Samruk-Kazyna shake-up

It took the new head of the state holding Ahmetjan Esimov less than three weeks to make a radical employee-related decision – fire all employees of the central apparatus of NWF (national wealth fund) Samruk Kazyna. It looks like he received a blank check to do that.

On Jan. 15 2018 a press-release titled “Samruk Kazyna board management approved new structure” has appeared on the website of the national wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna. Since the document is short, we will quote it in entirety (highlights in bold are made by us):

The Board Management of Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna JSC has approved a new structure. Under the new structure, the number of Managing Directors has been reduced from 10 to 5, the number of departments and structural units has been decreased from 37 to 27, and one position of the Deputy Chairman of the Management Board has been introduced. The organizational structure has been changed to increase mobility and management efficiency, deepen the process of Samruk-Kazyna’ Transformation Programme, introduce a vertical structure of asset management, and improve the economic efficiency of national companies within the Fund’s structure.  The new structure was put in place on January 11, 2018″.

Thus the new chairman of the board of NWF Samruk Kazyna Ahmetjan Esimov appointed to that position on Dec. 23 2017 needed less than three weeks to “figure out” the situation and take radical employee decision – de-facto fire all of the employees of the central apparatus of the state holding of development, in order to then hire only those he wants.

From the technical standpoint this is an optimal solution, since it allows: a) save a lot of time b) avoid the necessity of having to talk to each person individually and explain to them the reasons for firing, discuss leave conditions or of transfer to a different position c) quickly and painlessly acquire insiders d) attract to their side those professionals who don’t belong to any group and who are indispensable e) “create” employees who came in under the patronage of the predecessor or are suspected to belonging to another team but are expedient to keep in the apparatus.

Such decisiveness from Ahmetjan Esimov shows that he received a blank check from Nazarbaev to “clean the mess” at the NWF Samruk Kazyna and thus, can ignore the opinion of both his predecessor Umirzak Shukeev as well as of members of the board formed under hisrule.

Thus the shake up of the apparatus of the government holding will be all-encompassing. It is impossible to estimate how many people will be left without jobs as a result, since the process has just started and will end no sooner than month. Looks like the key employment decisions will be made by Esimov himself, and all others by the newly appointed deputy head of governing Alik Aidarbaev.

We allow for a chance that Esimov has enough foundation to be firm, since according to information at the website of Samruk Kazyna, the official staff of the state corporation was only 193 people. Thus, a presence of 10 managing directors and 37 departments seems like too much and maybe a misuse. Thus it can be forecasted that former head of the NWF, now vice-minister and minister of agriculture of RK Umirzak Shukev likely won’t take a risk in defending his people. Maximum what can be expected of him is the help in finding employment into related institutions.

Next stage in the reformative activitites of Ahmetjan Esimov will inevitably become subordinate to Samruk Kazyna national and private companies, first of all KazMunaiGaz. Evidently, the new head of the holding will meet much more resistance to his employment initiatives there, simply because the very same chairman of the board of NK KazMunaigaz Sauat Minbaev and a slew of his colleagues, are figures personally known to Nazarbaev and having close relations with key people in Akorda.

In the words of insiders, an issue of Sauat Mynbaev’s transfer to a different job, possibly as a minister is already undertaken, however there is no decision on it yet. This supposedly explains a recent media attack on Mynabaev in Kazakh media as well as from the former prime-minister of RK, now British citizen Akejan Kajegeldin. For now, this attack wasn’t successful, but the issue will most likely be solved in the spring, when there will be possible shakeup of the entire government.


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