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Six Black executives leading America’s top 500 companies in 2022

In the history of the Fortune 500, there have only been 22 Black CEOs of 1,800.

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Roz Brewer.

As efforts to achieve both racial and gender equality progressed around the world, several corporations made significant strides in boosting minority participation in boardrooms by employing Black CEOs and gradually expanding minority representation in C-suite roles.

This progress comes as Black professionals provide guidance and instruction to companies on how to diversify their workforces to increase minority participation in the United States to the greatest extent possible as part of the move to increase representation to a proportionate number of Black executives and leaders in the general population.

Despite years of raising awareness about the absence of black individuals in boardrooms, and recent initiatives to increase minority representation in C-suite roles, Black executives lead only approximately one percent of all companies on the Fortune 500 list.

For context, the Fortune 500 list is an annual list published by Fortune magazine. The list ranks 500 of the biggest corporations in the United States based on total revenue in a fiscal year. In the history of the Fortune 500, there have only been 22 Black CEOs out of 1,800.

With six Black chief executives on the Fortune 500, accounting for little more than one percent of companies in the 2022 ranking, a significant increase from the four on the list in 2021, it is critical to know who these individuals are.

#1 Rosalind “Roz” Brewer

CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance

Roz Brewer, the highest-ranking Black CEO on the Fortune 500 list — and one of only two Black women on the list – spent nearly 20 years in leadership and executive capacities at Kimberly-Clark, Starbucks, and Walmart.

Brewer’s net worth was estimated to be around $5 million prior to her appointment as CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance in 2021, based on her stock trades and Starbucks pay.

#2 Marvin Ellison

CEO of Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

Marvin Ellison, the former chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney, is the only Black CEO to have led two Fortune 500 companies.

Ellison is one of America’s leading retail executives, serving as chairman and CEO of Lowe’s Companies Inc., a Fortune 50 home improvement company with over 2,200 stores and approximately 300,000 associates in the United States and Canada.

#3 Thasunda Brown Duckett

CEO of TIAA

After succeeding Roger Ferguson as president and chief executive officer of TIAA in May 2021, American businesswoman Thasunda Brown Duckett became the fourth Black woman to lead a Fortune 500 company

Prior to joining TIAA in 2021, Duckett was the chief executive at JPMorgan Chase Consumer Banking.

#4 Robert Reffkin

Founder and CEO of Compass 

Robert Reffkin, an African American businessman who co-founded and now serves as CEO of the online real estate company Compass, Inc., is one of America’s top leaders in the real estate brokerage market.

Compass brokers have executed more than $300 billion in sales for more than 275,000 homebuyers and sellers since the business’s inception ten years ago.

After going public in 2021 with an $8.22 billion valuation, investors are now counting on Reffkin’s ability to make Compass profitable in the coming years. Compass’ revenue exceeded $6.4 billion last year.

#5 David Rawlinson 

CEO of Qurate Retail Group

David Rawlinson is the CEO of Qurate Retail Group, an American media conglomerate that also owns shopping television networks QVC, HSN, and Zulily.

Rawlinson was president and CEO-elect of Qurate Retail, Inc., from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, 2021, before becoming CEO of Qurate in October 2021.

He joined Qurate Retail from NielsenIQ, where he was CEO and oversaw the company’s transition to new ownership.

#6 Frank Clyburn 

CEO of International Flavors and Fragrances

After being named CEO of IFF (International Flavors and Fragrances) in February 2022, African-American businessman Frank Clyburn became the newest and 22nd member of the black Fortune 500 CEO club this year.

Clyburn established his career on meaningful execution, which he demonstrated at Merck & Co. (Merck). He created one of the world’s leading cancer businesses and the company’s largest while at Merck.

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South African tycoon Stephen Brookes’ Balwin Properties returns $14.6 million to shareholders

Brookes has seen the market value of his stake rise by $5.3 million in the past 26 days.

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Stephen Brookes.

Balwin Properties, a Johannesburg-based residential property developer led by South African businessman and real estate tycoon Stephen Brookes, has returned $14.6 million to shareholders in the past 26 days, as investors react to its first-half financial results.

At the end of today’s trading session on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, shares in the South African property developer were worth R3.1 ($0.181) per share, giving the company a market capitalization of R1.44 billion ($84.1 million) at the time of writing.

The company’s share price has risen by 21.1 percent since Nov. 2, exactly 26 days ago, returning a total of R250.9 million ($14.6 million) in gains to shareholders as its market capitalization increased from R1.19 billion ($69.46 million) to R1.44 billion ($84.1 million).

Brookes, who founded the property developer in 1996 and owns a total of 36.08 percent of the company, has seen the market value of his stake increase by R92 million ($5.3 million) in the past 26 days as a result of these value gains.

Despite the recent increase in market value, Brookes’ equity interest in Balwin Properties is worth $6.6-million less than it was at the start of the year, when the firm’s shares soared above a price of R3.4 ($0.22) per share.

