The new Chairman Evanson Mwaniki is a complete professional, who's rather laid back compared to his predecessor, Omolo Okero, who used to get rather testy at times as meetings were stretched with inane questions.
Like last year (2005 KQ AGM), the AGM was again held at the Bomas of Kenya conference hall, which is quite spacious and has three halls with video screens to accommodate excess crowds of shareholders.
Attending a KQ AGM two years ago was one of the events that inspired the beginning of bankalele, but after attending a few of these, it gets monotonous and repetitive. Shareholders ask the same questions year after year, grumble about the same things, make crazy demands of management and generally turn the events into a public circus. Nothing new today, at the 30th AGM of the company and 10th year of its partnership with KLM, but here goes;
A brief slideshow of KQ’s impressive performance was let-down by a technical hitch that prevented charts from being shown on-screen for a few minutes of the Chairman’s opening remarks. The same thing happened to Michael Joseph at the beginning of his Safaricom talk last weekend and he was able to perform even better, IMHO, than he would have with a power point show.
No drama today unlike in years past when several candidates would apply. After last year, many must have realised that it is pointless to apply unless you have either the KLM (26% owner) of the Government of Kenya (23%) backing you. This year the PS Ministry of Transport and Micah Cheserem were up for re-election with only perennial candidate Japheth Rob applying to join the board – and the results should be a foregone conclusion.
Japheth Rob made a for Airbus aircraft to be included in the Kenya Airways fleet again arguing that Airbus aircraft the airline had till a few years ago were superior workhorses that had delivered good returns. But MD, Titus Naikuni, replied that extensive fleet evaluation had led the airline to go with Boeing aircraft in recent years and alluded that bringing back Airbus would mean increased costs in pilot (&
personnel) training and maintenance capacity for Airbus fleet.
Government is comfortable with it now. The split should not be seen as 26% KLM and 23% government, but rather 26% KLM and 74% Kenyan shareholders and that this model should be emulated by other parastatals in future.
Questions asked today, as they are every year included;
- Can we have more dividend? (asked three times today by three different shareholders!)
- Can we fly in a plane /can you give shareholders discounted tickets? (also asked three times)
- Conduct AGM in Swahili?
- Can we have more women directors. Chairman replied that no women applied this year. He also said that many companies are looking to add women directors to their boards but that many of the qualified ones have executive positions and are not willing/able to find time to attend to additional board matters.
- One said the packed lunch was not adequate (today’s handout to shareholders included tote bag, t-shirt, and a lunch box (with soda, two water bottles, chicken, beef sandwich, bun, yoghurt, an apple & orange, fruit juice, cake and chewing gum!)
- Can you allow shareholders to bring kids to the AGM
- Can you pay for our transport home?
One of the VIP guests at the AGM today was BharatThakrar, the Scangroup CEO to see what kind of AGM he’ll have to hold for his 90,000 shareholders in a few months.
CMA shareholders initiatives
- cross listing by Kenya Airways on the Uganda and Tanzania Stock exchanges has brought only 38 individual and 5 institutional investors from these countries.
- CDS: Of the current 78,000 KQ shareholders, only 12,000 have immobilized their shares in their CDS accounts.
The 2006 Africa investor awards will be held at the Safari Park Hotel on November 9th and Kenyan companies are encouraged to href="http://www.africa-investor.com/awards.php">enter here for any of sixteen categories. Entries close September 15th.
Jay Z disses Kenya
His blue print for Africa or concert tour schedule includes Tanzania, Nigeria, Angola and South Africa – but no Kenya!