Ivy League trained banker joins Centum

October 1, 2015
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Kiai, a seasoned investment banker and private equity professional, will be tasked to head Centum’s billion shilling projects in real estate/FILE
Kiai, a seasoned investment banker and private equity professional, will be tasked to head Centum’s billion shilling projects in real estate/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 1- Investment firm Centum has head-hunted Brian Kiai as the new Deputy Director of Centum Capital effective October 1.

Kiai, a seasoned investment banker and private equity professional, will be tasked to head Centum’s billion shilling projects in real estate as well as in following new sectors of interest to the firm – agribusiness, education and healthcare.

“Kiai will also be primarily responsible for Centum’s Real Estate sector, which has various pipeline projects in the Two Rivers Mall and Pearl Marina developments in Kenya and Uganda respectively, amongst other upcoming developments that Centum seeks to undertake with its vast and available land resource,” Centum said in an announcement.

Prior to joining Centum Capital, Kiai was a Vice President at Berkeley Holdings, a private equity and corporate finance advisory firm in Nairobi and previously an Investment Professional with the Rohatyn Group, a global asset management firm in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Centum has been on an acquisitive and deal making spree in 2015 in these sectors of focus.

As part of its agribusiness strategy, Centum acquired 9,646 acres of land in Vipingo as well as Rea Vipingo Plantations’ subsidiary, Vipingo Estates Limited which owns approximately 900 acres.

In addition, Centum recently partnered with Investbridge Capital and SABIS Holdings to launch a new company that will invest in the burgeoning education sector in Africa.

The tri-partite consortium will be responsible for the acquisition and development of a network of schools across Africa, which will be operated as part of the SABIS Network, a world renowned and distinguished education network with more than 70,000 students across four continents.

The consortium plans to build over 20 schools in Africa over the next three to five years, with the cost of each individual school ranging from US$20 million to US$30 million.

Centum has targeted to grow its total assets from Sh29 billion as at 2014 to Sh120 billion in 2019, as well as its NAV at a projected compounded annual growth rate that exceeds 35 percent.

“The sectors that Kiai will be tasked to develop are expected to significantly contribute to the total asset and NAV growth of Centum before the end of this decade.”

Working in tandem with Centum’s asset management group Nabo Capital, Kiai will also have group responsibility for Centum’s fundraising initiatives, assisting the firm to not only raise capital efficiently but also cost effectively in view of the expected global economic headwinds in the coming years.

An Ivy League graduate from the prestigious Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Kiai commenced his career as an Oil and Gas Investment Banker with UBS Investment Bank on Wall Street in New York and later joined Actis, a leading London headquartered emerging markets private equity fund.

Kiai joins the league of the likes of John Gachora, the Group Managing Director of NIC Bank, who are former Wall Street Investment Bankers and Ivy League trained Kenyans who have amassed significant experience abroad and have now returned home to fully engage and play a meaningful role in building Kenya by infusing global know-how in the local landscape.

The listed company has also promoted Job Muriuki as a Deputy Director in Centum Capital. Muriuki previously served as a principal within Centum, overseeing the implementation of key initiatives within the company.

He also spearheaded consolidation of Centum’s holdings in the Coca-Cola bottling business into a subsidiary known as Almasi Beverages as well as the acquisition of Platinum Credit and K-rep Bank.

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