CBZ Holdings has dismissed six top executives since the beginning of January, as part of a massive shake-up at the financial institution following the takeover of a controlling stake in the group by Akribos Capital on behalf of a company believed to be linked to business mogul Kuda Tagwirei.
Akribos is a wealth management company. Sources say the process of finding replacements for the fired executives is already underway, with interviews being conducted for various positions in the country’s largest financial services firm.
Plans are also afoot to appoint a new board, sources said.The Zimbabwe Independent understands that CBZ chief executive officer Blessing Mudavanhu, who took over from Never Nyemudzo in 2018, is spearheading the restructuring exercise.
“We have already begun interviews for new executives, who will soon assume their positions. This is all in line with the new thrust and vision that our new shareholders have set out. This will all be contained in the new strategic plan that the company will roll out beginning February,” a senior official said.
“Since the shareholding structure changed, we have implemented a gradual restructuring exercise to replace the old with the new. What you are seeing is a culmination of the whole process.”
Responding to questions from the Independent, Mudavanhu described the departure of some of the bank’s top executives as mutually agreed.“A renewal of our five-year strategy coincided with a restructuring exercise, as well as some of our executives having their contracts coming to an end. There was a mutual agreement for non-renewal,” Mudavanhu said.
Sources say the bank decided not to renew the contracts of top executives at the behest of the shareholders who prefer certain candidates.More casualties are expected at the top as the restructuring continues.
The massive shake-up began in May last year with the departure of the group’s long-serving human resources head, Reward Manyere.Manyere’s contract was not renewed.
Mudavanhu also confirmed the new shareholder was in the process of appointing a new board.“We are delighted to advise that we will be announcing a new Board of Directors in due course, appointments are currently being finalised with the necessary governance process taking place,” Mudavanhu said.
This comes after the appointment of new board chairperson Marc Holtzman in September last year, pending the restructuring exercise. Mudavanhu said the ongoing restructuring exercise is set to reposition the bank as a profitable entity.
“Our focus as a group is centred not just on the restructuring but on a roadmap focussing around improved efficiencies, cost management, ensuring quality of earnings, increasing the contribution of non-banking units to the bottom line and embracing tech-driven channels. This holistic approach we believe will position us best to bring value to our customers and shareholders,” Mudavanhu said.
Last year, CBZ embarked on a strategy to resize the group which resulted in the retrenchment of 80 employees.This was in response to the harsh economic conditions that necessitated the redesigning of operations, the bank’s management says.
Mudavanhu declined to comment on the new shareholders and would also not disclose the value of the shares snapped up by the Tagwirei-linked company.