Wairegi to leave Britam after four decades in office

Outgoing Britam MD Benson Wairegi
Outgoing Britam MD Benson Wairegi. PHOTO/COURTESY.

Benson Wairegi, the Chief Executive of Britam Holdings is set to leave the company in December after four decades in the corner office.

Mr. Wairegi’s current three-year contract expires in December and the Britam CEO has revealed that he will not renew the agreement but he will instead take time to focus on personal matters.

“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,” the 67-year old CEO said of his immediate post-retirement plans.

The longest-serving CEO among the firms listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) is however confident that Britam’s Board of Directors will identify a worthy successor to take over and propel the insurer to even greater heights.

Among other things, Mr. Wairegi is attributed to steering the listing of the firm at the NSE in July 2011, expanding the company’s footprint in Kenya and neighbouring countries, and diversifying Britam’s business portfolio to cover property development.

 “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,” the Britam CEO said.

Mr. Wairegi currently owns a 4.01 percent stake in the company valued at Ksh. 715.7 million which is enough to earn him a seat on the Board as a Non-Executive member.

Britam Holdings posted a Ksh. 2.4 billion pre-tax profit in the first six months of 2019 up from Ksh. 1.4 billion registered in a similar period in 2018 translating to a 78 percent growth in profit. The group attributed the improved performance to an increase in returns from investments and improved underwriting performance which has augmented the firm’s asset base. The Group investment assets grew by 11 percent with fixed income contributing 46 percent of total assets up from 35 percent in 2018 in the period under review.

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