Top 25 Most Impactful Chairs of Boards Influencing Business in 2023

Isaac Awuondo serves as Chair of the Board of NCBA Bank Kenya PLC, following the consolidation of Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) and NIC Group PLC in September 2019.


Isaac Awuondo


Isaac Awuondo serves as Chair of the Board of NCBA Bank Kenya PLC, following the consolidation of Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) and NIC Group PLC in September 2019. The fastest growing bank in Kenya, both in profitability and assets, NCBA Bank Kenya PLC is now the third largest bank in the country. NCBA Bank has a presence in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ivory Coast.

Prior to this appointment, Isaac was Group Managing Director (Group MD) of CBA, one of the largest privately held commercial banks in Kenya at the time.

With well over 32 years of experience in both the finance and banking sectors, Isaac has aptly developed a detailed spectrum of skills and business acumen that he continues to utilise in driving NCBA Bank Kenya’s business as Chair of its Board.

2022 marked the third anniversary of the fruitful merger, with NCBA Bank Kenya’s profits rising by a stupendous 96 percent, to KES 12.8 billion in the year’s first nine months. This was appropriately paired with the bank’s return on equity (ROE) growing from 13.8 percent, as of Q3 2021, to 20.8 percent in Q3 2022. The ROE growth subsequently unlocked value for Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) investors, with the NCBA share price increasing by 31 percent, dubbing NCBA the third best-performing stock at the NSE in 2022.

Under Isaac’s visionary board leadership, one of NCBA Bank Kenya’s priorities is to achieve higher financial inclusion, especially for individual customers as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). To drive this goal, the bank is at the forefront of product innovation with its digital and mobile banking services, including lending, that are disrupting traditional financial systems. One of the top five lenders by financial muscle in Kenya, the bank’s digital loan disbursements stood at KES 521 billion, between Q1 and Q3 2022, a 23 percent increase year on year.

Following the intent to bring its services closer to consumers, NCBA Bank Kenya has been on a committed branch expansion journey. In 2022, the Group opened 13 new branches in various counties around the country, with several more scheduled to be opened this year.

NCBA Bank Kenya is the undisputed market leader in investment banking and asset financing, with a steady track record of helping individuals and businesses acquire the assets they need to advance. If the applicant qualifies, the loan is approved within 12 hours.

NCBA Bank Kenya offers loans for assets such as personal and commercial vehicles, construction, office and industrial equipment, among others. For example, through, one of the bank’s asset financing platforms, customers receive a full-circle experience in car ownership.

Asset under management (AUM) for NCBA Unit Trust Fund stood at KES 20.2 billion in June 2022, over 100 percent growth from what it was in June 2020 (KES 9.3 billion). NCBA Unit Trust Fund is now the second largest unit trust scheme in Kenya.

From social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, to professional networks such as Linked In, NCBA Bank Kenya is a pioneer when it comes to customer value management. The bank uses its content to engage and educate consumers on financial management skills. It also provides stimulating economic insights through various webinars. Finance is conversational, and as such, these insights help to retain customers.

With high Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) ratings, NCBA Bank Kenya has a clear dividend policy for shareholders: the bank guidance is to pay up to 50 percent of net earnings as dividends. This shows the board’s commitment to its shareholders.

NCBA Bank Kenya has developed a strategic framework to drive its community initiatives. Under Awuondo’s chairmanship, these initiatives deliver relevant and positive societal impact such as promotion of entrepreneurship, and youth and female empowerment.

Previously, Awuondo served as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Executive Director at Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), with operations in Kenya and the East Africa region for over eight years.

Isaac holds a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) degree in Accounting and Finance from the prestigious University of Nairobi (UoN). He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ACA), and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK).

Awuondo concurrently serves as Chairman of the Loop DFC Board: the Digital Business of the NCBA Group, and the World Wide Fund Kenya (WWF Kenya) Board. He is a Member of the Advisory Board of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and a Trustee of Zawadi Africa Education Fund. Isaac also sits on the boards of other private blue chip companies. He previously chaired the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) Board.

Awuondo enjoys golfing and listening to music. He is a passionate collector of contemporary African Art and classic cars.


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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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