Nairobi headquartered Diamond Trust Bank has announced the appointment of Mr. Linus Gitahi as its Chairperson. The appointment which was announced to the DTB shareholders at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed firm’s Annual General Meeting of 23 May 2019, is geared at accelerating growth and corporate governance reforms.
The appointment, will also provide corporate governance leadership for DTB which is banking on technological transformation programmes to transform its subsidiaries into premier digital banking and payments solution providers for an increasingly discerning and technology-driven customer base.
With the appointment, Mr. Gitahi who has been serving as a Director on the DTB Board has taken over the mantle from outgoing Chairperson Mr. Abdul Samji who has served for the last nine years.
The appointment of Mr. Gitahi will provide further impetus to the realization of the DTB Vision 2020 strategy which seeks to position DTB Group banks as the leading players in the banking finance industry in sub-Saharan Africa.
While accepting his appointment, Mr. Gitahi confirmed that with a current asset base of Kshs 378 billion, DTB Group’s growth will be heavily leveraged on the firm’s digital transformation strategy. The strategy, he said, will seek to embed DTB subsidiaries into the lifestyles of its customers by developing simple yet efficient digital financial solutions.
“To achieve this, we will build on and leverage digital solutions, as well as embrace data-driven analytics, to effectively respond to evolving customer needs and aspirations,” he said.
While crediting outgoing Chairman Samji and the Management team led by Group CEO Nasim Devji for a job well done, Gitahi noted that DTB remains a strong institution and will continue playing a key role in the promotion of socio-economic development under his leadership.
“This, DTB will continue doing by contributing meaningfully to the improvement in the quality of lives of our customers and the broader community in which we operate, in addition to our clients on both the traditional and digital channels, as well as those that are under-served,” Gitahi said adding that, “This requires us to continuously pursue an aggressive and expansive financial inclusion agenda, targeting a broad spectrum of customer segment from large corporates, SMEs, micro- enterprises, salaried employees and high net worth individuals among others.”
On her part, Ms. Devji said she is looking forward to Mr. Gitahi’s leadership in actualising the DTB’s growth agenda. “He understands this organisation and has the expertise to take DTB to greater heights and deliver value to shareholders” she said.
She also expressed her gratitude to Mr. Samji, saying “His diligent leadership ensured we remained committed to the company mission, and saw us grow from a mid-level bank to a Tier- 1 bank in East Africa”.
Mr. Gitahi was first appointed to the DTB Board in April 2017 and also serves as the Chairman of Tropikal Brands (Africa) Limited, Chairman of Oxygène Marketing Communications Limited and is a Trustee of the Management University of Africa. In addition, he is an independent Board director of Simba Corp, Outspan Hospital and Medical College as well as Allianz Insurance (K) Limited.
Currently pursuing his Doctorate studies at the United States International University-Africa, Mr. Gitahi holds a B. Com (Hons) in Accounting from the University of Nairobi, a Diploma in Management from the Kenya Institute of Management and an MBA from the United States International University. He is also a Fellow of the Kenya Institute of Management. He previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Nation Media Group and prior to that was the Group Chief Executive Officer for West Africa for GlaxoSmithKline after having held diverse management positions with them.
Last year, DTB’s resilient trading performance was reflected in its 2018 results, with the full- year group pre-tax profit rising to a record level of Kshs 11 billion, an increase of 9% compared to the previous year. DTB’s investment portfolio in Government securities, expanded marginally during the year from Kshs 113 billion at the end of 2017 to Kshs 115 billion a year later.
In 2018, DTB Kenya increased its shareholding in DTB Burundi to 84% from 67%, after acquisition of shares held by International Financial Corporation (IFC). To-date: DTB Kenya has raised additional equity and debt capital for asset growth and market expansion through the NSE and institutional investors (IFC, DEG, PROPARCO, AFD and AfDB). The Bank has also expanded operations in the region through its subsidiaries DTB Tanzania, DTB Uganda and DTB Burundi.