The board of the Capital Markets Authority will conduct final interviews for a CEO on Thursday and Friday, with strong indications that political forces were pushing for the job to go to Paul Muthaura.
Six candidates survived a rigorous three rounds of interviews to reach tomorrow's final round and the board will retreat to Mombasa over the weekend to deliberate on who should be the next regulator of the capital markets sector. The selected candidate's name will be presented on Monday to National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich for appointment.
Muthaura has been the acting CEO since June 2012 when he was appointed to replace Stella Kilonzo who decided to step down after a single four-year term.
"I can tell you that there is immense pressure on the CMA board to appoint Paul," said a stockbroker who requested that we protect his identity.
"We however would have wished to see a move towards more inclusiveness in the stock market that is generally controlled by a group of people from the same region of the country.
The stock market is a sensitive place and we are losing people to Tanzania and Rwanda because of no confidence."
Kung'u Gatabaki chairs the regulatory CMA, Eddie Njoroge chairs the Nairobi Securities Exchange while Willie Njoroge is the CEO of the Kenya Association of Stockbrokers and Investment Bankers.
The person who qualifies for the CEO position must have at least 10 years experience in finance or law. Sources at the CMA claimed that Muthaura had less than the requisite experience when he was appointed to act, but the over one year he has been acting have now qualified him.
Apart from the fewer years experience he initially possessed, he however had on-the-job experience since he previously was the Director, Regulatory Policy and Strategy at the Authority. He has also held positions as the Head of Legal Framework and Head of Enforcement.
This is the second attempt by CMA to fill the position. The first attempt to replace Kilonzo in June last year was cancelled and candidates asked to apply afresh.
The law was changed last year to give the Treasury Cabinet Secretary powers to directly appoint the CMA chief executive.
Gatabaki however said they had decided to go on with the rigorous recruitment process so as to ensure they followed the right procedure in recommending a candidate for appointment.