Wilfred Musau has become the first casualty of the KCB Group acquisition of the National Bank of Kenya (NBK) after he was edged out as managing director.
Until yesterday, he had occupied the lender’s corner office since April 2016, presiding over its worst times punctuate by losses and shrinking customer numbers.
KCB had indicated it would chop staff numbers as it seeks to turn around NBK’s fortunes in the takeover that has started in earnest.
In an announcement made yesterday, Paul Russo, a KCB insider, will head the struggling lender in the two-year interim period before the NBK brand is phased out and is incorporated into the bigger bank.
Already, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has approved the buyout, clearing the last hurdle in a transaction that has been unsuccessfully fought in both Parliament and the courts.
KCB Group Chief Executive Joshua Oigara while making the announcement of Russo’s appointment in a statement issued a rider that his appointment would be subject to regulatory approval as is the norm.
He added that the process of acquiring NBK is currently awaiting confirmation of shareholders who have already traded in their shares for those of KCB.
“We have received a good indication from NBK shareholders and we shall announce the official results within the legally stipulated timelines so as to get into the next steps of the transaction,” said Mr Oigara.
KCB Group is carrying out verification of the returns by the NBK shareholders.
After the conclusion of the surrender of the shares, KCB will formally take up control of NBK within the week, with more staff changes expected.
Mr Russo was until yesterday the KCB Group Director of Regional Businesses and will lead the transition team that will report to Mr Oigara.
The developments came a day after CBK said that it had no objection to KCB Group’s planned acquisition of 100 per cent stake in NBK in an offer to shareholders which closed last Friday.
CBK’s approval followed the one by the Competition Authority of Kenya. One last approval from the Capital Markets Authority relating to takeovers and mergers is still pending.