Equity Group has tapped the head of financial institutions in East and Southern Africa at the IFC as its Chief Operating Officer to aid its digitization efforts and Pan African expansion.
John Wilson, a Swedish national, spent a total of 14 years at the World Bank, where he worked at the IFC (private sector arm of the World Bank Group with over USD 90 Billion in assets) for 11 years and another 3 years at the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development, IBRD (the public sector arm of the World Bank Group).
At IFC, John served as the Global Head of Banking and Chief Banking specialist as well as the Manager in charge of Financial institutions Group for East and Southern Africa. At the IBRD, he served as private sector specialist and investment officer.
He has also spent part of his career life working with the banking sector in Sweden where he held various senior positions in Swedbank, ending as the Managing Director, Head of Investment Banking Kaupthing Bank. Earlier, John spent 5 years in managing consulting at McKinsey.
On his appointment, Dr James Mwangi, Managing Director and CEO Equity Group Holdings Plc said, “John brings international experience and joins a team of highly talented experts who are driving our Equity 3.0 strategy that will see the Group complete digitization and virtualization of the Bank while accelerating our Pan African expansion to 15 countries by 2024. His depth of expertise and understanding of the African financial institutions will be invaluable as the Group takes a leading role in the Africa region”.
The recruitment reflects the Group’s focus to strengthening its depth of capacity and capability as it continues to grow and evolve to a global financial institution. As an experienced banker with economic background, John will help to analyse the economic environment in the various countries the Group is operating in and advise on how to localize its strategy.
The Group recently signed a preliminary agreement with Atlas Mara Limited that will see the Bank’s entry into Zambia and Mozambique which are mineral-rich economies in addition to DRC where it started its operations in 2015. In July 2019, the Group opened a Commercial Representative Office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
John will enhance the execution of strategy and operational oversight of the entire business including the subsidiaries. His appointment in the new role is subject to approval by the Central Bank of Kenya.
Equity Group is looking to expand to new markets and its banking on its brand, and its technology platform and regional reach as its advantages.
“Through digitization and virtualization, through our shared services platform, our expansion to new markets is a “plug and play” approach, backed up by a strong talented team that has invested in making banking an integrated part of everyday lifestyle. John will be a valuable player in this strategy,” added Dr. Mwangi.