NMBZ chief steps down after seven years

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NMB Bank Zimbabwe says chief executive Benefit Peter Wasahaya will step down from his post with effect from December 31, 2021, after seven years in his post, while deputy Gerald Gore will take over at the helm of the bank.

The announcement came as somewhat of a shock to the banking local banking community, given that the bank was beginning to steer in a better direction under his stewardship.

Under the stewardship of Mr Washaya, the bank managed to reduce its non-performing loans (NPLs) from a high of 14,9 percent in 2015, to 0,44 percent in the last financial year.

This is way lower than the regulatory target of 5 percent as at 31 December 2020. This was lower than the December 31, 2019 NPL ratio of 1,37 percent and this was attributed to aggressive collections and stricter credit underwriting standards. In the last financial year, the group’s shareholders’ funds and shareholders’ liabilities increased by 31 percent from $3,21 billion restated as at December 32, 2019 to $4,19 billion as at 31 December 2020 largely as a result of the current year’s total comprehensive income.

During his tenure the bank always had regulatory capital which was way above the minimum required, and in 2020 it was $2.18 billion, which was above the minimum required regulatory capital of $25 million.

Mr Gore has over 18 years of banking experience that spans over digital transformation, risk management, corporate banking, treasury and retail banking. Benefit Washaya had served as the Group’s CEO from 2014 and he has been in the banking industry for over 43 years.

“Prior to his appointment, Gerald served as the Deputy CEO since September 2019 as well as chief operating officer since 2015 supporting the CEO in strategy execution and responsible for the bank’s digital transformation,” the Group said in a notice on Friday whilst expressing confidence in his leadership capabilities.

“The Board is confident in Gerald’s ability to drive the growth of the bank on the back of a strong digital agenda and wish him all the best as he takes on this new challenge,” the Group added.

He holds a Master in Business Leadership (MBL) from Unisa, MSc in Finance and Investments from NUST, BCom Banking from NUST and an Executive Development Programme from Wits Business School.

Gore is also an Alumni of the USA International Leadership Development Program (IVLP) under emerging African leaders. Prior to joining NMB in 2008, he worked for a number of financial institutions in corporate banking, treasury & risk management.

The banking sector of late has been seeing too many board and corporate changes due to mergers, acquisitions and personnel scandals. In the past twenty-three months First Capital saw Sam Matsekete leaving to join his former employer Old Mutual Zimbabwe, ZB Bank saw its CEO Ronald Mutandagayi resign due to a gender based violence scandal.

BancABC saw Lance Mambondiani take over reigns after leaving Steward Bank while he was replaced by Courage Mashavave. CBZ recently reshuffled its division managers and now NMBZ has followed suit. – Herald

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