The Bank held it's 2006 AGM at KICC today.
The line for proxies was longer, and served slower, than that of shareholders causing me to miss half the meeting. In fact, I was turned away when my name was not on the proxy list. As I walked away I remembered something and went to another attendant who found my name on his list - it appears different officers had different lists of proxies!
Today marked the retirement of Hannington Awori as Chairman and long serving director of the Bank. He was replaced by Mr. David Njoroge the, well regarded, former auditor general of Kenya. (Wrongly listed at government site as still current)
They were not many questions as two shareholders who feature at most AGM’s, and recently at the Nation’s, took up quite a bit of time with endless comments and praise for the Chairman and performance the Bank.
- Why no women directors?
- Can we have bonus share to mark Chairman's retirement?
- Why doesn’t bank tailor personal loans for retirees, not just employed people?
- Why no provision for a 250 million shilling judgement the Bank lost in the courts?
Hot button issue
The Bank’s CEO had earlier concluded his long speech on the Bank’s year with a video featuring blind runner Henry Wanyoike, a world paralympics champion - which has now being converted into an advertisement (with a Kenyan theme) that the Bank is showing in 54 countries as a model of partnership.
There had also been mention of the corporate social responsibility activites of the bank through support of projects totalling 40 million shillings to various community partnerships during the year such as a new 6.5 million shilling bus for the Thika School for the Blind.
Some shareholders were upset about this and, during question time, wanted to know why the bank was spending their money on programs instead of more dividends. Another asked for the bank board to present a budget for such activities before embarking on them without consulting shareholders first. As others lined up for lunch they questioned if 40m was actually spent on projects (Kenyans mistrust and believe there is corruption beneath even good ventures).
Handed out after the meeting was a tote bag with t-shirt and lunch box from inter-continental hotel (sprite can, burger, samosas, apple, drumstick, spring roll). And in a few weeks, a 3.1 shilling per share dividend.