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Friday, October 7, 2016

PWC VET CHARLES MUCHENE ELECTED BARCLAYS KENYA CHAIRMAN

Charles Kahara Muchene has been elected the chairman of Barclays Bank Kenya to replace the outgoing Francis Okomo-Okello.

The 58-year old accountant by profession also chairs the Board of East Africa Breweries, a position he has held since 2011.

Before that, he was the Senior Partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers Kenya for 11 years. He has also served on the boards of CFC Stanbic Holdings and CFC Stanbic Bank,

Francis Okomo-Okello, 67, has served as Chairman of the Board of Barclays Bank Kenya since 2005. He is also the chair of the TPS East Africa-Serena Group and the Executive Director in charge of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Industrial Promotion Services (IPS), the industrial development arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Development. IPS has holdings in companies like Farmer's Choice, Premier Foods, Seacom undersea cable among others.

At the Barclays chairmanship, Okomo-Okello replaced Sam Ambundo who had spent more than half a century with the bank. Ambundo had joined the board in 1983 after rising to the position of General Manager in the institution he had joined as a clerk in 1948, earning 83 Shillings a month. He had ascended to the chairmanship in 1996.

Before him was veteran lawyer Sam "SN" Waruhiu who was the first African chairman of the Bank after Barclays Bank Kenya was incorporated.

The Bank which entered the Kenyan market in 1916 as the National Bank of South Africa, was later taken over Barclays DCO (Dominions, Colonies and Overseas) in 1925 when it operated 3 branches.

It would however, not appoint its first Kenyan CEO until 2002 when Adan Mohammed rose from the position of Finance Director to become the MD. Adan Mohammed had been recruited from London and replaced Martin Oduor-Otieno as FD when the latter was named to the Richard Leakey-led Dream Team in 1999 to serve as the Permanent Secretary Treasury.

Muchene as the new Chairman will oversee Barclays at a time of business and regulatory changes.

It's parent company Barclays Africa Limited is to be sold by Barclays PLC as the UK-based lender seeks to reduce its capital requirements for its African holdings. The process of reducing its holdings in BAL to less than the majority stake is expected to take place over the next two years.

BBK is also having to deal with the Banking Amendment Act 2016 which has imposed lending caps for interest charged on loans and set a floor for deposit rates. This is expected to squeeze banks' margins, and drive optimization which is likely to see job losses as automation is implemented for many operations.







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