KCB insider confirmed as NBK MD

NBK Managing Director Paul Russo.
PHOTO/COURTESY: Kenyan Wallstreet

KCB Group’s Director for Regional Business Paul Russo is set to commence his tenure as the new head of the National Bank of Kenya after the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) approved the appointment.

KCB had earlier this month selected Mr. Russo to head the National Bank of Kenya for a two-year period of its incorporation into KCB. He will take over from Wilfred Musau who has been assigned a new role at KCB Group to support the integration.

Speaking on the appointment, the bank’s Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Joshua Oigara underscored that Mr. Russo was the perfect candidate for the position at the bank which is set to merge with KCB. 

“I have full confidence that Russo will steer NBK in the right direction and succeed in the integration task ahead. I wish to assure NBK customers that they will continue to receive enhanced products and services throughout the integration period and that they should rest assured that they are now part of a bigger and stronger family. Focus will be on a simplified customer journey and products that provide solutions to our customers,” Mr. Oigara said in a statement.

During the integration period, KCB will work towards streamlining human resources, systems, processes and procedures to fully realize the value of the merged entity.

The Central Bank of Kenya approved the merger of the two lenders earlier this month despite the fact that the National Assembly in August rejected the proposed buyout of NBK. Parliament’s Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning had argued that the takeover transaction undervalues NBK’s value by approximately Ksh. 3 billion. Parliament’s valuation of NBK stands at Ksh. 9 billion while KCB values the lender at Ksh. 6 billion.

“The approval has been granted in accordance with Section 13(1) (e) of the Banking Act, effectively paving the way for the completion of the deal within KCB timelines. The acquisition will strengthen both institutions leveraging on their respective well-established domestic and regional corporate, public sector and retail franchises,” the Central Bank said in a statement on Monday.

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