Oigara in early exit from KCB after 10-year tenure

Tuesday, May 24th, 2022 02:40 | By
KCB Bank Group Chief Executive Officer Joshua Oigara. PHOTO/file
KCB Bank Group Chief Executive Officer Joshua Oigara. PHOTO/file

After close to 10 years at the helm, Kenya Commercial Bank Group Chief Executive Officer Joshua Nyamweya Oigara will exit the corner office this week, leaving behind a rich history and sterling performance driven by regional expansion.

Sources within the sector disclosed to People Daily that Oigara will be replaced by Paul Russo, currently the managing director of the National Bank of Kenya, from where he has been overseeing the integration of the bank into the KCB Group.

Oigara, who has been at the helm of KCB since January 1, 2013, was due for official retirement on December 31 this year.

KCB Bank Group Chief Executive Officer Joshua Oigara.  PHOTO/file
KCB Bank Group Chief Executive Officer Joshua Oigara. PHOTO/file

It is not clear where the 47-year-old Oigara, who is Kenya’s second-highest-paid CEO at Ksh22 million per month, is headed, or why his exit comes earlier than expected.

Though the details regarding the impending departure of the CEO and managing director remain scanty, the KCB board of directors is slated to meet tomorrow to ratify his exit.

Economic recovery

“We are not able to know whether he is being pushed out or he has opted to leave early. What we have been told is that the CEO will be leaving this week, immediately after his exit is sanctioned by the board of directors, which will be holding its meeting on Wednesday,” an impeccable source in Kenya’s financial sector divulged.

Oigara has steadily steered KCB in the last nine years and five months, taking the lender from a profit mark of Sh14.3 billion in 2013, when it registered a 17 per cent profit, to Sh34.2 billion net profit as of December 31, 2021, riding on an economic recovery across markets.

“We made significant progress in achieving our 2021 strategic targets which delivered a strong financial performance that was in line with gradual economic recovery across all markets. The third and fourth quarters were the turning point with a pick-up in lending activity even as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to impact economic activity,” the group said.

The group successfully completed the acquisition of BPR Rwanda on July 31, 2021, and Oigara kicked off integration activities that will see the amalgamation of the bank and KCB Rwanda into single banking business.

Customer base

During his tenure, KCB Group managed to accumulate a huge regional customer base with 26.8 million accounts and 4,900 employees in 222 branches with Kenya leading with 178 branches, 20 in South Sudan, Tanzania 12, Uganda 14, Rwanda 11 and Burundi with one.

Oigara, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Business Administration in Strategic Management and Investments from Edith Cowan University in Australia, was born in 1975.

Paul Russo was appointed NBK managing director on September 20, 2019, and tasked with the integration of NBK and KCB. Before then, he worked at KCB as the Director of Regional Business and as the Group Human Resource Director.

He has previously worked for Barclays Bank, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC), K-Rep Bank and Unga Limited.

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