A chat with I&M Financial institution chief Kihara Maina
- Having graduated from Moi College in 1988, he lower his tooth within the banking world, beginning off with Stanbic Financial institution in 1993. He would later be a part of Barclays, the place he began climbing the company ladder.
- He joined I&M as CEO 5 years in the past, shifting from his function because the managing director of Barclays Financial institution Tanzania that he had held for seven years.
Nairobi’s Metropolis Park and its majestic bushes are clothed in an air of solemnity on a Tuesday morning after we arrive on the new I&M Financial institution #ticker:I&M. From the seventh ground, which has glass partitions, the bushes appear to have a touch of make-up on them. It could possibly be the mud or the mist doing the trick.
We’re but to soak up all of the refreshing forest views when Kihara Maina, the CEO, walks into the boardroom. He’s heat and witty. With measured phrases and a prepared reply to all the things requested.
Having graduated from Moi College in 1988, he lower his tooth within the banking world, beginning off with Stanbic Financial institution #ticker:SBIC in 1993. He would later be a part of Barclays, the place he began climbing the company ladder.
He joined I&M as CEO 5 years in the past, shifting from his function because the managing director of Barclays Financial institution Tanzania that he had held for seven years. The 52-year-old grabs his cup of tea, asks about the very best place to sit down and is prepared for a chat with Elvis Ondieki.
A very inexperienced constructing…
Sure. It is among the greenest buildings within the nation, if not in Africa. Being environment-conscious is one thing now we have included in our tradition, as much as the best way we handle our waste. We’re extending it into the best way we have interaction with our prospects. We received’t finance prospects who’re destroying the atmosphere.
It’s been 5 years of you main I&M. How has it been?
I&M is a implausible place to work in, and I’m privileged to work with 1,100 colleagues right here in Kenya and nearly 2,000 throughout the opposite international locations the place we’re current — Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Mauritius. We’re not a younger financial institution. We had been established again in 1974.
With Covid-19 got here the dialogue of working from workplace versus working from dwelling. Do you assume costly places of work matter or are they only to assuage egos?
That’s one thing that now we have to be very cautious about when crafting the altering methods of working. Whereas now we have individuals working from dwelling, we additionally take care to make sure that individuals don’t disappear. There are specific issues which might be misplaced once you transfer away from a bodily workplace atmosphere, and most of our communication is definitely visible.
If you happen to’re a brand new entrant, as an illustration, we don’t anticipate that you simply’re going to work away from the workplace for no less than the primary few months. It’s essential to have a routine the place you come into the workplace bodily, you possibly can rotate with individuals and all, so that you simply keep that contact with the office; individuals get to know you and work together with you.
As for bodily workplaces, I believe places of work are nonetheless necessary. However they are going to be reconfigured. Lots of people have needed to rethink the best way they use workplace areas: do you actually need an workplace? In some circumstances, individuals have found they really don’t.
What’s your management type?
I consider within the means of individuals to seek out their manner if they’re guided and left to thrive.
I don’t consider in micro-managing. You hardly get something accomplished successfully. You see, if persons are allowed to provide you with their options, provide you with their concepts, then that manner they develop.
Is there an individual you possibly can say influenced your method to management?
Clearly, having an extended profession with totally different organisations, you come throughout totally different kinds. I’ve had many various managers I’ve labored with who introduced up various things for me. I’ll single out (EAC Cupboard Secretary) Adan Mohamed. He was my MD after I was at Barclays. And I believe he represented one of the vital prolific progress intervals for Barclays.
And I used to be privileged to be on his senior administration staff.
Talking of careers, you studied arithmetic and statistics then discovered your self in banking. How did that occur?
Throughout my undergraduate research, I developed an curiosity in pc science. After research at Moi College, I noticed an advert for administration trainees at a neighborhood financial institution and I utilized for it.
As I joined banking, my curiosity was to use my studying in pc sciences, as a result of clearly there may be nice alternative for innovation in banking. Banking is among the most progressive industries; very early adopters of know-how.
Considered one of I&M’s worldwide subsidiaries is in Mauritius. Why?
Sure, now we have a presence in Mauritius as Financial institution One. Really, that represents the primary acquisition we did exterior the nation. We now have a 50-50 take care of them. Being in Mauritius is no surprise as a result of clearly, offshore banking has been established in Mauritius, therefore its attractiveness. Numerous entities have a tendency to include in Mauritius due to their tax standing. So, it’s not stunning to see Kenyan entities going into Mauritius.
I&M Financial institution arrange a wealth administration and advisory enterprise concentrating on rich shoppers. How is it doing up to now?
What we’re getting down to do is to assist individuals protect their wealth and develop it. So, we’re making it easier for individuals to entry totally different wealth administration options. Anyone who has property has a possibility to handle property and generate extra wealth or protect that wealth. And, thoughts you, wealth shouldn’t be about riches. All people has a level of wealth.
You’re a household man, I hear.
Sure, I’ve a stunning spouse of 19 years and two kids: a boy and a lady. It’s a really good, well-rounded, well-balanced household.
You’re 52 now. What recommendation are you able to give to a 22-year-old?
I’d inform them to not really feel pressured to have a function on the stage they’re in. The fact is that, at 22, you might be unlikely to have determined upon what your life’s function is. So, check out various things, see what excites you, what actually ignites your ardour, and go together with that. And don’t be afraid to alter. The truth that you began out in a single profession doesn’t imply that that’s the place you had been designed to finish up.
Keep centered on doing good and doing issues the precise manner. There’s a prayer that has at all times caught in my head, attributed to St Francis of Assisi, about asking God to provide the power to decide on the laborious proper relatively than the straightforward mistaken. So, don’t search for the quickest strategy to get the Mercedes-Benz that’s pushed by Diamond (Platnumz) or whoever it’s. It’ll come; you don’t need to hurry it alongside by taking shortcuts.
Legend says you’re additionally a fairly good golfer.
(Chuckles) I’m not an excellent golfer. I simply take pleasure in golf. So, I’ve been enjoying golf for most likely 15 years or so, and it’s testomony to the truth that I don’t get as a lot time to play that my handicap has been what a few of my pals name a “business” handicap.
Golf is a really attention-grabbing sport. You get the chance to train various your physique.
In a typical golf sport, you stroll eight to 10 kilometres. If you happen to informed most individuals to go that far on their very own free will, they received’t achieve this.
My dwelling membership is Limuru. It has actually thrived in the previous few years, so it’s fantastic to see such an previous membership actually doing nicely. My different golf membership is Karen.
They are saying enjoying golf is like working a enterprise. Any classes it has taught you?
Whenever you’re enjoying golf, you’re enjoying towards many various issues: the course, and it has been arrange with obstacles and ranges of problem and so forth. So, you are attempting to beat the course. However then once you’re enjoying with companions, you’re additionally attempting to play towards your associate. So, balancing all these competing pursuits is one thing that you simply see in enterprise.
What do you learn?
When it comes to favorite reads, I like historic fiction. So, studying in regards to the historical past of, say, London for instance, informed with historic occasions as they occurred however by the eyes of some fictional characters.