropped with its shares at NSE shedding Ksh3.2 billion in the six months to June, compared to a gain of Ksh2.5 billion in a similar period a year earlier.
Consequently, Britam recorded a half-year loss of Ksh1.6 billion from a Ksh1.6 billion net profit in the six months to June 2019.
Britam has interests in insurance, asset management and property development businesses and has spread wings to Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi, Mozambique and South Sudan.
Its subsidiary, Britam Asset Managers, had a portfolio of Ksh227 billion in wealth under management in December 2019.