Equity Bank has announced the retirement of its long-serving chairman and founder Peter Munga from the lender’s board of directors, heralding a new era for the lender that is eyeing a pan African banking status.
In filings to local regulatory bodies, the bank said Prof Isaac Macharia, a serving member of the bank’s board would take over from Munga as chair of Equity Bank’s local subsidiary.
In an interview with Weekend Business, Munga said the changes come after Equity Group Holdings Limited (EGHL) took a hard look at its operating model and is now instituting changes that will steer it through the next growth phase. The company, and indeed the entire banking industry, is now grappling with a stifling interest rate cap regime, shifting consumer preferences and rising competitive threats.
Munga said a transition was among the strategies that would see the bank adjust to a new era. In addition to the new chair for its Kenyan division, the firm appointed two independent chairpersons for its banking offshoots in Uganda and Rwanda, as it positions for the next phase of growth where subsidiaries are expected to play a key role in contributing to its bottom line.
Munga said the changes were planned in line with the long-term growth strategy of the Group terming them “a way of strengthening corporate governance and preparing for succession planning”. He will, however, continue to serve as chairman of the non-operating entity — EGHL.
“The Board has been working on our long term vision and strategy and recognises the need to continue developing and evolving the structure for the company to strengthen corporate governance and deliver its next phase of growth,” Munga said. Mr Munga founded Equity as building society in 1984 in Kangema in Muranga County and has seen it through growth paved with challenges including bankruptcy that almost forced it to close shop in early 1990s.