Kenya: Kellen Kariuki to Head Standard Bank Board

Kenya: Kellen Kariuki to Head Standard Bank Board

Ms Kellen Kariuki is the new chairperson of the board of Standard Chartered Bank Kenya, a listed financial institution at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

She is second woman to hold that position after Ms Anne Mutahi, a small and medium enterprises advisor. Ms Kariuki, currently the managing director of Feruzi Holdings Limited, succeeds Mr Patrick Obath, who retired on May 30.

Ms Kariuki also served as the first chief executive officer and managing trustee of the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority

"It is an honour to be appointed as the chair to the board of Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Limited," said Ms Kariuki in a statement, Tuesday.

"I am delighted at the opportunity to continue working with the board and management to accelerate the achievement of the bank’s strategy particularly in building a sustainable future for our clients, communities and shareholders."

She is the latest woman to head a board of an internationally renowned institution.

Standard Chartered Bank Kenya is the pioneer member of the 30 Per Cent Club East Africa Chapter launched in October 2018.

Gender balanced boards

The 30 Per Cent Club is a global campaign led by chairs and chief executive officers, pushing for gender balanced boards and senior management

Last February, NSE joined the club and as such could influence the more than 60 listed firms, Standard Chartered Bank Kenya included, to close gender disparities in employment and have more women in leadership.

Last week, Ms Flora Mutahi, founder of a food processing company, Melvin Marsh International, was appointed the first female board chairperson of Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) which represents more than one million businesses in the country.A 2019 report The Gender Equality in the Workplace by NSE et al, shows a less than 30 per cent representation of women in corporate leadership. Women make only 22 per cent of managers and 23 per cent of board members.There is, however, an advantage to having a gender inclusive workforce.A 2019 analysis by McKinsey on gender diversity in companies established that those in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25 per cent more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile.

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