Tuesday, January 19, 2021

What is “chasing” top executives away from Letshego?

BY VICTOR BAATWENG

One after another, the Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of the pan-African lender ÔÇô Letshego Holdings have followed each other, not on Twitter, but rather in a sudden physical exit of the Gaborone head-quartered company.

Sunday Standard can confirm that following a sudden resignation by the former Managing Director – Chris Low, his former right-hand man – Colm Patterson has also called it a day. Low, who quit in August 2018, was quickly replaced with Smit Crouse who took over as new MD in September 2018.

This week, the Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) quoted lender confirmed that the eyes and feet of Patterson have also led him to the same “exit door” utilised by Low in August 2018.

“The Board hereby notifies its shareholders and note subscribers that Colm Patterson, the Group Chief Financial Officer, is leaving the Letshego Group to pursue other interests”, reads part of the cautionary statement released to the capital markets this past week.

The statement further stated that Colm has been with Letshego for more than 11 years. He has been applauded for having contributed to Letshego’s growth from humble beginnings in Botswana to a listed, multinational financial lender across 11 countries in Africa.

At the time (August 2018) of the departure of his former boss, Colm was appointed as the leader of a management transition team that the board established to steer the Letshego ship on temporary basis.

Colm’s departure means in a period not exceeding six months the local financial services group ÔÇô have lost atleast two of its key executive members. It is not yet clear what’s pushing them away and whether more will executives will follow suit.

The group’s board has however expressed gratitude towards the services of both men throughout the years they served the company.

“The Board would like to thank Colm for his contribution to the Company over the years and wishes him every success for the future.” read part of the statement released by the micro-financier this week when confirming the latest exit.

In August, a similar sentiment was made about Low. “On behalf of the Board: “We would like to thank Chris for his leadership of, and contribution to, Letshego. During Chris’s tenure, Letshego has become one of Botswana’s largest multinational providers of simple, appropriate and accessible financial solutions”

Meanwhile Josias de Kock – an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Letshego Board has been roped in as a temporary replacement of Colm. De Kock has been serving in the board as chairman of the Group Investment Committee and Member of the Group Audit, Group Risk and Group Governance Nominations Social and Ethics Committees.

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