From setting up the Malawi Stock Exchange to opening a bank, meet one of Malawi’s richest men Thomson Mpinganjira

Abu Mubarik May 15, 2024
Thomson Mpinganjira. Photo credit: Accounting and Business magazine.

Meet Thomson Mpinganjira; he is a Malawian entrepreneur who has built a multimillion-dollar empire. The entrepreneur attributes his business success to ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and his early training with Deloitte.

The accountant turned entrepreneur set up the Malawi Stock Exchange in 2000, served as its first CEO, and in 2008 opened his own commercial bank, FDH Bank, headquartered in Blantyre, Malawi’s second-biggest city, according to Accounting and Business magazine.

Before launching his company, Mpinganjira worked at Deloitte and made contacts during his five-year stay with the firm. He describes himself as an inveterate networker and hopes to pass this valuable skill on to his staff.

He also had a couple of corporate accounting roles and a risk management position at a bank. This would expose him to Malawi’s burgeoning capital market, and he would spare no time in reaping the benefits as an early adopter.

“I was ahead of everybody because I had initially worked for the National Bank of Malawi, the largest bank in the country,” he said, according to Accounting and Business magazine.

He recalled a Deloitte partner telling him of an opening in a new financial institution, and his conversation led him to become Malawi’s first stockbroker with Stockbrokers Malawi (majority-owned by the bank), which set up the Malawi Stock Exchange in 2000. He was appointed as the boss, and he subsequently launched FDH Bank.

“I was able to network with a lot of contacts, both in south-east Africa and internationally,” he said. “This experience also introduced me to many business concepts in the financial sector.”

Mpinganjira leveraged the knowledge and experience he had acquired to make plans to set up a financial services business. He opened First Discount House in 2002, and today, it has become a subsidiary of FDH Financial Holdings as part of a group restructuring exercise in 2007, when he also acquired a license for FDH Bank.

As of 2020, FDH Bank boasted a network of 53 branches and 91 automated teller machines strategically positioned across all 27 districts of the country, according to Billionaires.Africa. The bank has grown into one of the leading groups in Malawi’s financial services industry.

As part of its corporate social responsibility, Mpinganjira’s FDH Financial Holdings with interests in banking, discount house operations, investment management, and advisory services, funded the refurbishment of a children’s intensive care unit at a hospital in southern Malawi. FDH has also helped colleges with computing and communication equipment, and in March this year, Mpinganjira built a cancer hospital in honor of his late wife. President Lazarus Chakwera officially opened the International Blantyre Cancer Centre in Nyambadwe, Blantyre.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: May 15, 2024

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