NIC Bank has appointed a woman in its male-dominated executive suite as head of credit risk at the mid-tier lender.
The bank has tapped Margaret Kimuma as executive director to replace James Wanyika who retired in October after serving the bank for 12 years.
She becomes the lone woman in the eight member executive suite steered by John Gachora, who became CEO in September following the appointment of James Macharia as Health secretary in May.
Ms Kimuma becomes the first top executive appointment under Mr Gachora, who now has been left with the task of filling the position of finance director that fell vacant in July after Joseph Mutugu quit.
NIC like most Kenyan firms has suffered from under-representation of women both in the executive suit and the boardroom where it has a single female director Isabella Ochola-Wilson. Executive and board changes in the mid-tier lender have been minimal over the past five years, save for this year.
In January, it hired Edgar Kalya as retail director from Barclays Bank of Kenya where he was acting consumer banking director, bringing the top executive appointments to three.
Mr Mutugu was said to have left the bank after failing to agree on strategy, but the other positions were occasioned by retirements.
Its board, which is closely watched by the family of the late Philip Ndegwa, a former Central Bank of Kenya governor, has also seen little changes on its composition in recent years with the bulk of directors having served between 12 years and 20 years.
The Ndegwas entered NIC Bank in 1996 after they acquired a 20 per cent stake from Barclays Bank of Kenya through First Chartered Securities — an investment firm founded in 1974 by the family patriarch Philip.
They currently own a quarter of the bank and the son of the former governor, James Ndegwa, chairs its board.
NIC profit rose 17.6 per cent to Sh2.81 billion in the nine months to September and its share at the Nairobi bourse has gained 6.1 per cent over the past six months to the current Sh60.
Mr Gachora’s experience in mainstream banking and investment banking is expected to help him deepen NIC Bank’s financial supermarket model, which includes trading shares, selling insurance products and offering loans.