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MIT trained banker to lead Kenyan Presidents bank

Hinamundi Collins

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Nairobi: Massachusets Institute of Technology-trained Banker Mr John Gachora will be the head of the new outfit that will be formed when NIC Group’s merger with the President Uhuru Kenyatta family owned Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) is complete.

Born in a family of 13 in Kenya’s central province to subsistence farmers in 1968, Mr Gachora attended   Alliance High School one of Kenya’s elite schools. While there, he travelled to the United States as a high school exchange visitor to Brooks School in  Massachusetts. It was from here that he applied to MIT and was accepted.  Mr John Gachora  Majored in Electrical Engineering up to the graduate level at MIT, earning a masters. He later studied for an MBA at the Wharton School of Business.

The 51-year old worked with Credit Suisse. Later, he worked at Bank of America rising to the rank of Managing Director – Group Head, Investment Banking. In January 2009, he joined Absa Capital in Johannesburg, South Africa, rising to the rank of Chief Executive Officer of Absa Africa at Absa Group Limited, in November 2010.

He was appointed Managing Director of the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed NIC Group with Subsidiaries in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and South Sudan.

Now that the bank’s shareholders have agreed to a merger with the Kenyatta family-owned commercial Bank of Africa, the Bank’s managers have agreed that Mr Gachora will be in charge of the management of the merged outfit while his CBA counterpart, Isaac Awuondo, will become chairman of the Kenyan banking subsidiary and maintain direct oversight over the digital business.

The merger, which on Monday received the approval of the Competition Authority of Kenya, paves the way for the two lenders to create the third-biggest bank by assets in Kenya.

“The merged group will operate under a new name and brand, which will be determined prior to the conclusion of the merger. The combined entity’s board of directors and executive management team will also be well balanced between the two institutions,” said the two banks in a joint statement.

According to Business Daily Newspaper, NIC Group will be renamed and made the merged group’s non-operating holding company for subsidiary banks.

A fellow of President Obama’s Young African Leadership Initiative (2016), Collins Hinamundi is an Award-winning journalist with 10 years’ experience covering Entertainment, finance & banking, macro-economic policy, energy, mining, natural resources and governance in East and Central Africa.

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