The Equity Group Board on Wednesday appointed Professor Isaac Macharia Equity Group Holdings Board Chairman taking over from David Ansell who did not offer himself for re-election at Equity Group Plc’s 16th Annual General Meeting on June 30, 2020. David Ansell retires after serving on the board for nine years.
Prof. Macharia is a professor of ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat), Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Nairobi (UoN). He holds a distinguished career in the medical field including holding leadership positions in international professional organisations and consulting for the World Health Organisation (WHO) in his area of speciality
He joined Equity Bank Kenya Board in 2015 and became chair in 2017.
Professor Macharia benefitted from the mentorship of both Dr. Peter Munga, the Founding Chairman of Equity Group and David Ansell.
During his tenure as Chairman of Equity Bank Kenya, he oversaw the restructuring of Equity Bank Kenya to become a subsidiary of Equity Group Holdings.
Equity Bank Kenya continued to register impressive performance despite a difficult operating environment following the capping of interest rates in September 2016 by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
When the prevailing COVID-19 crisis was declared a global pandemic, Professor Macharia led the Equity Bank Kenya Board in donating Ksh300Million to match a similar amount donated by the family of Dr. James Mwangi and Ksh500Million from Mastercard Foundation towards a mobilisation effort by Equity Group Foundation (EGF) that raised a total of Ksh1.1Billion.
The investment was directed towards the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to front line health care workers in public hospitals in Kenya, in partnership with the COVID-19 Fund Board.
Speaking when taking over as the Chairman of Equity Group, Professor Macharia said, “I thank David Ansell for his capable and adept leadership of the Board. During his tenure, the Board has been guided to support the company and its goals to achieve excellence in both profitability and purpose and it has exceeded expectations.”
“I want to acknowledge that my tenure begins at a very unprecedented time in the history of our world. There is no playbook for the uncertainty we now find ourselves in, but we do have the capability in our hands to think strategically and act deliberately to ensure that the company and our stakeholders strive to achieve the excellence we are known for, and the stability and focus we need not only to come out COVID-19 successfully but to thrive thereafter,”he added.
Prof. Macharia has said that he will prioritize innovation and use of technology to provide the highest quality of service and experience to customers. He pledged, “I will be a Chair that will support the Group goals for the greater good of our staff, customers, shareholders and other stakeholders and I look forward to working with my fellow board members, subsidiary boards and the Equity Group Holdings staff to achieve this mission for all.”
David Ansell is a long-time global banker. In Africa he served as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at Ecobank Transnational Inc. and as the Regional Director for Citibank in Kenya.
Prior to becoming Equity Group Holdings Board Chair, David served the Company on the subsidiary Boards of Equity Bank Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda and Rwanda where he also served as the board chairman.
He is the second Chairman of Equity Group Holdings Board having taken over from the Founding Chairman Dr. Peter Munga.
The Board of Directors paid a glowing tribute to David Ansell noting that he had brought over 40 years of experience and leadership to the board.
Vijay Gidoomal, a Non-executive Director of the Equity Group Holdings Board said, “David brought a wealth of technical banking experience, coupled with a sharp, incisive mind that quickly got to the heart of the matter. Working with David has been a great learning experience.”
Dr. Julius Muia, past member of Equity Group Board and the current Principal Secretary at the National Treasury said, “I have had a long working relationship with David Ansell and he distinguished himself for his finesse in understanding banking with a bird’s eye view and a ground level view on strategic issues.”
At the same time, Dr. Muia described Professor Macharia as, “A passionate and committed leader who brings the discipline and precision of a medical practitioner and his appreciation for knowledge sharing and capacity building to the Board. He will be instrumental in developing the human capital in the Group.”
Dr. James Mwangi, Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings Plc paid tribute to David Ansell saying, “I have personally gained much insight from David’s leadership and especially from his immense knowledge and expertise in asset liability and risk management. David will always be a valued member of the Equity family.”