Property developer Real Estate Investments Zambia (REIZ) has announced the departure of its Acting CEO and has ushered in a new CEO to take over, according to a statement from the company.
“In accordance with the Securities Act No. 41 of 2016, the Board of Directors (“the Board”) of Real Estate Investments Zambia Plc (“REIZ” or “the Company”) wishes to announce that Mr. Moses Vera, the Acting Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”), will be leaving the Company on 31 October 2020”, read a statement issued ironically by Mose Vera who was the designated company secretary asked to act in the position of CEO following the exit of Sydney Popota whose contract ended in June 2020.
According to the REIZ website, Moses is a Chartered Accountant and Master of Laws in International Banking & Finance Law (University of Liverpool, UK). He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ), the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICAs), the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), and CPA (Canada) having trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has 18 years’ experience in banking, finance, company secretarial, and auditing functions.
Moses’ services will not be forgotten. “The Board wishes to thank Mr. Vera for his valuable contribution to the Company and wishes him success in his future endeavours”.
In order to ensure continuity, the permanent replacement has been named. “The Board further announces the appointment of Mr. Urvesh Desai as CEO for the company with effect from 1 November 2020”.
According to the statement, “Mr. Desai is an accomplished and seasoned senior executive with over 20 years’ experience in various markets across Africa. He is a Chartered Accountant and a Fellow member for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA). He has worked in manufacturing, banking, finance, property and asset management, accounting, retail and distribution sectors”.
Some of the notable positions that Urvesh has held include Finance Director at Opaque Africa from 2012 to 2015, Country Finance Director at Accra Brewery Limited & Voltic Ghana Limited from 2007 to 2012, Finance Director at National Breweries from 2004 to 2006, according to his LinkedIn profile. His career though started humbly as a Management trainee and Chief Accountant at House of Monze.
The Board is delighted that they now have their man. “The Board would like to congratulate Mr. Desai on his appointment and wishes him the best in the execution of his duties”.
In terms of financial performance, Urvesh takes over a Group whose revenue for the six months to 30 June 2020 decreased by 10.67%, in comparison with same period in prior year, mainly due to higher vacancies and Covid-19 related non-invoicing and discounted invoicing for some tenants that were not operating during the second quarter after Government directives for closure of certain businesses such as restaurants, cinema, bars, casinos and hair-saloons. Overall portfolio vacancies increased from 25.72% to 31.27% between June 2019 and June 2020.
According to the business outlook published in the group’s half-year statement, the property industry is expected to remain challenging for the remainder of the year with the adverse market forces that characterized the first half of 2020 continuing to prevail in the second half particularly regarding occupancy levels and market rental rates. This notwithstanding, the Group’s focus will remain on rigorous leasing efforts and Covid-19 relief measures aimed at supporting the sustainability of their business partners’ businesses.