A new era at the NSE as Frank Mwiti takes the helm

The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) is undergoing a significant transition as it prepares for a new era under the leadership of Frank Mwiti, who has been appointed to take over from the outgoing Chief Executive, Dr. Geoffrey Odundo.

Dr. Odundo’s departure comes after a nine-year tenure during which he spearheaded transformative initiatives that elevated the NSE to a world-class exchange, offering a diverse range of investment products and deploying cutting-edge technologies.

Under Dr. Odundo’s leadership, the NSE witnessed the introduction and growth of globally accepted products such as Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS), Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), the Derivatives Market, Green bonds, the Ibuka program, and the Unquoted securities platform.

These products not only expanded the NSE’s product portfolio but also contributed to its reputation as a hub for innovative financial instruments across the region.

Furthermore, Dr. Odundo led the commercialization of the NSE, overseeing its transition into a publicly listed company with interests beyond the borders of East Africa’s largest economy.

Dr. Odundo’s commitment to sustainability in capital markets was evident through the issuance of the NSE Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Disclosures Guidance Manuals, which underscored the NSE’s dedication to fostering responsible and ethical business practices in the markets.

To ensure a smooth transition, the board has appointed David Wainaina, the Chief Operating Officer (COO), as the interim CEO from 2nd March to 1st May, before Mr. Mwiti assumes full control.

Mr. Mwiti’s appointment follows a rigorous recruitment process, reflecting the board’s commitment to selecting a leader who can build on Dr. Odundo’s legacy and drive the NSE to new heights.

In a statement announcing Mr. Mwiti’s appointment, Board Chairman Kiprono Kittony expressed confidence in Mr. Mwiti’s ability to lead the NSE into its next phase of growth.

“Following the completion of Mr. Odundo’s tenure, the Board of Directors of the NSE is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Frank Mwiti as the new chief executive of the NSE, effective May 2, 2024, subject to regulatory approvals by the Capital Markets Authority,” said Mr. Kittony.

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Understanding frontier markets

Mr. Mwiti brings a wealth of experience to his new role, having served as the outgoing partner and Eastern Africa markets lead at Ernst & Young (EY), where he played a key role in the strategic business development of the company’s assurance, tax, consulting, strategy, and transaction services across the region.

His previous roles at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), EY United Kingdom (UK), UBS, Deutsche Bank, and Afrika Kapital have equipped him with a deep understanding of frontier, emerging, and developed financial markets.

The NSE board believes that Mr. Mwiti’s experience will be instrumental in accelerating the bourse’s growth and supporting the government’s capital markets agenda.

His appointment comes at a critical juncture for the NSE, as the stock market grapples with significant challenges. In the first nine months of 2023, the NSE was ranked the worst-performing African bourse in dollar returns due to substantial capital outflows, with investors opting to repatriate funds to the US and UK markets.

This period also marked one of the most challenging times for East Africa’s largest stock market, underscoring the impact of foreign exits and global shocks on the region’s financial stability.

As Mr. Mwiti prepares to take the reins at the NSE, all eyes are on him to steer the exchange through these challenging times and lead it to new heights of success. With his extensive experience and strategic vision, Mr. Mwiti seems well-positioned to guide the NSE towards a new era of growth.

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