Equity Group picks former World Bank manager its new COO

Equity Bank Group CEO James Mwangi during the bank's half-year briefing at Equity Centre, Nairobi, on August 1, 2019

Equity Bank  has hired a former manager at the World Bank’s private sector financing arm IFC, as its new chief operations officer to replace Bhartesh Shah, who takes a new role as the Group’s director for Digitisation, Virtualisation, Analytics and Artificial Intelligence

John Wilson, the new COO, will oversee Equity’s operations at the group level, focusing on the execution of strategy and operational oversight of the entire business, including its subsidiaries.

An alumnus of the Ivy League Princeton University, John holds a Masters degree in public affairs, and was until his appointment, the manager in charge of new investments in financial institutions in sub-Saharan Africa at World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC).

John will also oversee subsidiary operations including fintech, digitisation, finance, shared services, corporate banking, SME banking, risk management, special projects and the treasury. His appointment is subject to approval by the Central Bank of Kenya.

His appointment is the latest senior executive change at Equity following the exit of managing director Polycarp Igathe, Finserve Africa executive director of Strategic Execution, Eric Karobia, and Finserve’s Managing Director, Jack Ngare.

Igathe left at the end of August to return to his former employer, Vivo and  Energy, as vice president for sales and marketing in Africa while Karonia joined Airtel Africa Uganda. Ngare has since joined to head Microsoft Africa Development Centre.


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