Equity Group appoints new director to oversee East Africa branches

19Jul 2018
The Guardian
Equity Group appoints new director to oversee East Africa branches

Equity Group Holdings has appointed its long serving Director of Strategy, Legal Services and Company Secretary Mary Wangari Wamae as Group Executive Director overseeing its subsidiaries in the region.

Equity Group Holdings’ newly appointed Group Executive Director, Mary Wangari Wamae speaks at a past event.

She will supervise the management of the Group’s banking subsidiaries in DRC Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and South Sudan. Wamae has had an illustrious career at the Group spanning 14 years. She joined the then building society in 2004 as the Head of Legal Services before her promotion to Company Secretary and Head of Legal Services in 2005.

In 2008,she rose to become Director of Corporate Strategy, Legal Services and Company Secretary and in 2012 became Group Company Secretary, Director of Corporate Strategy and Legal Services. In 2014, Wamae was promoted to Group Director of Strategy, Legal Services and Group Company Secretary, a position she has held until her recent promotion.

The Group has also promoted Mrs. Christine Akinyi Browne to the position of Group Director of Legal Services and Company Secretary to fill in the gap, while Mr. Brent Malahay will now be the Group Director of Strategy, Strategic Partnerships and Investor Relations.

While running her private legal practice before joining the bank, Wamae was the team leader in facilitating the first strategic investment in Equity Bank by AfriCap Microfinance Fund in 2002.

She has led the Group in several strategic projects, including the conversion from Equity Building Society to a commercial bank in 2004, the listing on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (then Nairobi Stock Exchange) in 2006 and the private capital raising of US$185 million new equity by Helios EB Investors in 2007 to become anchor strategic shareholder.

She also helped in setting up of greenfield operations in Tanzania, South Sudan and Rwanda as well as the acquisition of existing banking operations in Uganda and more recently Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
She was instrumental in the subsequent listings on Uganda Securities Exchange (2009) and Rwanda Stock Exchange (2015).Wamae is also credited with setting up the legal and secretarial division of the bank.

Her previous position has been split into two roles to be taken up by Browne and Malahay. Prior to her promotion, Mrs. Christine Akinyi Browne worked as the General Manager for Legal, Corporate Banking at Equity Bank.

She joined the bank in 2014 after a six year stint as principal counsel at East African Development Bank. She has previously worked at The World Bank and the Industrial Promotion Services (K) Limited (IPS).

Mr. Malahay has worked at the Group since 2016. He has over 14 years’ experience in financial services with competencies ranging from commercial banking to credit ratings, investment banking and fund management.
He has previously held several high-level positions at global financial institutions, notably Standard Bank, Fitch Ratings, J.P. Morgan and Investec Asset Management.

“These promotions and recent appointments affirm Equity Group as an equal opportunity employer. The Group’s organisational structure is evolving to match the transformation of Equity Group and the complexity of its regional operations,” Equity Group Managing Director and CEO James Mwangi said.

“We are reorganising the structure in line with the Group’s growth as reflected in the capital base, asset base and client base in response to the funding and infrastructure capability as well as to reposition ourselves for opportunities that will open up from the anticipated growth locally and in the region,” he added.

The appointments come barely a fortnight after former Nairobi Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe took over the Group Chief Commercial Officer position. The bank also appointed Julius Kayoboke as the Group Director in charge of Customer Experience and Product Management.

A regional financial services provider , Equity Group Holdings Plc has a footprint that spans six countries with over 12.2 million customers and an asset base of nearly Ksh550 billion. With a market value of Ksh 183.9 billion, the lender is now the second largest listed firm in market capitalization at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).