5 February 2013

Namibia: Rukoro - Goodbye, Fnb - Hello Meatco

COME February 28, business veteran Vekuii Rukoro will close the door as head of FNB Namibia Holdings behind him so that he can become the new chief executive officer (CEO) of Meatco the next day.

Rukoro yesterday confirmed his appointment to The Namibian.

FNB Namibia Holdings yesterday issued a statement saying the board has accepted the resignation of Rukoro as CEO and director, effective February 28.

Rukoro, "due to various personal reasons has decided to go on early retirement", FNB Namibia said in a statement.

Industry players observers said Rukoro's move probably stemmed from the group selling all its interests in Momentum Namibia to MMI Namibia last June, virtually leaving FNB Namibia Holdings as an "empty shell". Following the MMI Namibia deal, FNB Namibia Holdings was left with First National Bank Namibia, FNB Unit Trusts and RMB Namibia, its investment banking arm - all of which already have either a chief executive officer or managing director.

FNB Namibia yesterday denied media reports over the weekend that Rukoro wasn't fit to run the group's banking business because he didn't meet criteria set by the Bank of Namibia (BoN).

"FNB can confirm that any such media reports is devoid of all truth. Rukoro was appointed as Group CEO seven years ago based on his experience and ability and served FNB as Group CEO since then," said Dixon Norval, head of strategic marketing and communications at FNB Namibia Holdings.

Rukoro reached a "final agreement" with the board of directors on Thursday, the group said.

In the seven years at the helm of FNB Namibia, Rukoro saw the group's assets grow from N$9,6 billion to N$19,7 billion. Profits increased from N$359 million in 2006 to N$821 million last year.

"This was the most amazing, the most enjoyable, the most satisfying, the most beautiful and the most memorable seven years of my corporate life," Rukoro said in the statement. FNB Namibia chairman Claus Hinrichsen said "while the board appreciates the tremendous contribution made by Advocate Rukoro, both as leader and businessman that will not easily be filled, the board accepted his request for early retirement and can only thank him for his loyal and dedicated service to FNB Namibia, its staff and clients".

Norval said Rukoro will remain in his office until February 28.

"It is anticipated that the FNB board will make an announcement about the changes [in Rukoro's positions] in due course," he said.

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