Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CEO who built up leading MFI calls it quits

CEO who built up leading MFI calls it quits

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Sim Senacheert is set to resign from his position as Prasac Microfinance Institution Plc president and CEO. SUPPLIED

CEO who built up leading MFI calls it quits

SIM Senacheert, a high-profile financial veteran who currently helms local lender Prasac Microfinance Institution Plc, has decided to step down after nearly two decades in top posts.

His resignation comes shortly after South Korea’s KB Kookmin Bank, New York-listed KB Financial Group Inc’s (KB) commercial banking unit, completed an acquisition in October, giving the bank a 100 per cent stake in the microfinance institution (MFI).

Employed at Prasac for just over a quarter century and serving as its president and CEO for 18 years, Senacheert grew the lender from scratch, as a small institution with just a handful of branches into one of the country’s leading MFIs.

The institution now has hundreds of locations, and a wide spectrum of new digital methods and processes have been adapted and integrated into the core of its business.

In a recent financial report, Prasac said that between 2004 – when it obtained an MFI licence – and September 2021, total assets expanded 453-fold from $9 million to $4 billion, and total equity grew 1,204-fold from $526,000 to $634 million.

During the same period, its loan portfolio ballooned about 453-fold from $7.7 million to $3.5 billion, deposit balance skyrocketed from $196,000 to $2.4 billion, and number of staff grew nearly 25-fold from 372 to 9,203.

Although there was little doubt in its abilities to raise funds, Prasac on May 5 last year listed a corporate bond on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX), allocating 1,272,000 shares in the public offering, with a total issue amount of 127.2 billion riel ($31 million).

But the CEO will most likely not resign alone – a total of seven executive committee members and senior management officers are also set to leave the company in January and February.

Senacheert sat down with The Post’s May Kunmakara to discuss his departure and his next journey.

What specifically made you decide to leave?

I’ve held the position as CEO for 18 years and have been working with Prasac for more than 25 years, hence, it is the time for me to leave, in order to pave the path for KB to fully participate in the MFI’s management.

On the other hand, I also expect that the management change will enable Prasac to move on to the next level.

To what do you attribute your success?

The success was contributed by many factors such as peace and political stability, macroeconomic stability and economic growth, enabling regulations, support from trusted and loyal clients, and all other stakeholders.

These include the government, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), lenders, depositors, local authorities, among others, but especially thehardworking management and staff.

What motivated Prasac’s decision to list on the CSX last year?

We decided to issue a corporate bond to, among other things, participate in the development of the capital market, help to promote the utilisation of the KHR, diversify funding sources and help the liquidity position, improve our governance and disclosures, and promote Prasac to the public.

How did Prasac manage such remarkable performance during Covid, and how did it work with its most vulnerable customers to accommodate them during the economic crisis?

During these difficult times, what we’ve been striving to do is to stay with our clients, listen to them, and help them.

On a per-case basis, we restructured loans for the clients who experienced financial difficulties, provided additional credit to those who needed the funds to keep their businesses running, or to reopen.

What are your plans after leaving Prasac?

At the moment, I am free and there is no plan yet. But, I hope that I will be able to continue working in the sector so that I can utilise my experience and knowledge.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa