His annual pay, perks and bonuses makes him the highest paid head honcho of all listed companies at the Nairobi Securities Exchange
By GW Ngari
By the time you spill an hour taking a shower, brushing your teeth and trying unsuccessfully to shake off a hangover, Gideon Muriuki will have made over Sh 40, 000.
That comes to more than Sh1 million in 24 hours, and he could most times be working from home, doing Zoom meetings, delegating to his juniors. If that is not being kissed by Lady Luck, then tell me what else luck is.
Gideon Muriuki’s annual pay, perks and bonuses last year came to Sh370 million, making the CEO of Coop Bank, the highest paid head honcho of all listed companies at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE)…including Safaricom and East African Breweries, for all the booze that is the cause of the aforementioned hangover.
That dough, Sh370 million in annual pay equals earning more than Sh1 million daily or Sh42, 000 every hour daily for 365 days.
Muriuki also owns two percent of Coop Bank making him the largest individual shareholder. The bank will this March declare its financial statements for year ending 2021. We don’t know how much he will earn in dividends, but just consider at the height of the pandemic Coop Bank still managed to pay dividends of Sh1 per share. Muriuki thus pocketed Sh117 million for his shares meaning he earned a total of Sh487 million in 2019-the same amount of money the Standard Group made in losses over the same period!
While companies in dicey sectors like media were ‘crying in the toilet’ due to disruptions occasioned by digital migration, Coop Bank even shrugged off difficulties visited to banks by the interest rate capping law to nose its business north by over 12 percent on the strength of growth in non-interest income from fees and commissions from loans and advances accounting for over Sh14 billion net profit.
Muriuki once trousered home Sh375 million, with Sh271 million of that bonanza being bonuses
Of that bread, over Sh5 billion will be paid out as dividends with Muriuki smiling all the way to his own bank. Muriuki, being the CEO had seen the good tidings coming. In the four months to December 2019, he bought 2.4 million additional shares worth Sh37 million.
Muriuki is used to earning salaries in the hundreds of millions annually. Just consider that in 2019, he trousered home Sh375 million with Sh271million of that bonanza being bonuses.
Muriuki is credited with turning the bank around and growing it to be Kenya’s third-biggest lender by earnings and assets size hence his ultimate reward. Muriuki joined Coop bank in 2001 meaning he has been the head honcho for 18 years. Now, do the math of how much that translates to if his pay last year is any measure.
Muriuki is the largest individual shareholder of CIC Insurance with a 5.04 percent stake valued at Sh132 million
The bank explained that his eye watering annual salary was because “the group has invested in a performance-driven reward structure, and the board has rewarded tremendous growth and transformation of the bank.” Muriuki has risen through the ranks since joining Coop bank in 1996, as a senior corporate manager on his way to the corner office in 2001.
At the time, Coop bank had made a loss of Sh 2.3 billion as it was still smarting from the 1998 terrorist attack at the American Embassy which neighboured its headquarters at ‘Bell-Bottom House’ along Haile Selassie Avenue in Nairobi.
It was forced to relocate and ‘Bell-Bottom House’ remained shut to allow for renovation and psychological healing. The asset base then stood at Sh 25 billion. His mandate was to turn it around. And the head honcho with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, did see to it that Coop turned in its first net profit of Sh 164.7 million in 2002.
In the time Muriuki has been around, Coop bank was listed at the NSE and asset base has grown to over Sh425 billion today.” Coop bank has also made forays in South Sudan, Ethiopia besides owning 26.5 percent of CIC Insurance Group. Muriuki, in turn, is the largest individual shareholder of CIC Insurance with a 5.04 percent stake valued at Sh132 million.
Other CEOs in the league of Gideon Muriuki is KCB Group CEO Joshua Oigara. That means financial services is a good sector to mint some dough. By 2018 and little has changed, Oigara’s salary and perks stood at Sh273 million-Sh20 million more than Standard Group made as a company in the same period. Oigara was thus financially better off than all the shareholders and employees of Standard Group combined!
The salaries of Oigara and Muriuki are more than twice and thrice more than that of EABL Managing Director Andrew Cowan who last year took home Sh115 million.