KCB Group appoints Paul Russo as its new Chief Executive Officer

KENYA – KCB Group, a financial service company, has appointed Paul Russo as its new Chief Executive Officer effective May 25, taking over from Joshua Oigara who has served in the role since 2013.

According to a statement from the lender’s board, Oigara will be leaving the Group following the end of his contract but will remain for a period of time to support the transition.

“The Board acknowledges Oigara’s immense contribution in driving the growth of the Group business over the decade. He has been instrumental in deepening financial inclusion and social impact across East Africa,” the KCB Group Chairman, Andrew Kairu said in a statement.

Paul, who takes over from Oigara, brings a wealth of experience in banking, operational management, people management strategy and sharp business acumen.

His most recent role in the group has been that of Managing Director National Bank of Kenya after it was acquired by KCB in 2019.

He has over 20 years of work experience spanning executive and key roles including as Group HR Director.

Mr Russo holds an MBA from Strathmore Business School and a Business Management degree from Moi University. He also holds a senior executive program for Africa certificate from Harvard Business School and a higher diploma in human resource management from the Institute of Human Resources Kenya.

“The Board congratulates Paul for the appointment and is confident that he will ably steer the Group’s future growth ambitions,” said Kairu.

The lender in March quietly extended the term of Mr Oigara by a year to allow it to search for a successor.

The extension, until December 31, was the second extension for the 47-year-old who earlier said he was open to ending his nine-year term end of last year.

Oigara has steadily steered KCB in the last nine years and five months, taking the lender from a profit 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.

His term has been the most rewarding, benefiting from the performance-based pay that has cemented his position among Kenya’s top-paid executives.

KCB, which also operates in neighbouring Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan, has returned double-digit profit growth for most years since he was hired.

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