KCB completes executive shake-up with new hirings

Customers queuing at the banking hall of KCB Kencom branch PHOTO/ FILE
Customers queuing at the banking hall of KCB Kencom branch PHOTO/ FILE  

KCB has made fresh appointments to its executive team to fill vacancies created by reorganisation plan that saw at least nine managers quit as the bank trimmed management to cut reporting layers and increase efficiency.

Business Daily has established that the bank has hired Shalin Gudka as head of Treasury from Standard Bank where he served as regional head of trading and tapped East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) marketing manager Angela Mwirigi as its marketing director.

The bank was also in the last stages of closing a deal with a senior executive at Bamburi Cement (name withheld) as its chief finance officer in changes that mark the last line of senior management appointments.

“The Bamburi deal is not done yet but Mr Gudka and Ms Mwirigi will officially start work on Monday,” said a senior executive at the bank who requested anonymity because he is not the bank’s spokesperson.

Martin Oduor-Otieno, the bank’s CEO did no return our call or e-mail on the changes but EABL and CFC Stanbic, which is majority owned by Standard Bank, confirmed the exit of Mr Gudka and Ms Mwirigi.

Ms Mwirigi was in charge of EABL’s non-alcoholic brands such as Alvaro and her appointment is a signal that KCB is keen on an aggressive marketing onslaught that is associated with beverage firms such as Kenya’s top brewer and Coca-Cola.

Mr Gudka is regarded as a top cross-border trader by his peers in Kenya’s banking market and is said to hold extensive contacts in Europe, West Africa and South Africa that he gained in the three years he served at Standard Bank.

This is a pointer that KCB is keen to widen its trading desk—which does bond and currency trading—beyond the Eastern Africa market that accounts for its largest share and match multinational players such as Barclays Bank on foreign deals.

The new appointments will shift the bank’s focus to the middle level management staff where it’s also seeking a lean team after it thinned its top executive team to seven from 22 in May.

It has opened a voluntary retirement plan to reduce low cadre ranks.

In the next two years, KCB intends to cut down on its middle level management, following in the footsteps of other top banks like Barclays who have made similar moves after an aggressive hiring in 2007 aimed at capturing market share.

“We intend to reduce our cost to income ratio to about 50 per cent in the next two years and this will be achieved by growth in income and reduction of costs,” Mr Oduor-Otieno said when the lean executive structure was unveiled.