Top 25 Most Influential Chair of Board Impacting Business

Kellen Kariuki holds a Master of Science (MSc) degree in International Human Resource Management from Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University in the UK.


Kellen Eileen Kariuki, FCPA


Kellen Kariuki took over as the new Chair of the Board of directors of Standard Chartered Bank Kenya, following the retirement of Engineer Patrick Obath. The appointment took effect from 31st May 2021.

Prior to her promotion to chair the board, she served as an independent non-executive director of the board since her appointment on 10th February 2021.

Kellen has a rich experience in the banking and finance industry. She served in various top leadership roles at Citi Bank North America for more than 20 years. She was the first CEO and Managing Trustee of the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) tasked with setting up the new Public Sector institution. At UFAA, Kellen was responsible for receiving, safeguarding and reuniting unclaimed financial assets. Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority is the first and one of its kind in Africa.

She led the strategic direction and operations of the new organization by setting up structures, policies, systems and recruiting staff. Ksh40 billion worth of unclaimed financial assets was reported in her tenor at UFAA while 100% of valid claims lodged were reunited with their rightful owners.

While at Citi, she held different roles including Chief Financial Officer, Head of Human Resources among others where she developed strategic financial procedures to provide the basis for management decisions and control and maintain integrity of accounting and disclosure; proactively supporting the business mission while providing independent strategic judgment necessary to meet corporate objectives and policies while ensuring compliance with applicable local and US regulatory requirements were met.

She has wide international experience in developing and delivering all aspects of Human Resources and Business strategy across the Middle East, Pakistan and Africa which includes Institutional, Private, Consumer and Investment Banking businesses thereby understanding the diverse markets and driving the business strategy across the region.

Currently, Kellen is the Managing Director of Feruzi Holdings Limited, a consulting firm engaged in financial advisory, real estate, and agribusiness. She is also a non-executive director at AMREF Health Africa International and Amref Flying Doctors Board. Kellen is a Board Member of the Strathmore University Foundation.  She is a founding member of the Board of Advisors of Strathmore Business School (SBS) and has served as an elected council member of ICPAK.

Kellen is a director at Resolution Health Insurance and the Kenya Roads Board for 6 years. On the International Amref Health Africa Board, she is Chair of Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee.

Kellen Kariuki holds a Master of Science (MSc) degree in International Human Resource Management from Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University in the UK. She also obtained an MBA degree in Strategic Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from USIU-Africa, Kenya campus. She is currently a PhD candidate, Business and Management at the Strathmore Business School.

Standard Chartered Bank Kenya is a listed financial institution at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

Kellen is the second woman to chair the board at SCB, Anne Mutahi, a small and medium enterprises (SMEs) consultant and advisor.

According to LinkedIn, Kellen is a resourceful, energetic and results oriented professional with extensive finance, strategy, leadership, governance, banking, international management experience and analytical skills-necessary skill set for a modern-day Chair of Board. She is well networked in the public, private and not for profit sectors.

Standard Chartered Bank Kenya is the pioneer member of the 30 Per Cent Club East Africa Chapter launched in October 2018.

The 30 Per Cent Club is a global campaign led by chairs and chief executive officers, pushing for gender balanced boards and senior management.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) joined the 30 Per Cent Club in February 2021 and as such could influence the more than 60 listed firms, Standard Chartered Bank Kenya included, to close gender disparities in employment and have more women in leadership.

Kellen currently runs her own consulting firm, Feruzi Holdings Limited, dealing with financial advisory, real estate and agribusiness.

In recognition of services rendered to Kenya, she was awarded “The Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear” (MBS) by the President of Kenya in December 2003.


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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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