The banking sector was toned down by the Covid 19 pandemic years in the wake of 2020 and the better part of 2021. During this period, banking excesses were scaled down since the country saw exuberant trading activities curtailed, expense accounts capped, and leverage ratios increasing.
Also, the bank CEOs’ long-term incentives compensation was partially offset by smaller bonuses. Before the pandemic struck in 2019, they received bonuses amounting to Ksh593.1 million, but it was reduced to Ksh317.9 million owing to the ailing economy that witnessed a shoot in loan defaulters and inconsistent cash flow.
But the financial crisis is in recovery, and the latest data from the banks indicate that they all received a boost in total direct compensation as their bonuses rose from Ksh46.9 million to a soaring Ksh364.8 million.
WoK takes a look at the highest-paid bank CEOs in the 2022 data report.
Gideon Muriuki – Co-op Bank CEO
Gideon Muriuki is Kenya’s highest-paid bank CEO, leading the Cooperative Bank of Kenya. He has a tenure that spans over a decade since he was appointed in 2001 when the bank was on a loss of Ksh2.3 billion to record a profit of over Ksh20 billion in 2021.
Muriuki received a direct compensation totaling Ksh397.1 million, a 19.74 million increase after it was slashed to Ksh377.36 million in the pre-pandemic stretch. His gross salary is Ksh10.89 million per month or Ksh130.7 million annually, alongside a bonus of Ksh266.4 million.
He owns a 1.75 percent stake at Co-op Bank, and he is entitled to a dividend payout of Ksh102.53 million when calculated on a Ksh1 price per share.
Co-op Bank registered a profit of Ksh16.5 billion in the year ended December 2021. This is a 53 percent increase compared to the pre-pandemic earnings. The lender closed the period 2021 with a total of Ksh536.9 billion asset base.
James Mwangi – Equity Bank CEO
James Mwangi of Equity Group Holdings PLC is a career banker with a vast experience spanning over thirty years. He has led Equity Bank since his designation in 1991 and has managed to accrue a total asset base of over Ksh1 trillion, and he has made the lender the bank with the largest deposits.
His payment was Ksh278.53 million but was dropped to Ksh143.02 million to shore up the financial shortfalls caused by the pandemic, but he received ksh194.6 million as bonuses from the Equity pension scheme to which he’s the biggest contributor since its inception.
He received a cash bonus of Ksh42.15 million, and his salary was hiked from Ksh56.73 million to Ksh78 million, making him the second-highest-paid CEO after Co-op Bank’s Muriuki, who takes home a hefty Ksh130.7 million annually.
The rise in his salary is attributed to Equity Bank’s financial successes as it made a 98 percent profit of Ksh39.17 billion.
Mwangi is set to receive a payment of Ksh383.4 million in dividends as he owns a 3.4 percent stake in the lender, which announced a trade of Ksh3 per share.
Jeremy Awori – Absa Bank CEO
In 2013, Jeremy Awori was ‘poached’ from the CEO position at Standard Chartered Tanzania to Kenya’s Absa (formerly Barclays Bank).
The pre-pandemic era was a bad year for the lender, which recorded losses in many of its investments and cash channels that saw a stop in its sharing of bonuses and a huge cuts in employer’s salaries, among them; CEO Awori. It recorded a loss in its net proceeds, which dropped by 43.8 percent to Ksh4.1 billion.
With the suspension of bonuses, Awori received Ksh83.31 million annually. But in the financial year that just ended with a reinvigorated economy, he received a Ksh23 million bonus pay that saw his direct compensation rise to Ksh106.78 million.
Absa bank Group boasts an asset base of Ksh428 billion.
Joshua Oigara – KCB Bank CEO
Interestingly, when the earnings of KCB Group’s CEO Joshua Oigara are combined with that of Co-op Bank’s Gideon Muriuki, it adds up to Ksh765.6 million, 54.7 percent of the total amount of Ksh1.4 billion earned by the top 10 bank CEOs in Kenya.
While Oigara’s base salary remained flat at Ksh76.4 million, his direct compensation, inclusive of bonuses, rose by 217 percent to a tune of Ksh368.5 million. He also received an insurance cover worth Ksh1.6 million up from Ksh300,000.
However, according to policies by the lender, the CEO receives 75 percent of the Ksh241.1 million bonus and receives the remaining 25 percent on merit performance.
“Executive directors are entitled to performance-based bonus pay. According to the bonus policy, 75 percent of the approved bonus is paid within 12 months after the year-end,” says KCB in its annual report.
KCB Group made a profit of Ksh34.2 billion in the fiscal year 2021.
John Gachora – NCBA Bank CEO
NCBA Bank is one of the top-tier banks in Kenya, with John Gachora as its managing director. It registered an almost double profit in the financial year 2021 from Ksh4.6 billion to Ksh10.2 billion.
The good performance was catapulted by enhanced banking operations by customers whose deposits amount to Ksh469.9 million from Ksh421.5 billion. The lender also earned significant cash from its investments in unit trusts and other high-interest securities.
The CEO, Gachora, takes home Ksh65.01 million as basic pay and a Ksh13 million bonus.
Kariuki Ngari – Standard Chartered Bank CEO
Kariuki Ngari is the CEO of Standard Chartered Kenya Bank since 2019. He is a seasoned financial professional who prior to his appointment as the SC lead, worked at Standard Chartered Singapore.
In 2020, his payment was cut back to Ksh90.64 million to reflect the financial constraints caused by the pandemic, but it surged by 27.5 percent to Ksh115.63 million, coupled with a Ksh35.94 million bonus.
Kariuki receives an annual pay of Ksh45.37 million, which translates to around Ksh3.78 million per month exclusive of taxes.