HARARE-Brett Childs who was hired barely 2 and half years ago, is stepping down from his role as CEO of JSE listed Brainworks Capital. Brainworks is a Zimbabwe focused investment holding group with exposure in hospitality, real estate and advisory services among other sectors.
In a statement issued on the JSE SENS on Wednesday, the company said Brett Childs will immediately step down and pave way for Peter Saungweme who will lead the company in acting capacity at least up until December 2019.
Saungweme who is the group CFO, will undertake both roles in the interim.
Brainworks however highlighted that Childs will act in a consulting capacity for the next six months in order to assist with the transition and conclude specific strategic tasks.
When Childs came in to lead Brainworks, taking over from founder George Manyere, the company said he was expected to facilitate institutionalisation of the company in a phase which would involve the listing of Brainworks on the JSE main board.
Brainworks went on to list on the JSE as the first Zimbabwean company to emerge with a primary listing on the JSE, 7 months after Childs’ appointment, that is October of 2017. Childs’ experience included capital raises, managing investments, initial public offerings and corporate exits largely in Europe.
Childs’ predecessor, George Manyere, had been involved with Brainworks since its formation and steered the company through the formative years which were characterised by aggressive acquisition of both established companies and startups, turning around of the acquired investments and attracting capital among other advisory services.
In all these years, Brainworks pursued a private equity model up until the time it decided to go public.
In December 2017, George together with another founder, Walter Kambwanji, sold off their stake in Brainworks in a deal that resulted in them acquiring shares in Getbucks Zimbabwe from Brainworks, as Brainworks streamlined.
Brainworks has however not enjoyed a successful run on the JSE where it has lost 11% since its listing. Likewise, despite increased float following the disposal of shares by some founders, the shares have not been much traded on the JSE.
Its underlying investments in Zimbabwe are on the contrary enjoying a good time in markets as investors raised their respective valuations on the ZSE.
Both African Sun and Dawn share prices have gone up astronomically over the last 6 months ahead of their benchmark index in line with growth in underlying business performance, although part of the growth is attributed to adjustments in the monetary climate of Zimbabwe.
It is however expected that the company’s earnings will undergo a significant shave given the exchange rate losses emerging from liberalisation of the exchange rate in Zimbabwe.
The interim CE, Peter Saungweme is a trained Chartered Accountant and has worked as group finance officer of Cell Insurance and Dawn Properties in Zimbabwe.
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