Monday, April 12, 2010

Equity/HFCK boardroom myths; Mpesa in the UK

Despite all the talent and research time at their finger tips, both DN and Standard seem to have missed out on the fact that the Equity/Britak/Jimnah Mbaru fraternity owns 35%+ of HFCK. Basically, the 3 hold a controlling interest in HFCK. That they'd seek to have a BoD that is more amenable to their interests is no surprise. Is it wrong to do so? Not in Kenya. Note that unlike in the West where there are clear guidelines on the composition of Board of Directors and corporate governance generally, in Kenya, CMA/CBK/NSE are all silent on BoD. Hence, a lot of what happens in Corporate Kenya in terms of composition and BoD rules is copied from the West purely in the same way that we have democracy without the context. However, there should be rules that state that of the third non-executive directors, some should be non-shareholders.

Mpesa is in the UK. Not quite in the same, all path-blazing way that it has been in motherland, but more in an experimental manner. Of the 8 or so publicised agents in Greater London, only two were working the other day, and neither had a float to sustain a £250 send. Contrast that with Western Union or general banking presence. However, assuming you are sending school fees plus lets say farmer workers salary and need to do so urgently, then its recommended you use the Mpesa service. It costs £4 for anything upto £150 (compared to £21 with Western Union and £2 via normal bank) and will be with recipient's phone in Khayega in minutes (compared to 3 days for banks). Provident Capital have licensed some agents (the only operative one is E2 East Ham).


kainvestor said...

BD too missed the Equity/Britak angle on the HF wars. Wonder if its intentional. I agree with you CMA should do something about the shareholding directors in this companies.

bankelele said... It's been a year now, - the HF Chairman quitting in a huff was like the board of the youth fund quitting at the end of their term, with full knowledge that their tenure would not be extended...question is what does Equity want HF to do - low cost mortgages? Winnie Imanyara long time former Equity Director is Head of Change at HF

bankelele said...
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