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Life was not smooth for Britam chief

The managing director of Britam had humble beginnings.

As an ordinary village boy, he made sure he excelled in his studies and swore never to live in poverty.

With his wealth and influence, it would be right to say that he is living his dream.

After serving as Britam’s chief accountant for seven years, he was promoted to managing director in 1984. This was after he bought a 3.3 per cent stake in the company.

The Government had passed a law that made it compulsory for any foreign insurance company to have a third of shareholders as local.

To buy the stake, he secured a Sh600,000 loan with his house as security. He also rallied local investors to buy another 30 per cent of the shares.

Over the years, his shares and wealth grew extensively. In January, he gained Sh330.9 million at Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) raising his Britam shares to 1.7 billion.

He has helped Britam diversify its products and establish and head the British American Asset Managers Limited that manages investments valued at Sh17 billion.

The public certified accountant joined Britam after working at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

He also serves as vice chairman and director of Equity Bank and a director of Housing Finance Company of Kenya.

Born and brought up in Murang’a county, the 59-year-old did his Bachelor of Commerce and MBA degrees at the University of Nairobi.

Mr Wairegi is also among the top ten shareholders at Equity Bank.