Balwin is a large-scale estate developer in South Africa for people with low-to-middle incomes. It provides residents with high-quality, environmentally friendly, and affordable apartments, as well as an innovative lifestyle program.

Profit for the first half of the current fiscal year rose by 48 percent, from R117.2 million ($6.4 million) to R173 million ($9.4 million), according to earnings figures.

The double-digit increase in earnings was due to increased demand for South African residential properties, which resulted in a 20-percent increase in revenue from R1.31 billion ($71.38 million) to R1.6 billion ($87.2 million).

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Controlled by Kenya’s richest families, NCBA Group eyes entry in Ethiopia, DRC, Ghana

NCBA Group is partially owned by the super-rich Kenyatta, Merali, and Ndegwa families.

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Uhuru Kenyatta.

NCBA Group, a financial services conglomerate controlled by Kenya’s wealthiest families, is preparing to launch operations in Ghana, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) through partnerships led by its mobile phone banking service, M-Shwari.

The move, which aligns with the group’s strategic expansion plans and diversification strategy through mobile and digital banking, comes just a week after NCBA CEO John Gachora announced that the lender plans to expand into eight African markets.

The group, which is one of the leading lenders in East Africa with operations in Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda, is negotiating mobile phone banking partnerships with banks and telecom operators in the three countries.

The move is consistent with Gachora’s earlier statement, in which the leading executive stated that the model in the new markets will be to collaborate with local banking and mobile partners to deliver products and services to customers while leveraging cutting-edge technology.

According to Gachora, funding the expansion will be less expensive than establishing a traditional bank. “There will be licensing costs because it’s digital, it’s a fintech, and licenses are relatively cheap,” he said. As a result, the Kenyan bank will earn commissions on deals involving the establishment of brick-and-mortar operations in Ghana, Ethiopia, and the DRC.

NCBA Group is a Nairobi-based financial services conglomerate that operates as a non-operating holding through its extensive network of subsidiaries in Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, and Cote d’Ivoire.

The Kenyan banking firm, established in 2019 by the merger of NIC Bank Group and Commercial Bank of Africa Group, now has 109 branches in five countries — Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Cote d’Ivoire — and is partially owned by the super-rich Kenyatta, Merali, and Ndegwa families.

The bank’s profit rose from Ksh6.52 billion ($53.3 million) to Ksh12.8 billion ($104.7 million) at the end of the first nine months of its 2022 fiscal year thanks to a double-digit increase in interest and non-interest income during the period under review.

NCBA has reaped enormous benefits from pioneering mobile phone-based lending in Kenya since partnering with telecom provider Safaricom in 2012 to launch the market-dominating service, M-Shwari.

It hopes to expand this model beyond East Africa, with large populations and a banking industry that primarily serves large corporations.

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Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote plans 300,000 jobs for Nigerians

Dangote Group is poised to cement its position as the second-largest employer of labor in Nigeria.

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Aliko Dangote.

Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote has announced that his multimillion-dollar investment through his sugar business, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc (DSR), will create no less than 300,000 jobs in Nigeria, as he continues to strategically invest in his sugar business in accordance with the requirements of the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).

The leading billionaire, who made this statement while speaking at the flag-off ceremony for the 2022–2023 Crushing Season and Outgrower Scheme Awards in Numan, Adamawa State, explained that the new employment opportunities will include both direct and indirect jobs.

“We are making a massive investment in Adamawa State through expansion of our refining capacity; with this investment, DSR will be able to create about three hundred thousand jobs, direct and indirect, with positive multiplier effects on the economy nationwide,” he said.

This statement comes nearly a week after he committed more than $700 million to expand the operation of its sugar business by increasing the refining capacity of one of its plants, DSR Numan, from 3,000 tonnes of cane per day (tcd) to 6,000 tcd, 9,800 tcd, and 15,000 tcd.

The investment will also drive the expansion of the group’s Backward Integration Program (BIP) in accordance with the NSMP, as the leading billionaire plans to put in place the necessary infrastructure for the eventual start of full-scale production.

The move, which aligns with the country’s goal of achieving sugar sufficiency, fits well with the company’s strategic expansion roadmap and is expected to increase revenue and earnings power while also creating shared wealth for stakeholders.

The Dangote Group, a manufacturing conglomerate owned by Aliko Dangote, is poised to cement its position as the second-largest employer of labor in Nigeria, behind only the Nigerian government, thanks to the 300,000 jobs that will be generated by the new investment.

Due to an increase in demand for both fortified and unfortified sugar, DSR, a leading integrated sugar company that is majority owned by Dangote, announced earlier this month that its nine-month 2022 profits increased by double digits.

According to the group’s financial statement, profits at the end of the first nine months of its 2022 fiscal year rose by more than 60 percent as revenue increased, from N15.51 billion ($35.4 million) in the corresponding period of 2021 to N24.83 billion ($56.6 million).

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