Kenyan banking tycoon and Equity Group Holdings CEO James Mwangi is on course to become one of the longest-serving executives in the country after he disclosed that he will retire as CEO of the Nairobi-based group in 2032.
Mwangi, who has been the CEO for the past 17 years, said it will be easy to retire when the time comes as he is still under 60.
His decision to remain at the helm of the leading financial services group aligns with the 70-year age limit set by the Kenya Capital Markets Authority (CMA) for executives, as Mwangi is now 59.
During an interview, the Kenyan banking tycoon said: “I have served only 17 years. I am inspired by that. Equity retirement age is 70. Peter Munga retired as chairman at age of 75, just like David Ansell.”
Equity Group Holdings Limited is Kenya’s leading financial services holding. The group ranks among the largest financial services groups in East Africa despite its humble beginnings as a building society founded by businessman Peter Munga in 1984.
Mwangi joined Equity as the finance and operations director when the group was still Equity Building Society. In 2004, he took over the role of CEO. In this position, Mwangi teamed up with Munga, the chairman, and they worked together closely to transform the group.
Over the past 31 years, his milestones while heading the group include successfully transforming its core operations.
Since 2004 when he became CEO, the value of the group’s assets has grown from Ksh6.71 billion ($87.1 million) to Ksh1.18 trillion ($10.56 billion) as of Sept. 30, 2021, while its profit has risen from Ksh136.14 million ($1.77 million) in 2004 to Ksh20.1 billion ($179.9 million) in 2020.
In the first nine months of 2021, Equity Group Holdings posted Ksh26.9 billion in profit in the first nine months of 2021, as operational efficiency coupled with improvements to its core business boosted earnings above the Ksh25-billion ($223.82 million) mark.
In an effort to be an active executive in the group, Mwangi converted his Ksh7-million deposit at the time with Equity Building Society to ordinary shares, making him one of its key shareholders.
Today, the Kenyan multimillionaire holds a 3.38-percent stake in the group worth KSh6.52 billion ($58.37 million), making him one of the wealthiest investors on the Nairobi Stock Exchange.