Devenish appointed TSL CEO

Mr Devenish

Rejoins the group after eight years . . . Matsaira calls it a day

Martin Kadzere
Tsl Limited has appointed Pat Devenish as its group chief executive officer, replacing veteran banker Washington Matsaira, who was at the helm of the group since 2012.

Devenish is not new to the group, having previously worked as the managing director of TSL flagship unit, Tobacco Sales Floor. According to TSL insiders, Devenish assumed the new role at the beginning of last month.

“Having worked for Tobacco Sales Floor for years, that made him a good candidate to take over from Matsaira who had specifically come to stabilise the business,” one source said.

TSL is Zimbabwe’s leading company, focusing mainly on logistics, supply of agriculture inputs, tobacco growing, wrapping and auctioning, printing and packaging.

Listed in 1957, the group has grown to become a holding company of TSL Classic Leaf, Propak, Bak Logistics, Agricura, Avis, TSF,TSL Properties, TSL Trading and TSL Greenbelt.

TSL chairman Anthony Mandiwanza could neither confirm nor deny, saying if there were such developments, proper procedures would be followed to make such an announcement.

“Naturally, there are protocols taken to announce such developments. Until all protocols are in place, it will be difficult to make such comments,” said Mandiwanza.

Efforts to get a comment from Devenish proved fruitless by the time of going to print.

Devenish also served as chief executive of AICO Holdings since January 2010 and as Seed Co CEO between 2002 and 2010. He is “totally dedicated” to agriculture, beginning as a tobacco auctioneer with TSF in 1978 then moving on to Auction Holdings in Malawi between 1983 to 1985, according to a profile by Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

In 1986, he rejoined Tobacco Sales Floor and served as its managing director since 1996.

He also served as the chairman of Quton Seed Company, Seed Co Ltd, Scottco Limited, Exhort Enterprises and Zambrano Investments, then subsidiaries of AICO. Devenish presided over the unbundling of AICO in 2013 by collapsing the holding structure.

He served as director of Zimplow Holdings Limited, until January 1, 2015.

Devenish holds an MBA from the University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business.

Matsaira has been TSL CEO since January 2012. He also served as the CEO at Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe from July, 2001 to January 2012. He joined Standard Chartered in 1977 and served assumed different managerial roles in various regional countries.

TSL shares have risen 8,5 percent to 40c year to date. Its revenues for the year ended October 2017 rose 7 percent $50,6 million and operating profit increased 24 percent to $7 million.

Going forward, the group is looking at improving revenues from tobacco contract and crop from free growers (auction) during the marketing season expected to begin next month.

Significant progress has been made in securing new clients for BAK Logistics while efforts to expand the logistics business into the region will continue.

“The group operates in sectors of the economy that are considered to be strategic and we therefore believe that they will be significant growth in the medium term,” said TSL.


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