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Six top bank CEOs take home over Sh787 million annual pay

KCB Group Chief Executive Paul Russo, Equity Group's James Mwangi and John Gachora of NCBA Group. [File, Standard] 

The chief executives of Kenya’s top six banks took home an annual gross pay of Sh787 million last year as the lenders recorded mixed fortunes.

The bosses of Kenya’s tier-one lenders Equity, KCB Group, NCBA, Diamond Trust Bank (DTB), Standard Chartered Kenya (StanChart), and Absa smiled to their banks on the back of attractive compensation packages.

Kenyan corporates have been pulling out all the stops to keep their top managers happy and to woo and retain them.

KCB Group says in its compensation policy for instance that its “competitive employee value proposition” has led to low staff attrition.

“We purposefully endeavour to maintain fairness and equity in employee remuneration and motivate high levels of employee performance in an affordable and sustainable manner,” says KCB Group on its compensation policy.

“The group regularly participates in remuneration benchmarks to ensure it remains competitive in the market within which we operate.” CEOs enjoy luxury holidays, wardrobe allowances, car and personal drivers, bodyguards, private club membership, housing, entertainment allowance, and elite school fees benefits, to name a few.

In the above list of the top six banks which have so far made public disclosures ahead of their annual general meetings where they will brief shareholders, KCB Group chief executive Paul Russo was one of the top earners taking home an annual gross pay of Sh177.6 million. Mr Russo, who took the reins of KCB In May 2022, saw his annual salary go up by Sh2.34 million taking it to Sh75 million from Sh72.7 million a year earlier.

He, however, recorded a lower bonus in cash and deferred of Sh51.7 million and Sh17.2 million respectively but higher allowances and gratuity of Sh9.6 million and Sh22.5 million respectively.

His gross pay was lower than the Sh217.4 million he received the prior year.  Equity Group chief executive James Mwangi took home an annual compensation of Sh158.8 million.

This included an annual salary of Sh106 million - or Sh8.8 million per month - same as the previous year, and leave pay of Sh7 million.

He also earned Sh4.7 million in estimated value of non-cash benefits. His gross pay was lower by Sh54.7 million compared to the compensation he received the prior year of Sh213.6 million.

NCBA chief executive John Gachora took home a total of Sh185.76 million last year. Gachora’s gross pay shot up by Sh38 million from the Sh147.7 million he received the previous year.

His higher pay comprised a salary of Sh93.4 million or Sh7.79 million per month, a cash incentive remuneration of Sh60 million (Sh11 million deferred) and a retirement benefit of Sh10.1 million.

Stanchart chief executive Kariuki Ngare took home an annual compensation of Sh121.5 million.

This comprised a higher salary of Sh51.1 million or Sh4.2 million and a bonus of Sh35.6 million, deferred cash awards of Sh11.8 million, share-based awards of S11.8 million, non-cash benefits of Sh4 million and a pension of Sh6.9 million.

His gross pay was, however, lower than the Sh124.4 million he received the prior year. DTB chief executive Nasim Devji took home gross pay of Sh65.7 million while Absa boss Abdi Mohammed earned Sh78.5 million in annual gross pay.

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