Co-operative Bank of Kenya (Co-op Bank) Group Managing Director & CEO Dr Gideon Muriuki has been named Best Bank CEO in Africa at this year’s African Banking Awards organized by EMEA Finance. The EMEA Finance Awards recognize corporate leaders and financial institutions which, through their client focus and sound leadership, continue to increase profitability, deliver affordable credit to the retail and wholesale markets, and support local and transnational corporations do business.
This year’s awards had a unique perspective in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, for which the Co-op Bank Group CEO was recognized for implementing key strategies to address challenges facing both businesses and households. Dr Muriuki was recognized for the decision to sustain the payment of dividends to shareholders despite Covid-19, which offered a critical relief and most timely support to the over 15 million-member Cooperative movement.
In addition, the award recognized the decision by the Group CEO not to push for staff retrenchment and opting to retain full staff complement during the pandemic. To manage the disruption caused by the pandemic, the bank undertook a deep analysis to identify inefficiencies, which were resolved through redeployment of staff and other resources.
The awards also recognised the successful acquisition and stabilisation of Jamii Bora Bank (renamed Kingdom Bank) as it offered much-needed stability to the local financial sector.
The EMEA Awards committee also feted Dr Muriuki for driving sustainable credit-growth models that are designed in line with the Credit Risk Adaption Project advised by global consulting firm McKinsey.
In addition to the Best Bank CEO in Africa award to Dr. Muriuki, the EMEA Awards also awarded the Best Bank in Kenya Award to the Co-operative Bank, and the Best Asset Manager award to Co-op Trust Investment Services Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Co-op Bank. With Kshs 181billion in assets under management, Co-op Trust is one of the largest and most successful locally-owned asset management firms in Kenya.