HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnists2014: A turbulent year for financial sector executives

2014: A turbulent year for financial sector executives


As we begin the new financial sector year with news of the arrival of Hashmon Matemera at AfrAsia Bank Zimbabwe Limited and the departure of Kwanele Ngwenya from Steward Bank, the banking sector already appears to be living up to its past billing as a hard hat area for executives.

Omen Muza

Looking back, 2014 was certainly a turbulent year in executive circles, although there were clearly some positive developments.

Every single month of the year from beginning to end, someone was either leaving one financial institution or arriving at another. When all is said and done, the most far-reaching management changes no doubt took place at ABC Holdings Limited.

As Kingdom Bank Limited changed its name to AfrAsia Bank Zimbabwe Limited following shareholder changes, Tineyi Mawocha was arriving at the bank as Managing Director following the departure of Francois Molife in March 2013. Sadly, he would barely last three months and had called it quits by April.

CBZ Holdings Limited announced the appointment of Richard Victor Wilde as Board Chairperson with effect from February 20 2014 following the sudden “retirement” of Luxon Zembe on February 10 2014. This move led to the elevation of Elliot Mugamu to the post of Chairman of CBZ Bank Limited with effect from the same date.

Terrence Mukupe, who was leading a Mauritius-domiciled consortium seeking to inject $30 million in capital in exchange for a significant stake in the bank, was appointed Group CEO of Allied Financial Holdings (the parent company of Allied Bank Limited). At the end of the same month, Allied Bank CEO Stephen Gwasira stepped down from his position and Florence Gowora, hitherto business director, was appointed acting CEO.

On April 1 2014, CBZ Holdings Limited announced the appointment of Never Nyemudzo as Group Chief Executive Officer with effect from May 1 2014. Meanwhile, Agribank CEO Somkhosi M T Malaba took over as Bankers’ Association of Zimbabwe President from George Guvamatanga in line with the lobby group’s rotational system. MBCA Bank Managing Director Charity Jinya was elected as the new vice-president.

The new Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Dr John Panonetsa Mangudya began his four-year term of office at the helm of the apex bank on May 1 2014. On May 7 2014 he issued his inaugural statement which identified “the lack of liquidity and its limited circulation within the economy” as “the biggest immediate challenge that the Zimbabwe economy is facing”. In the same month, the Board of Directors of ZB Bank Limited appointed George Nheweyembwa as the new Managing Director of the bank with effect from May 1 2014.

On June 26 2014, the BancABC Group announced the appointment of Joe Sibanda, hitherto Managing Director of BancABC Mozambique, as Managing Director of BancABC Zimbabwe with effect from July 1 2014. Meanwhile, Capital Bank managing director Lawrence Tamayi resigned on June 23 2014 following the earlier resignation en masse of the other board members on June 4 2014.

Fidelity Life Assurance Limited announced the appointment of Lawrence Tamayi as Chairman of its Board of Directors with effect from July 1 2014, succeeding Solomon Tembo. Across town Pan-African banking group BancABC embarked on a restructuring exercise that saw managing director Hashmon Matemera returning to group level to head the newly-created Special Operations Unit which manages the non-performing and classified asset portfolio as well as the disposal of non-core banking assets.

Barely a month after being reassigned to the Special Operations Unit, Hashmon Matemera left BancABC on August 1 2014, reportedly to pursue personal interests. Meanwhile, BancABC announced the appointment of Desmund Ali as the Country Head for Retail & SME Banking as well as Director for BancEASY.

Allied Financial Holdings (AFH) and Terrence Mukupe — head of a Mauritius-based consortium Southern Heritage Limited that was considering injecting $30 million in new capital into the group — parted ways on September 4 2014 apparently due to sharp disagreements that emerged during the consortium’s due diligence exercise regarding classification of the bank’s assets.

The Board of Directors of NMBZ Holdings Limited announced the stepping-down of James Mushore as Chief Executive Officer and Director of NMBZ Holdings and NMB Bank respectively due to ill health, effective October 31 2014. Benefit Washaya, the Managing Director of NMB Bank, was appointed to serve as Acting CEO with effect from November 1 2014.

Lovemore Gomera, the managing director of Alexander Forbes, was elected the President of the Insurance Institute of Zimbabwe (IIZ). Deposit Protection Corporation (DPC) chief executive John Chikura was elected the new treasurer of the International Association of Deposit Insurers (IADI), by virtue of which he would also sit on the Executive Council of the association.

On December 8 2014 ABC Holdings Limited announced that Douglas T Munatsi, Group CEO, Beki Moyo, Group CFO, and Francis M Dzanya, Group COO, would be stepping down from their roles at BancABC at the end of 2014.This followed Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Ltd’s successful completion of its acquisition of BancABC in August 2014. Atlas Mara identified a team led by Simbarashe Ronald Pfende as CEO to lead the bank.

Pfende would be supported by Makhosi Boyede and Amelia Reynecke, who were appointed as Co-COOs, and Christine Bronkhorst, who was appointed as CFO. Additionally, Howard Buttery stepped down from his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors of BancABC and left the Board at year-end, together with fellow director Ngoni Kudenga.

John Vitalo, CEO of Atlas Mara, was appointed as Interim Chairman, and Bradford Gibbs, a member of the Atlas Mara Executive Committee, also joined the Board of BancABC.

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