Jeremy Awori Joins Pan-African lender Ecobank as new CEO

After nearly a decade at the helm of Absa Bank, CEO and Managing Director Jeremy Awori will be leaving the financial institution in October. Awori is taking up a new role as CEO of pan-African lender Ecoboank Group as the current CEO Ade Ayeyemi goes into retirement.

Awori’s career in the banking sector spans more than 25 years. He joined Absa bank in 2013 when it was still trading as Barclays Bank Kenya. One of the most significant milestones under Awori’s leadership was the rebranding from Barclays Bank to Absa. The branding which led the company to change its colours and identity came after Barclays PLC reduced its stake in Absa Group from a majority of  62.3 per cent to a minority of 14.9 per cent in 2017,

But the rebranding process was just one of Awori’s trophies. Under his leadership, Absa invested heavily in technology, making strategic partnerships with players in the ecosystem.

In March 2018, Absa launched its digital app known as “Timiza” – Swahili for achieve- and quickly saw customers get on board. By the end of that year, the company app had recorded 3 million users, while lending was reported at KES 10 billion.

“We have seen our app grow in leaps and bounds. We are now roughly under 5 million [Timiza] customers, and we really are looking forward to growing that number in the future,” Mr. Awori affirmed at the time. The app is linked to M-pesa, enabling users to make transactions easily from their mobile wallets.

This year, Absa announced an investment of KES 2 billion in technological advances aimed at improving customer experience. Part of the investments would go into building an online platform where customers can promptly open a bank account.

“These digital enhancements fuel Absa’s digital innovation strategy that aims to enhance customers’ experiences and promote financial access,” Awori said.

Another strategic move by Absa under Awori’s leadership was a partnership with remittance company Visa to launch cross-border remittance services under the Absa Visa Send Money platform.

Through this partnership, customers are able to use Visa debit and credit cards to transfer funds from Absa’s mobile banking app to any part of the world.

“This partnership strives to bring digital-first solutions and we will continue to provide services that meet our consumers’ increasing expectations for seamless and secure ways to move money globally.”

The 51-year-old banker leaves the institution after steering it into heavy adoption of technology,  making it highly competitive in the modern banking sector.

As he takes up his new role at the Togo- headquartered lender, Mr. Awori said he is looking forward to “consolidating the transformation of Ecobank while innovating to create value for all Ecobank’s stakeholders,”

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Simon W Nderitu

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