The board of regional banking giant KCB Group has appointed Paul Russo as the company’s Group chief executive officer effective May 25, 2022.
Mr Russo will be taking over from Mr Joshua Oigara, who has been the financial institution’s CEO for the last nine and a half years where recently he concluded the Kes3.9 billion acquisition and merger of Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR) with KCB Bank Rwanda.
BPR Bank Rwanda Plc is now the second-largest bank in Rwanda’s banking industry and gives KCB Group an edge in deepening an ongoing strategy to scale the lender’s regional presence that Mr Russo is now expected to drive.
KCB Group bought BPR from Atlas Mara Ltd before merging it with KCB Bank Rwanda to form the second-largest lender in the country with a network of 150 branches and 1,107 employees.
The appointment of Mr Russo, who holds an MBA from Strathmore University and a Bachelor of Business Management from Moi University, follows competitive recruitment that started two months ago.
Until his appointment, Mr Russo served as the managing director of the bank’s subsidiary, the National Bank of Kenya, and has also KCB Group’s regional business director.
He has over 20 years of work experience spanning executive and key roles including Group human resources director, KCB Group.
“Paul brings a wealth of experience in banking, operational management, people management, strategy, and a sharp business acumen,” the board said.
“He is, therefore, the right person for the job and will take the Group to the next level in its growth ambitions to become the undisputed regional leader and drive much-needed business transformation,” said Chairman Andrew Kairu, adding that the Board is confident that he will carry on with the Group’s resolve to simplify the world of our stakeholders to enable their progress.
Over the past eight years while at KCB, Mr Russo has been involved in running of key strategic assignments, lately looking after the regional businesses (KCB’s Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, South Sudan as well as KCB Capital and KCB Bancassurance Intermediary) and National Bank of Kenya.
“During his tenure at NBK, he has executed a significant turnaround, moving the previously loss-making business into profitability and on a trajectory for stronger growth into the future,” said the Group Chairman.
The Board has also commended Mr Oigara for his service to the Group since joining in 2011.
“He (Mr Oigara) has left a solid legacy for the Group across Africa and beyond that is dotted by the transformation of millions of lives, enhanced financial inclusion across the region, digital banking innovations and has built a Group that is anchored on sustainable business practices,” Mr Kairu added.