NAIROBI, KENYA, JULY 4 ―Polished Kenyan corporate guru Polycarp Igathe has gone back to doing what he knows best―Corporate leadership.
The former Nairobi deputy governor has been appointed Equity Group Holdings (Plc) Chief Commercial Officer, making a major comeback in the corporate world after a short stint in politics.
Igathe resigned and left the Nairobi Deputy Governor’s office on January 31, after what he said was frustrations by his boss, Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko.
According to Igathe, who left barely six months into his appointment, Sonko had failed to trust him with work hence denying him room to deliver to Nairobi residents.
“Equity Confirms Appointment of Polycarp Igathe as Group Chief Commercial Officer and Julius Kayoboke as Group Director of Customer Experience and Product Management,” the Nairobi Securities Exchange lender said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Polycarp has an expansive C Suite career in the region, Julius has built an international career in marketing, Sales, and brand positioning,” the bank noted.
The two executives take up their new roles in Equity Group Plc, following approval of fit and proper by the Central Bank of Kenya.
Polycarp was the second Deputy Governor of Nairobi County, under the devolved government before his resignation. Julius was the immediate former Marketing Director of Heineken in Rwanda since 2001.
Mr. Igathe is a highly accomplished corporate executive, seasoned in overseeing large commercial enterprises in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector and with a remarkable track record of success in spearheading business growth and product development.
He has successfully served as CEO of leading blue chip corporate entities in Kenya and Eastern Africa, namely Coca-Cola SABCO, Africa Online, EABL, Haco Industries, Wines of the World, Tiger Brands International and Vivo Energy.
He is renowned for fostering productive partnerships with external stakeholders and customers, resulting in delivery of outstanding company results.
Elected, nominated, and appointed to serve as Non-Executive Chairman and Board member in several commercial and public-sector entities.
Further, he has served as Chairman Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM),Chairman Petroleum Institute of East Africa (PIEA), Director and Trustee Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and Chair Board of Management at Bishop Gatimu Ngandu Girls High School.
On taking up the appointment, Mr. Igathe said: “Am lucky and thrilled to join an outstanding and exceptional team of professionals at the iconic Equity Group Holdings Plc. renowned for delivery of socio-economic prosperity in Africa. The group is powered by a peerless economic engine, fueled by financial technology, social impact investment & inclusive, customer-focused financial services.”
“I am glad to offer my networks and experience in the Eastern Africa private sector scene to grow the Equity brand in the corporate segment of the market,” he added.
Igathe is celebrated as a Warrior of the Marketing Society of Kenya (MSK), Savant of Marketing by Marketing Africa Magazine and as Savant of Policy Advocacy by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM).
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Sociology from the University of Nairobi and is a graduate of the Strathmore University’s Advanced Management Program (AMP) with IESE Business School in Spain.
At the University of Nairobi, he was the national Chairman of AIESEC in Kenya, the International Association of university students interested in Economics and Business Management.
Mr. Kayoboke holds an MBA from the University of Birmingham UK. He has been working with Heineken since 2001 in several European and African countries and most recently was the Marketing Director in Rwanda.
In 2008, whilst based in Amsterdam, he was responsible for eight markets in the middle and Southern Africa including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, and Dr Congo.
His experience gives him immense advantage and an appreciation of the environment Equity Group operates in having built a corridor across Africa from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic.
“Equity Bank democratized banking in Kenya and I am honored to contribute in replicating this across the Eastern Africa region as we transform the lives and livelihoods of Africans. As the Bank moves into the digital age, we shall be focusing on spreading the message of inclusivity at the global level,” Kayoboke said.
Commenting on the appointments, Equity Group Managing Director and CEO Dr James Mwangi said: “We are excited to welcome Polycarp and Julius to the Equity Group family. The Group’s financial capacity, capability and competence in infrastructure has become adequate and positioned itself to bank corporates, large and medium enterprises as well as the high net worth individuals.”
“The two executives hold broad and deep knowledge, skills, experience, networks and relationships of the Eastern Africa private sector scene and business operating environment. They will join a highly talented Equity team to take Equity to the next level. Being insiders in the private sector, they will drive acquisition, growth and retention of the clients in corporate sector and high net worth individuals because they understand distribution logistics and the SME value chain, their needs and aspirations,” Mwangi added.
Dr Mwangi further added that the bank, in line with its vision of championing the socio economic prosperity of the people of Africa, seeks to attract, retain and develop talent that will drive the socio economic transformation agenda through innovation and new services to its customer base.