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Nico opens up to minorities on board

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By Taonga Sabola:

Nico Holdings Limited has said it is ready to offer board of director positions to minority shareholders who could add value to the company.

Nico Interim Board Chairperson, Gaffar Hassam, was speaking in Blantyre on Friday during the financial services’ 49th annual general meeting.

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Hassam said the Nico board was looking at the current composition of directorship and that discussions were underway to ensure diversity on the board in terms of age profile and gender.

“If you think you could add value to the board of directors, why don’t you submit your interest through the company secretary and we will consider it,” Hassam said.

The development comes at a time minority shareholders in many listed companies have over the past six years been lobbying for representation on the firm’s boards.

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Most listed companies require an investor to have at least 10 percent shareholding to have a seat on the board.

However, minorities have over the years argued that they hold a combined 10 percent-plus of shareholding in listed companies, hence deserve a seat on the boards.

But analysts have argued that the minorities hold the stakes as individuals and not a group.

One of the minority shareholders, Frank Harawa, hailed Nico for making the bold step.

Hassam also announced that Nico Holdings would in the coming months appoint a substantive chairperson to stir the operations of the group.

Nico has been running with an interim chairperson for the past two years since veteran journalist, Alaudin Osman, retired.

Talking of financial performance, Hassam said Nico had a better 2018 as it saw its profit-after-tax growing by 15 percent from K11 billion in 2017 to K12.7 billion.

“The drive for this performance has been our increased focus on customer experience and an improvement in our processes. We will continue to invest in our systems and processes to ensure that we deliver value and convenience in meeting our customers needs.

“The financial performance of the group continued to strengthen despite increased provisions that we have had to make as we implemented some international accounting standards for the first time,” Hassam said.

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