KCB Group names Paul Russo to replace long-serving CEO Joshua Oigara

Tuesday May 24 2022
Paul Russo, the managing director of National Bank of Kenya.

Paul Russo, the managing director of National Bank of Kenya, has been named new CEO of KCB Group. PHOTO | NMG


KCB Group has picked Paul Russo, the managing director of its subsidiary National Bank of Kenya (NBK), to be the next chief executive, the bank announced on Tuesday.

Mr Russo is a human resources management professional who has turned around NBK which KCB acquired in 2019.

He takes over at the second-biggest lender by assets from the long-serving boss Joshua Oigara whose term expires in December.

Mr Russo served as the Group head of human resources before being appointed to run NBK in 2019 after KCB completed the acquisition. He also previously served at Barclays, now Absa, and audit firm PwC.

The lender in March quietly extended the term of Mr Oigara by a year to allow it to search for a successor.

The extension, until December 31, was the second extension for the 47-year-old who earlier said he was open to ending his nine-year term end of last year.


Mr Oigara was first appointed to the position in January 2013.

His term has been the most rewarding, benefiting from the performance-based pay that has cemented his position among Kenya’s top-paid executives.

KCB, which also operates in neighbouring Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan, has returned double-digit profit growth for most years since he was hired.

He has more than tripled the bank’s asset value from Ksh390 billion ($3.3 billion) in 2012 to Ksh1.22 trillion ($10.45 billion).

The bank’s net profit stood at Ksh34.26 billion ($293.6 million) in 2021 from Ksh19.6 billion ($167.9 million) a year, rising from Ksh14.3 billion ($122.5 million) in 2013.