The CEO of Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) Catherine Lesetedi-Letegele was one of the top earners at Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listed companies. Letegele, who was appointed to the position in March last year taking over from Gaffer Hassam, took home over P6 million in the just ended financial year. The group, according to information in its annual report, paid Letegele a bumper P6, 508, 000, with the majority of that figure being the amount accrued from benefits. In benefits alone, she got a total of P4, 480, 000 while the remaining P2, 028, 000 was her salary for 10 month period. Letegele – who was promoted last year after serving as CEO of one of BIHL subsidiaries, Botswana Life – also has 183,299 shares in BIHL. The amount paid to Letegele is higher than that paid to her predecessor, Hassam who during 2015 received a total of P4, 160, 000 for a period of a year with P2, 310, 000 being a total year salaries while the remaining P1, 850, 00 was a bonus. However, Hassam smiled all the way to the bank when he left when the insurance group paid him a total of P8, 459, 00 with over P6 million of that being benefits while the remaining balance includes benefits and bonuses.
Hassam, a Malawian native who now holds a different role at Sanlam, a major shareholder in BIHL, by end of 2016 financial year had 238,230 shares which increased from 204,200 shares he had in 2015. The group chairperson Batsho Dambe-Groth received over half a million Pula for the 2016 financial year. She got a total of P504, 799 for her roles which include sitting on various committees within the BIHL board such as Human Resource Committee and Nominations Committee among others. Dambe was followed by Chandra Chauhan, another non-executive director who also serves as the Managing Director of another listed group, Sefalana. Chauhan was paid a total of P463, 801 which includes fees for sitting in the Audit and Risk Committee, board meetings and retainer fees. Meanwhile BIHL group, which has a number of its subsidiaries and associates, has acknowledged that 2016 was quite a challenging year. Letegele said after they lost a multi-million Pula BPOPF mandate and had to restructure one of the company subsidiary which deals fund management, BIFM which resulted in a number of people being laid off.
She said the subsidiary is now on road to recovery after adopting an aggressive strategy and has now been able to regain some mandates that were previously lost. One of the BIHL’s leading businesses which commands over 70 percent market share, Botswana Life, is said to have been affected by sluggish economy which was characterized by retrenchments, mine closures and high unemployment. The CEO said in the annual report published this week that harsh economic conditions resulted in underperformance of some of the Botswana Life’s business lines. Through Botswana Life, BIHL expects to grow its margins as it prepares to roll out new product lines and grow existing relationships in the future, Letegele said.