Intrigues in NBK C-suite as new boss hired to drive transition after buyout

Paul Russo. KCB has picked him as the designate managing director of NBK for a transitional two-year period. FILE PHOTO | NMG KCB Group has moved to replace National Bank of Kenya (NBK) managing director Wilfred Musau just a day after receiving regulatory approval to acquire the capital-constrained bank.

The group Tuesday announced that it had picked Paul Russo as the designate managing director of NBK for the transitional two-year period, even as it announced that it has started the process of taking over control of NBK this week.

This appointment, subject to fit and proper approval by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), effectively brings Mr Musau’s helm at NBK to an end.

He joined NBK in September 2015 as the director responsible for retail and premium banking before being appointed managing director in April, 2016 following the controversial exit of Munir Ahmed.

The move by KCB to appoint its own candidate to lead the transition of the NBK business into the KCB Group signals that far-reaching changes could be in the offing in the State-controlled bank, which has been running on constrained capital amid piling bad loans.

“We have set a target to fully integrate NBK into KCB in 24 months from acquisition,” KCB Group CEO Joshua Oigara said on the development.

“During that period, we will be taking a number of integration decisions, including how to best structure NBK in order to more excellently deliver value to our customers.”

Transition team

Mr Russo will lead the transition team that will report directly to Mr Oigara.

KCB Group intends to maintain NBK as a stand-alone subsidiary after acquisition and thereafter fully integrate it into KCB Bank Kenya subsidiary within a period of two years.

This will effectively mark the end of the NBK brand, which was incorporated in 1968 as a wholly-owned government entity.NBK also owns NBK Insurance Agency Limited as well as Natbank Trustee and Investment Service Limited.According to the earlier KCB offer document for the acquisition of NBK, the transition period will serve to “streamline human resources, systems, processes and procedures” to realise efficiency and productivity synergies.KCB is now verifying the returns by NBK shareholders that have expressed willingness to swap their shares in favour of those of KCB. Historic acquisition The historic acquisition is expected to buttress KCB’s position as the largest bank by asset base in the East African region.The merged entity is expected to create a Sh1 trillion balance sheet […]

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