How Kenya's top paid CEO rose from being an intern to heading one of East Africa's largest companies.

At 39 years old, James Mworia is the best paid manager earning Sh16.7 million per month

“I said to them, ‘I think you’re too conservative’. And they said, ‘if it was you in charge, what would you do?’ I said give me a month.”

This was the conversation between the Centum Board of Directors and James Mworia back in 2008. The 39 year old had quit his internship position at Centum "out of frustration" in 2001 but was appointed CEO seven years later to become one of Kenya's youngest executives.

Here is the story of James Mworia who is currently the best paid manager in the country earning a whopping Sh16.7 per month.

Background and Education

James Mworia was born in 1978. He attended Alliance High School for his high school education.

He later joined Strathmore University to do his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Accounting and Finance.

Mworia also studied for his Law degree at the University of Nairobi from 1997-2001.

Work career and experience

At 23 years old, James Mworia took up an internship position as a filing clerk at Centum Investments. He later served as the firm’s Chief Investment Officer before quitting to join TransCentury Investments as head of investments.

In 2008, the Centum board sought for his services as CEO, 18 months after quitting, but he initially turned them down. He felt that the company was “not doing much” to which the board asked what he would do different.

He would then return a few weeks later with a strategic plan after which he was appointed CEO; becoming one of the youngest senior executives in the country. The 39 year old has transformed the company to become one of East Africa’s largest private equity firms.

He took over in October 2008 when the company had assets worth Sh6 billion. But 9 years down the line, Centum boasts of assets worth over Sh50 billion in different sectors.

Honors and awards

James Mworia’s exemplary leadership has seen him receive a couple of awards including:

Personal Life

Mworia is married with one son.

Other responsibilities:


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