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CMA boss to be named next week

By By James Anyanzwa | February 1st 2013

By James Anyanzwa

Finance minister Njeru Githae is set to appoint the new chief executive of the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) next week.

The move ends months of anxiety and speculation that has engulfed the investing fraternity. It also cools fears of vested interests in the operations of the regulator.

In what appears to be the turning point to the impasse that has also threatened the stability of the local capital markets, the minister hinted at even picking the new CMA chief from the list he had earlier rejected.

“There are three options: I can give them six months to recruit, send me the three names and I pick one or review the candidates. I’m considering these options and by next week we shall know the way forward” Githae said.

Fresh Recruitment

The latest turn of events comes after the CMA board failed to comply with the Treasury’s directive. It was supposed to present a fresh appointee to the Finance minister for appointment by January 14.

Githae admitted that three months were  not enough to conduct fresh recruitment for a new capital markets chief executive.  He said Treasury was now considering three key options, which, he believes, would eventually yield a replacement   for Stella Kilonzo.

Ms Kilonzo’s four-year term at the helm of the market regulator ended on June 30, last year, but chose not to renew her contract.

Speaking to The Standard on phone yesterday, Githae said Treasury was now ready to either give the CMA board six more months to conduct a fresh recruitment process, or pick one candidate from the previous list of three nominees.

Githae observed that he had also advised the CMA board to carry out a review of the nominees by talking to them as some of might have changed their minds due to changing circumstances.

This he said could give him the option to handpick the new boss at CMA. This follows the enactment of a new legislation that empowers the Finance minister to have a final word on the appointment of a new chief executive at CMA.

 Treasury is expected to have the final say on who is eventually selected to office after the change in legislation that transferred the authority to appoint from the President to the finance minister.

Best Three

The changes were effected in the Finance Bill 2012, which was approved in the final days of the tenth Parliament. Treasury had initially rejected the three candidates.

They were investment banker Wanjiku Mugane, CMA’s corporation secretary Rose Lumumba and Paul Mwai of the Afrika Investment Bank  who had been presented to it for appointment. It claimed none had met the minimum requirements for the office. In July last year, following the exit of Kilonzo, and the board hired the head-hunters, Manpower Consultants, to conduct interviews and help in recruiting a new chief executive.

A short list of three professionals who score the highest marks was made. Ranked top was Mugane.

Lumumba came second, with Mwai coming third position. Acting Chief Executive Paul Muthaura did not apply for the job.

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