Businesses & Financial News

I&M Bank director quits his posh job

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By Steve Umidha

I&M Holdings’ Vincent De Brouwer has resigned as regional director and a board member of the bank barely eight months since he took over the role in November last year.

In a brief statement shared last week, the bank’s Board said De Brouwer’s unclear departure took effect on July 31, 2020 with his replacement yet to be known.

“Notice is hereby given that Mr. Vincent De Brouwer resigned as Regional Director and Member of the Board of I&M Holdings Plc. with effect from 31st July 2020. The Board takes this opportunity to thank him for his term of service and contribution to the Board and Committees he served on and wishes him the very best in his future endeavors,” reads the notice.

The bank announced his appointment in November 21, 2019 as the company’s regional director, and effectively became the first appointee of the newly created position whose aim the lender said was aimed at increasing the group’s visibility in the countries in which it is present.

The group is a conglomerate comprising financial service providers, banks and an insurance company with subsidiaries in Mauritius, Rwanda and Tanzania.

De Brouwer – an engineering graduate from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium had been picked to steer the bank’s regional activities that has over the years been increasingly focusing on a relationship based approach to banking, helping nurture relationships with some of Kenya’s fastest growing corporate organizations.

The middle tier lender had also in 2016 hired Kihara Maina from Barclays bank as its chief executive who took over from Arun Mathur who had served the bank for 14 years in the same capacity.

People familiar with the changes at the bank believe the lender could be eying an African personality with vast knowledge of the regional market where it presently operates – with the individual also expected to offer advice on potential and emerging regional markets for its expansion drive that took off in 2016.

I&M Holdings recently ranked as the most attractive bank in Kenya during Q1 2020, according to the latest banking report by Cytonn.

The NSE-listed bank reported a 25.9 per cent growth in net profit for the year ended December 2019, driven by operating income mainly in Kenya with a profit after tax of Sh10.7billion in the period under review, up from Sh8.5 billion the previous year.

Its Kenya operations contributed the lion’s share, accounting for Sh9 billion of the total earnings after tax.

The lender made Sh898.9 million in Mauritius, Rwanda (Sh678.8 million) and Tanzania (Sh264.9 million). Uganda’s operations remained low with a paltry Sh6, 000 after tax earnings.

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