Reputation Poll International, a leading global reputation-management firm, has listed Equity Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr. James Mwangi among the fifty most reputable bank CEOs in Africa this year. Dr. Mwangi is among fifty other African bank CEOs who have been identified as the power minds behind the resilience showed by African banks to rebound faster to pre-crisis levels.
The firm has recognized top officials of African banks for their service. “They have helped their banks attain a great height of performance during the pandemic,” stated the Reputation Poll International. The recognition list contains those who have built and played a pivotal role in revolutionizing the banking sector through excellence, integrity, reliability, expertise, technology and ease of credit.
In the year under review, Equity recorded a return on equity of 15.3%, which is above African banks average at 7%. According to the Reputation Poll International, the Covid-19 pandemic, struck a blow to the banking industry across the globe. Most specifically, the African banks have seen a decline in the average return on equity from 14% in 2019, to 7% in 2020 according to McKinsley. It is estimated that if economic recovery goes as planned, by 2022, African banks should rebound to their pre-Covid-19 revenue levels. The banks in developed markets on the other hand will only rebound by 2024.
In 2020, Dr. Mwangi led his team in weathering the Covid-19 disruption to register a 51% growth in the lender’s balance sheet with total assets growing to Kshs. 1.015 billion (One trillion and fifteen billion shillings) up from Kshs. 674 billion the previous year. From a business perspective, lives and livelihoods were affected. As a financial institution, Equity accommodated customers loans up to Kshs. 171 billion, giving them reprive and flexibility to adjust their business model. Through the Equity Group Foundation, over Kshs. 1.7 billion was mobilised to help the country respond to the pandemic among other efforts.
Equity announced a 98% growth in half-year profits to Kshs. 17.9 billion from Kshs. 9.1 billion in 2020. Speaking during the release of the results, Dr. Mwangi attributed the bank’s impressive performance and recovery to the strategy it adopted at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic to create resilience, agility and recovery that has been very effective in positioning, navigating and driving its performance.
As part of its commitment to strategically walk with the micro, small and medium enterprises during the pandemic period, Equity signed loan agreements with different international finance partners worth Kshs. 76.78 billion to fortify credit flow and liquidity to the key sector in East and Central Africa. Dr. Mwangi has been at the helm of Equity Group for sixteen years. During this period, he has redefined the group to a purpose-driven organisation. He recently won the prestigious 2020 Oslo Business for Peace award while in September 2020, he joined a league of 14 global CEOs who have committed to champion cross-sector collaboration in the creation of a purpose-first economy among others.