KCB Group Plc, Kenya’s second-largest bank by assets, is in talks to acquire stakes in financial institutions in Ethiopia in their plan to further their expansion into Africa’s second most populous nation. Paul Russo, Chief Executive Officer of KCB, said that their aim is to acquire stakes in existing financial institutions, reviving their plans after a three-year pause due to internal conflict. The Ethiopian government may permit foreign investors to own 30% of existing commercial banks with the goal of boosting foreign currency reserves.
KCB already has a representative office in Ethiopia, where over 100 million people use 25 banks. The bank has presence in six markets across the continent, including South Africa and Congo. The CEO is hopeful that the regulatory changes would be completed at the end of the year, with the aim of increasing their subsidiaries’ overall contribution, which they expect to jump to 25% of their total revenue from the current 17%.
Paul Russo is the Chief Executive Officer of KCB. He has over 25 years of experience in the financial services sector and has held various executive positions within different banks, both in and outside of Kenya. He has an Honors in Economics, an MBA in Finance and an M.Sc in International Banking and Finance. He joined KCB in 2020 and works towards the vision of transforming KCB into a financial solutions provider for the continent. Since his appointment, he has led the bank’s transformation initiative, driving the implementation of innovative solutions which help to improve customer experiences and increase operational efficiencies.